By someone from Qoleum before I went to warm up. He was methodically checking his saddle height. He said hey, asked if I was staying through worlds.
Wachtebeke: a pretty small C2 cx race north of Gent.
I’ve got to make this short as I need to make some more dinner and food for tomorrow and get some rest.
I was pretty nervous and excited to do my first Euro cross race. I registered in line with all the other American’s here for the cross camp. The UCI officials and other racers gave us all a hard time. I got a pretty decent start position too.
Brad (Canadian staying at the house too.) came with me to check out the scene and work the pits. I took a lap and my bike was caked with grass and mud. It was going to be one of those races where you switch bikes every lap.
The laps were very short too. I hate to say it. But, the course was boring. Not to say I did not get my ass handed to me. But, we did at least 12 pancake flat, non technical, muddy, tiring, 5 minute laps. Think PIR + Sauvie Island. With 2 man made run ups and deep, deep ruts.
We lined up. Jos took my jacket, there were hundreds of fans heckling and cheering.
Roger Hammond elbowed his way in front of me and the gun went off!
The start was asphalt and long. Really long. I sprinted, sat down, surged, sprinted, sat down and surged again. Parbo took a flyer (and got a good race result, congrats!) on the outside and I followed to get up into the top ten and then…
My legs had nothing. I dropped back a bunch after the first lap (5 minutes in) and played damage control. Wicks fell back and then chased back up to me near the end. We rode together for the last few laps and eventually got lapped with 2 to go by Nys, Grooendal and one of the Vantourohouts. I think.
Besides Page, I think the Americans all had bad legs. I heard Powers was a handfull of seconds in front of us before getting lapped. I should not be riding near Barry and Jeremy…
I am glad the first race is out of the way. I had a jour sans and I always race better on the second day.