May 1, 2012
So an Interclub is a BIG race for the Belgians... and I guess the general European region we live in. There were many Belgian teams, Dutch teams, a few Luxembourgish teams and us! Aproximately 160 riders in a flat fast course with cobbles, road furniture and many many turns. I made sure to line up as close to the front as possible on the technical 100km race over 5 laps. The first lap not much happened, I followed a few moves but nothing stuck. Once the first lap was over people seemed to be a little gased and I got in a move with 4 other riders, including my new found friend from my last race Quinten Hermans. He and I were the only ones strong enough to not miss any pulls and we managed to at one point have a gap of 50 seconds! After about 30km up the road it seemed like we were coming back as our gap had been whittled to 20 seconds. Then Quinten attacked and we all jumped on, in the mean time two other riders bridged up from the peleton. Our gap grew back to almost a minute and I was feeling good but then it happened again. Some teams that werent represented in the move pulled us back, 15km to go, back in the peleton. I still felt alright, maybe a little crampy. I was thinking with this little time left nothing will escape so I went back to find Etzl and tell him I would offer him a leadout. We got back to the top 20 and I saw a move begining to form 5 riders and all the really good team were represented. I saw on my left a Kiwi rider jump across and I latched on. One more made it across and with 8km we had an unmotiveated peleton behind us and the wind at our backs. Being the only rider who was in the long break of the day I was surprised I had the energy to make both moves I sat out a turn or two to shake out my legs and empty my bottles. We had 55 seconds and 1500m to go, no more need to drive the pace. I was marking the kiwi, knowing of his track background I expected him to have a good sprint. Then an attack came on the left and there was no immediate reaction. I figured with 800m to go either these guys are cooked or arent willing to do the work to chase him back, I guessed cooked and did the same as him and smashed it hard up the left side. My legs were cramping pretty good after 67km of break away and I knew the win was gone. I took a glance back and as I did a rider blew by me and a few seconds later the kiwi drove by. I had nu-thing. I looked back and saw 4 guys wide looking at each other completely spent. In hind sight I am glad I went for it, if I hadn't I probably would of had to work super hard in a 5 man sprint and coming 4th probably would not have been the outcome. What a great day and a great race! I felt almost like a big fish in a small pond, being able to follow and contribute to every move. I am feeling very confident in my physical and tactical abilities! Up next is a hilly Interclub on saturday and then 3 kermesses on all the following weekend days in the trip except for the Trofeo Karlsburg in Germany from May 17 - 20! I am loving life Belgian style!