April 30, 2012

Made it! Belgium Spring 2012

We have been here for a few days now and I am really loving life. Back in the old apartement, the old routines, the same meals made by amateurs that always have their little flaws... the pro lifestyle. We took our time to settle and kicked the racing off with a nice short kermesse that was only 25mintues from the Canada Base. The course was 20 laps of a 4 km course and from previous experiences I knew that an early break was going to win this kermesse. The solution? follow everything. Attack. I lactch on we die after 30 seconds. Attack. Etzl jumps over and they last about the same amount of time. Then Trivett attacks. He spends about half a lap off the front. In a non linear fashion here is a flashback. We have arrived at the race and as we park we notice two custom wrapped buses. These belong to junior superstar, celebrity and magasine boy - Quinten Hermans. A first year junior, he was 4th at cyclocross worlds this past winter and rides for the Continental team Telenet-Fidea. As Trivett comes back on the climb he surges and I get on. We go go go, nothing peleton is still there. I attack off him and he latches on with a few others and still the peleton makes its way back. We go around a 150degree corner on wet bricks and jam it out of the corner. Finally a gap for superstar and myself. Two other riders are with us but neither can contribute to the pace. We hold a gap of about 20 seconds for 30kilometers. Over these 30k we lose our breakaway companions, the pace has proven to be too hard. We work. 26 seconds, 36 seconds, 42 seconds, 48 seconds, 53 seconds. This continued until at last we had just over a minute and the field was tired of pursuing something that seemed hopeless to them. He is a small guy and I was planning out how I was going to win. I figured as long as he didn't drop me on the climb I would stick around to beat him in the sprint. Judging by the obvious fact by looking at me that I am a fat cyclist I would have thought he would of gone for the attack on the climb. He didn't. What we both knew however was that he was better at cornering than me. If I lead into the tight turn he would lose a wheel maybe, if he lead I would fall about a bike length off. So this was how it was going to be decided, the final corner. We came down the hill, I was hoping he was content with letting me lead but I guess not. We went into the corner at a two man sprint at 60km/h in comparison to 45km/h earlier. I conceded and let him take it. As expected he gapped me a little and here I stood, 300m to the line and bike length to make up. There was some road furniture to dodge and he blocked me into it and I had to pause but as the road turned again he opened up a route for me and I mashed on through it. I passed him with probably 50m to go and as I did he sat up, defeated. I gave a little salute and rolled on, what a good feeling. This kid, already on a pro team, fans with signs made for him, signing autographs, multiple mechanics on course and a pair of 12,000 bikes for a genre of racing that isn't his prefered, and I beat him. That was probably the sweetest part of the day. The entire team was in the prize money, and we probably 15 euros each. So all in all it has been an excellent trip so far. Tomorrow we have an Interclub race that I hear is supposedly flat. Here are some photos from the day...



  1. Atta Boy, no mercy! Great report, I sense some bitterness about your lack of posters and signs though. I'll try to make some for the next race you have in ON. Great job Ben.

  2. Hi,
    Congratulations on your victory in your cycling to Molenstede Belgium 29 April 2012, on behalf of the webmaster of the 2nd "Quinten Hermans'. Need more pictures of this contest, go to:
    Quinten Hermans