Another week, another 190km UCI Europe Tour race that saw me jumping into the deep end straight out of the junior ranks. Things where going better than the week before, I was having an easier time positioning myself and at times when I was caught out and I had the short term power to get back. The field of 200 had whittled down to about 80 and I was still in it and really pleased with my performance 120km in to the 190km race, but then riders in front of me slammed to a complete stop and I stopped too, by rolling on the pavement after ramming into the back of them. I got back up fairly quickly, but not as quickly as the peleton got back up to speed which was already 300m or so ahead of me.
Normally if you fall the follow cars will help you back on but since there were riders in little groups as far as the eye could see behind me the neutral support vehicle did not help me. Pushing 500watts just to not lose ground on the pack and no line of team cars insight due to a splintered pack I needed a wind break desperately. Waving frantically the blue neutral car finally helped me and I made it back into the pack just as a little group of three also caught back up after being dropped earlier.
The next problem I faced was that just as I had crashed I was working on moving up. The reason I was extra focused on moving up was that on the impending section of the lap we turned on to some rough small farm roads, which are open to the wind for a few kilometres. I managed to hang in, dangling on the back already, for around two kilometres but with Rabobank driving, the wind, and what I had gone through the last 5km or so I was popped. My Kiwi teammate and a group of 30 eventually caught me and we completed the last 50km lap before skipping the final 30km lap and called it a day.
At the finish in Rucphen my main training partner Dan McLay won the peleton sprint, but an unstoppable Rabo rider rode in solo from an attack 7km out. In hilarious manner Dan celebrated but it's still a good ride for the team. Check out the video from the day here:
It's safe to say that the transformation from Canadian Junior to Dutch Europe Tour Contender is set on a very steep curve. I feel I am embracing this learning curve and hopefully with more experience and time I can really do something. If I wouldn't of crashed do I think I would of finished in the lead group of 30? Being realistic, probably not, but I certainly couldn't of ended up worse than 80th.
I was going to race a kermis tomorrow, a nice change seeing as it is an open race around 120km not a gongshow Dutch race that is just under 200kms. I said was because it was cancelled so I have to miss out on that nice refresher I wanted but such is life.
This Saturday I am in Holland again racing a much smaller race. Smaller meaning only 3 out of 20 teams are professional, not vice versa and the length is a mere 155km. Hopefully I can have an impact and help the team get it's first victory of the year.