Another good little kermis course lots of corners, thin roads, a "climb" and interesting little green poles spread out all over the road that are somehow supposed to deter cars from speeding. A small field for Belgian standards, somewhere around 60 riders. I was a little bummed to learn of the Interclub race (essentially a Belgian Road Cup) also happening today, my team didn't qualify to race it so that's where all the really good riders were off racing. Today my ambition was to be patient and try to use only the bare minimum of matches it would take to win. I had 6 team mates with me and our intention was for them to all get good results if they had the legs. I would go to them and tell them what I thought they should do and pretty much made myself the road captain for the day. I had also become a marked man... mostly due to a few of my team mates calling me crazy strong and yelling it to the whole peleton. So I would do little fake jumps and everyone stuck to me like glue, in the lulls following I would have my team mates jump. I would let a few riders get on their wheel then I would pretend to go for it then sit up and let them ride away. After doing this for about the first 50km with 35km remaining I had 3 team mates in a lead group of 10 and I decided it was time to mobilize. I waited for it to get really hard on everyone and then immediately after I bridged across bringing a few guys with me. All race 2 guys had been yelling at each other and fighting for my wheel, we were all now in the lead group. I yelled at people to pull but many were too cooked to do so. We rode with great idleness but thankfully so did the peleton behind. I decided it was time to shake things up so I tried a few attacks and soon it was myself with one of my shadows and my other shadow with another rider 50m behind. He wouldn't pull so I attacked him, then I turned around and stared at him once he caught me and he started pulling. We were going hard and our gap was growing and with one lap to go it seemed like we had it so we both started doing soft pulls then the other two magically appeared 50m behind again so I attacked trying to do the last 4km solo and he was on me way faster than I expected. Since he was cooked earlier this makes no sense unless he was lying or just has a really good jump, neither would surprise me. I said "okay let's work together or they will catch us!"... as soon as he finished his first turn I launched across the road and saw his shadow dangling just behind mine, then the sunlight between our shadows began to grow and I knew it was going to be a little ride into the line. I knew now I just needed to keep a good pace and it was mine. I rolled in alone thinking I would see him not so far back, but it must have been nearly a minute till a group of 3 came in. The remnants of the break came in with all my team mates not so far up in the small group. They did what they could and many got all time best results! We split the prize money and went home happy. Thank you to everyone who helps me in my cycling and Wendy with his mother and father for coming to be my support team, I gave my flowers to Quinten's Grandmother :)
I have also added a video to the interviews page of me riding in the Polka Dots at LLG!
photo montages people sometimes make for these races