September 3, 2011

First Kermis!

I feel that my first Kermis was more or less a successful one, I made few tactical errors, I was well positioned, focused and this all came together well enough for me to place 9th out of 96 riders. We were told prior to the start that this was generally a harder than most Kermis, due to the fact the laps were a short 4.2km and the New Zealand, Latvian, Canadian and the majority of the Belgian and Dutch national team were participating. I got a spot right on the front line, mostly due to being at the right place at the right time, and the start was pretty weird. A voice was coming from the loud speaker and all the Flemish people around were all acting in a different manner so I had no idea how soon we would start. Then a guy of to the left where nobody could see started to look like he was going to pitch a soft ball 3 pitch style and some guy just started sprinting, so I said to myself "I guess that's it" and I took off and got on his wheel. Adam and I spent the first half lap covering moves until I got in one with 4 Kiwi's, a Dutch rider and a Belgian rider. We powered around the course and got a gap of 2:45 seconds after 60 of the 98km had passed. The three of us on the outs did our best to sit out pulls but we all still rolled through not contributing much to the tempo, however averaging in and around 48km/h for 60km in a group of 7 is still a good workout. I was feeling really good and making sure I was properly hydrated and eating well, just waiting for my time to go. On a side note, while sitting out pulls I experienced a few new things in bike racing, I got middle fingers, the fudge word screamed at me and a Kiwi I didn't know came up with a clever interrogation of if I like Hospital food? and which I responded with "well if I go for a severe enough injury I get ice cream 24/7!" I thought it was pretty witty at the time haha. Then the Belgian attacked and a Kiwi followed and I figured the remaining 3 would chase it down or the guy up the road would sit on, but chase never came. Then, unluckily, I was at the back of the group of 5 with the Dutch rider at the front and 3 Kiwi's in between us. He attacked, the Kiwi on his wheel followed and the other two sat up. I waited a little while because if I were to attack they would have just TTT up to me then Cat and Moused me till I was dropped. So  I took a tricky right turn over a side walk leaving them with a longer way around the corner and I managed to drop the two who finished 1st and 2nd at Abitibi, which left me feeling pretty confident. I did a lap with them at around 15 seconds behind me but when I saw a field of around 20 come up behind them and swallow them up and I decided to sit up as well as I wouldn't hold that gap for the remaining 16km. We soon caught the group that sat 3rd and 4th on the road. I followed some moves hydrated to reduce my cramping and when the sprint came we were really just like a bunch of TTer's because everyone was essentially solo just in close proximity of the rest of the group, I felt some intense cramping but it soon faded and I caught a few guys and if the race was 20m longer I would of caught another 1 or 2 more riders who were really close up ahead. So 9th was the result and I feel happy seeing as it was such a hard race and my first in Belgium. It cost 3 euros to race and I won 20 for my spot and Adam De Vos won 5 for his 22nd place as the next Canadian, so that probably covered the gas for 40km and our entry for 4, making the race free!

Any ways I will have another Kermis tomorrow and I am very excited! Should be another great day on the bike!             

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