This weekend was our first 1.2 event. There was a lot of continental and club teams from Belgium and a few from other countries. The course is a beast, 175km feauturing 2*Muur de GeraardsBergen, 2*Onkerzele Berg, 5*CongoBerg, 6*Bosberg.
The team is struggling with illness and one of our riders, Arran Brown had to sit out. Most of us seem to be battling with a cold.
The race started out crazy and fast. At a point I considred stopping to get some Life Insurance first, no wonder Belgian teams need to pay social security to foreign riders.
A lot of moves got up the road, and Bradley Potgieter did a good job being represented at the front, but where ultimately brought back. Up the muur it was chaos with a full bunch fighting for position 10km before we hit Geraardsbergen. Riders were dropping chains, jamming chaing and running out of talent as the front riders where riding away.
This meant a hard chase on the downhill and flatroads for dropped riders. Most of the riders regrouped before we hit the Bosberg the 2nd time, when a break of 13 rode clear in the crosswinds at the top. A lap later another 10 riders went clear at the same spot, and on the Congoberg, 7km later, I got myself in a 14man splitt that also rode accross. This meant a 37man group at the front.
No one really wanted to work together and the pace was due to relentless attacking. With 2 laps to go a break of 5 rode clear and got nearly to a minute advantage. With the big bunch breathing down our necks, the pace increased again on the Bosberg. In the last lap we could see the 5 man break again, the riders who had the legs jumped clear on the Bosberg and again on the Congoberg, Another 5 joined the 5 in front with another group behind them, some riders in noman’s land and then the group I found myself in, the remnants of the break.
The race was won by Kevin Thome from the Wallonie-Bruxelles team. I won the bunch sprint for the 3rd group to place 24th. No result really, but at least I showed I have good legs for the sprint. I just need the right oppurtunity and soon I have something to smile about.