Sunday, July 12, 2009

Belgium Race Report #1

And so begins the worst race reports ever. Hope you have fun reading them!

We arrive Friday in the AM take two trains and get picked up by Jos and taken to you flat for the month in Blauberg, meet our flat mates, English and Aussies, great guys, yes im the only girl. We throw our bags in to our room and get to it, building our bikes and 30 min later we and head out for a spin grey skies hard to tell what time it is.

Massive dinner and passed out on the couch by 7pm, woke up spoke some gibberish to one of the english guys and then took my self to bed. 12 hours of knocked out deep best sleep ever!

Saturday Race Day #1
Memorial Marcel Marijnissen Oostmalle
91km (26 x 3.5km)

Rode to the race. Got a bit lost on the way out because google map did not take in to account the under construction bridge, curse you google maps. Got back on track nice ride down by the cannal and still got there with plenty of time.

3 Euro to race and 5 for your number, you get this back when you turn your number in at the end of the race, super organized!

I manage to get a good start position near the front about 90+ starters and we are off no whistle or gun shot we just sort of started, the roads are narrow and kind of rough small country farm roads, we are off to a quick pace then every one slams on their brakes for the first right hand corner we sprint out of it single file and then come together again for the next quick right hand turn again sprinting out of the corner and strung out at top speeds (wish my computer battery had not crapped out some time between home and landing) single filed out until we hit the tree covered road that turns in to a bumpy mess girls yelling left and right hitting mud pot holes. Brakes are slammed on again a girl goes down in the corner, complete stop for some i squeeze through and the sprint is on again to a long straight stretch where there is a massive metal speed bump in the middle of the road, the field splits and goes up the left and right sides and comes together in a single file line. We get out of the country roads and head in to residential neighbor hood of brick paved roads.

Now on my warm up lap of the course this was fun as hell at speed, there was a left then a right then snake shaped swooping turns back and forth into a a slight right then a left in to the long long long finishing stretch, there are a few speed lift areas that you can fly over no problem. But in the race completely different story.

Brake sprint, brake sprint and so on.

To make a long story short this sort of thing goes on through out the race, and then about half way through add pouring rain. So with the braking all so came screeching brakes, skidding and crashes, and also first lesson learned.

Lesson #1: Keep your moth shut. Not in the sense of dont talk trash but more keep it closed so what ever the hell is on the road dose not get in your mouth. You will learn why i mention this soon.

A break of i think 5 is up the road, a small chase group and a few flailing in between. I manage to stay in top 20 - 30 the whole day and I'm pretty sure i died about 4 - 5 times out there. My insides were torn up and all the sprinting out of the corners was taking its tole, i manage to stay with the pack all day and go with a few attacks and chase groups but in the end the break stays away and with two laps to go its still pouring rain there is a crash in one of the corners i get stuck behind it and a group of us chase to catch back on to the main group with about a half lap to go, i am completely knackered at this point and stay with the acceleration of the pack but have nothing left for the sprint and came in 45th out of 65 finishers and 90 + starters.

Now back to lesson # 1 i head straight to the toilets. Soaking wet and miserable its pouring rain and have a long ride home. I'm at a crawling pace and at one point stop i want to die. My insides are tearing me apart, i get back on the bike and see a fritz place Sean wants me to try and get some sugar in me so we stop. I'm back in the toilet. whoo come out feel rough every one is looking at me must have been in there to long or maybe its because i look like hell. I take a few sips of coke. Oh no. Straight back to the toilet and oh yes projectile vomiting. Good times. I feel a bit better but worked over. The ride home is cold miserable and all i want to do is lay down.

I have never been so excited to see home, a warm shower chocolate milk and a little dinner, and im feeling much better. I pass out on the couch for a bit and then make it to bed for another great nights sleep.

End of the day 190k logged. Interesting first day out but survived it all and will never ever forget lesson #1

Pictures to come soon.


  1. Farms produce and use manure as waste and fertiliser. Coincidentally, European farm roads feature an abundance of waste and fertiliser.

  2. Wow. That sounds a lot like my first crits here (brake, sprint, brake, sprint) except yours are with faster ladies. Ouch! And good luck out there Gata! -Samo