Last monday i had the gall to show up for an "open category" criterium race. I figured "open category" meant that the participants of the event would be weekend warriors, first time riders, and maybe some women.
As Jonas and I arrived at the event on our bikes, we immediately were passed by a world champion jersey, belgian national jersey, the whole top belgian U-23 team, another belgian national jersey.
My first thought was optimistic. Maybe they bought the jerseys online or from their nearest bike shop. Or possibly the jerseys were given to them from a friend of a friend of a neighbor of a relative who knows the rightful earner of the jersey.
Unfortunately they all had those solid oversized horse legs which made my second thought a bit less positive. Shit.
But there i was, standing next to these guys, on the start line of the most technical circuit I'd ever seen - cobblestone climbs and tight turns, high speed descents with uprooted pavement as speed bumps just at the bottom before the turn, and of course some narrow roads lined with concrete ledges.
The 62km race lasted just over an hour while i bowed out after only 22 minutes. I did make an improvement over last week's race. This time when i dropped out before the race was over I didn't hide behind the van.