May 14, 2012

A crit in Holland

You really can say a lot more about the races you've lost then you can about the races you've won. We took the long, arduous one hour drive to Holland to race a little crit (100 riders). 33 laps of a 2km course that had 3 corners, not really a crit, but hardly a circuit race either. Unlike Belgium we werent the only race of the day but we were the big show, racing last at about 530pm. Due to all the races before us there was a big crowd and I was super pumped to do my best to give all the parents a show. With so many straight aways and a fast flat course I wasnt expecting a break, but I didnt like my chances in a bunch sprint either. I followed some moves in the first lap but they didn't stay at all. Then the pace dulled and I launch my own attack. 3 more riders soon bridged across and "ahh" a break is born. We drove the pace having a decent lead of about 30 seconds at one point and when it dipped under 15 seconds at one point a rider bridged over solo to help rejuvinate us. Since the course was in the form of a triangle one of the corners was around a 120o bend. Every few laps I would hit the corner and my back tire would skid a little bit. I just thought I was bad at cornering and kept on going. I was also really starting to feel it in my legs so I just chalked it up to the 40km itt I had done the day before. In a crit you can stop in the pit and get a wheel change and take a free lap, as long as you are in the last 3laps. Too bad I realised my back tire was dead flat with 1.5 laps to go. I contemplated changing my wheel, but with only 15 seconds back to the peleton I thought maybe I can ride it in for 5th. I cornered at 25km/h, which sounds easy but with no grip I was going everywhere! They all managed to pass me in the last corner with about 200m left in the race. In this huge corner I was so frightened I was sure they were going to run into the back of me but luckily everyone stopped and avoided me and only my teammate Max got a clear line through and dashed in for 6th place, winning the bunch sprint. Judging by my wobbly cornering I think I could of stopped and claimed it be flat as far as 15 laps out! Too bad I'm not smart, or else I would have done that. Such is life. I probably wouldnt have been hurting as much as I was had I had more than 30 psi in my tire. Afterwards I ate a nice sushi dinner in Antwerpen, not being able to eat pizza and pasta with the team due to my gluten freenessity. Got home late and couldnt sleep, I am just too happy about how good everything is going for me! Can't wait to race the World Cup Stage race in Germany starting Thursday, we leave tomorrow! top shape.   

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