Back for more in 06/07. Div3 racing at it's finest.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Bar Fighter

I always come back from Belgium feeling like I've been in a wild west style saloon brawl. You know, the ones where guys are flying out through the windows and throwing tables around and shit. Racing there is so cutthroat and there are so many fast guys that sometimes it seems impossible to come to a good placing, and you always feel like you suck.

I used to sort my good days from bad days by applying the "lap down" rule - if I got lapped, bad day; not lapped, good day. Actually it was more like if I got lapped in 45 minutes or less, bad day; 45-60 minutes or not at all, good day. Now I tend to use the "lead group vs. chase group" theory - Make the lead group in the first lap, good day; chase group or worse on first lap, bad day. The problem is that since I sucked a big bag in Hamburg I am now constantly starting from the back row, and making the lead group from the back row in any UCI race over here is impossible. Let me say that again - IMPOSSIBLE. Anyone who says that they have done this is either a World Champion or flat out lying.

Let's take today for an example. Grote Prijs Neerpelt, Belgium. C2 category, 4 current National Champions, 1 current World Champion, blah blah blah. Maybe 40 guys started the race, and since it was part of some Belgian series in which I had no points I was pretty much the last guy (save two) on the grid. One lap around a running track and we hit the course proper, which is achieved by a 180 degree turn through some sand, up and around a bank, etc. So it pretty much narrows down to nothing right away. There were 5 (count 'em, 5) run-up sections (in deep sand) rammed into about 400m of course distance, all on one bump-hill) Know what that means? get off, run up, 180 degree turn and remount in 2 meters of trail, hope you get in your pedals so you don't die on the way down (sandy, so no), turn, get off, run up... so by the time I was at the top of the second runup, the leaders were coming over number four. I know this because I could basically reach out and touch them as we were all going over the top, albeit in opposite directions and separated by like a minute already. I had 2 or 3 near catastrophic moments on repearted attempts of the same descent and I for certain heard the collective intake of breath as the crowd waited for me to eat shit. Sorry to disappoint them, but I have learned a few things over here in a couple of years.

All that to say that I did in fact get lapped today, along with everyone else not in like the top 15. I was in fact classified, and I'm pretty sure even Vannoppen got lapped today. Geert Wellens and I spent a couple of laps discussing the finer points of how long it was going to be before we got lapped and how much we really needed a beer (each, not to share), because we were only operating at about 80% at that point. He did it right though and got passed by his older and faster brother just before the start/finish, and I had to go out for another lap. I thought I might get to do the jit thing and tag along on the back of the lead group for a lap to learn some things, but I got dropped in like the first corner so I learned pretty much nothing.

Yesterday in Harderwijk was a little more fun. I exacted some sweet, sweet revenge on some idiot that crashed me and popped us both off the back of the chase group early in the race. I got in front in the last km, blocked him in a couple corners, then as he tried to come around the outside in a fast sweeper I pushed him outside until he hit a post and crashed. Hard. I think he hurt his hand or wrist, and I lost one position for doing it, but it was totally worth it. It wasn't only the chase group thing that pissed me off, it was all the other dick moves he was pulling by boxing me out of second wheel in our three man group repeatedly during the whole race and chopping the third guy in every second corner. In spite of all that he still didn't get it and in the finish area called me "a girl" for "not riding the whole race" and then "racing for one position" (as if it was about 17th place anyway! idiot). Well, I wasn't going to chase down my teammate who was 10 seconds in front, and then I would have been happy to work after we caught him if I hadn't been chopped all the time. So I told him in no uncertain terms where to go, and then capped it with "F*ck with me and you get f*cked up!". I think that scared him a little and the onlookers were kind of amused. I had no idea who he was, but I was talking with Maarten Nijland in the shower about it after and he knew exactly who, so I guess dude has a bit of a rep.

I was going to save some of this for midweek, but there it all is.

Still no UCI points.


Blogger Matt Patterson said...

you should've jerseyed that biatch.. show him how it's done NHL-style

10/10/2006 12:00:00 AM

Blogger PEr said...

Belgium can be a rough scene, I can attest to the road race side and it's the same deal.
Super fun racing there though hey? Great fans and atmosphere.
Nice work. Just discovered this blog and I will keep reading as long as you keep posting.

10/12/2006 07:42:00 PM

Blogger greain said...

Bastard was wearing a skinsuit. Jersey = no go. Damn!

10/13/2006 12:35:00 PM


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