Here I am hanging out in London Heathrow waiting for my flight home to Edmonton so what better use of time then to write my race report.
Well, the Apeldoorn course was pretty flat as expected with about 10 (estimate) short 10 second power climbs throughout the lap. The start field was a little thinner – 110 guys this time and I was called up (they actually called my name – that’s the only way I would know as I don’t know what #158 sounds like in Dutch) in probably 90th position. The start was crazy as usual however I’m getting pretty good at making my way up through the gaps and up into the field. I probably moved up 30 spots off the start. Even when everyone was off and running their bikes I used my balance skills to stay riding and then as the guys in front of me went to remount I would pass them. This little Dolphin rider was awful. I must have passed him 3 times in the start ’cause he could not ride his bike. Once he crashed as he had to break really hard to avoid a guy who was stopped in front.
There were many soft sandy corners on the course and if you dared to break in any of them you would surely loose your line. I got sketchy a few times – I need to work on my cornering skills.
So the first half of the race was going pretty well for me until I felt that I could not pedal hard anymore because my back screamed at me with every hard pedal stroke. I felt like the legs could go harder but the back could not. The course was suprisingly bumpy and I think a fully would be a good choice on this course. Contrasting my fully view, Sven Nys, the winner of the race, was on a fully rigid bike – no shocks at all! At the end of the race as we were waiting for Tim’s prize money (he finished 11th! good job Tim) we were chatting w/ Thys Al and Sven a little and Sven said his back was sore during the race today. Of course – you didn’t have any suspension! Crazy Euros I guess…I imagine it feels a lot faster…
So the final race of my European experience was a bit of a mediocre result (82nd out of 110ish starters), which is a bit of a disappointment but I can still say I enjoyed the racing.
I am now happy to be going home and I look forward to racing my MTB in Alberta again.
I’m wide awake and it’s 4:30 AM?