I love this course.
I was smiles the entire time, it is just so much fun to ride.
Yes, I have zero fitness and yes, I managed to get a flat tyre again! ugh! This time I rode the hell out of my flatted carbon rim, running in to the pit just in time to get lapped. I kept going and got some TV time and extra riding in.
Kyle Douglas (Canadian U23 rider) arrived yesterday and is living with us in the flat until his worlds team selection stuff gets sorted out. Parbo took off for Swissland. in the chase to stay in the top 50 of the UCI world rankings.
We drove the sketchy euro mobile (for those who have known me for a while, think back to the days of the sketchy windowless van I would drive to races. then make it totally euro.) 20 minutes up to Diegem which is a suburby part of Brussels near the airport.
Got to the start grid. Decided to give Roger Hammond my better place in the lane:
“Roger, get in front of me”
“no, it’s ok mate”
“seriously get up there.”
“ok, I’ll try to go fast.”
Sprint sprint sprint, spin out your biggest gear uphill and then jam on the brakes 2 seconds later and dogpile into 30 riders all trying to fit in to a 2 rider lane.
Diegem holds a special place in my heart. A brutal long asphalt climb, sweet off camber singletrack, alleyways, people’s backyards, a sandpit, sucky uphill mud sections, ruts and ruts and ruts, slick corners, scary descents, good belgie flat sucky power grass sections.
It is the shit.
Kyle had a good race today. Especially with just arriving yesterday. We got caught out in a short, yet brutal, windy rain storm on our ride yesterday.
“welcome to Belgium”
I have met some really special people in my time here, David at Ridley, Brecht and Gregor from Brugge. Danny and his family from Sint Niklass. These people make coming over just a little more welcoming. Maakie (Danny’s daughter) races cx too and was yelling for me in the pits at the top of the course and all over the course were people and fans shouting and cheering my name.
That is so damn rad. Getting love in Diegem.
My lady is coming to visit at the end of this week! And I am pretty pumped. I miss the hell out of her and it is going to be crazy to be in Europe together. Going up to Amsterdam for a few days, leaving Kyle alone in the flat.
I’ve got the race in Sint-Niklass the day after working the boxes for Kyle at the GP Sven Nys in Baal this Tuesday. Then it is a week hanging out with my lady, then the Roubaix cx and the Frenchy World Cup weekend.
I think I am going to fly back after that, hit the LA UCI race on the 19th and be back in Portland in time to ride the PIR Kermesse that Sunday.