Sunday, October 11, 2009

Citadel Namen - GVA Trofee's First Round

What a gas!  I have never done a cross race quite like that! It was so incredibly heavy but a whole lot of fun! I pre-rode the course the day before the race and it was fast but not too tricky, rather straightforward in fact. But after an evening of rain, the course turned to greasy mud. 

Mud tires would have been key, would have loved to mount the Challenge Fango's on a wheelset but no such luck. Four wheelsets of mine are hanging out in Belgian Customs.  And it appears they are on their way back to USA this monday.  Bummer.  With this said, what i had to use for the race were old carbon wheels that dont have any breaking surface when wet. On the first lap, just after i cleared the steepest descent, i couldnt slow down and hit the next descent super hot, rode slightly off the well traveled course and slid on a wet root. BAM, catapulted to the ground. Luckily I wasnt seriously injured, although some girls came close to running over my head.

After my encounter with the muddy ground, I slowly made some ground to finish in 17th place, slowly being the key word. I crawled down the descents and gave it everything on the uphill and pavement.  After the race, I immediately felt like a rockstar when i saw there was a mini collection of folks waiting for me.  Nancy Farzan from California, her friend Yves, and Julie were among them.  It was fun to speak english although i dont think i was too fluent.  After being in Belgium for so long, I've gotten into the habit of speaking slowly and clearly, choosing words that can be easily understood by anyone who speaks english as a second or third language. I bet Nancy must have thought i hit my head during the race.  Thankfully my head was indeed spared this time around!

After slipping out of my muddy one-piece, drinking my recovery shake and riding the trainer a bit, we checked out the men's event.  It was amazing to see how fast these guys take the tricky descents. 

For those of you who are JP fans, he kicked ass! He rode top ten for most of the race before slipping back into 13th.   I was especially excited to see Sven Nys get his legs back so soon after dropping out of the Treviso World Cup the week previous.  And today, in Ruddervorde Superprestige, he WON!!!  He started near the back of the field due to low UCI points, climbed back up to the front, bridged to World Champ Niels Albert, then rode away from him. The fans went crazy! I must admit I screamed at the TV screen a few times.


Phil said...

You look like a badass in the new blog photo!

Anonymous said...

Nice - It looked like a tough race!! I like that area around Namur - I lived in a small village north of there a bit for 4 months and road around that area all the time - frequently raod up to teh Citadel often.

Good luck with your cross season!!