So I haven’t updated in ages. Mostly due to the fact that we lost our Internet connection in the final month of our trip. Anyway things have kept going really good for me.
After a little break we did Fleche du Sud in Luxembourg, quite a hilly tour, and not one of my best as I made a crucial mistake on the most important stage. Anyhow I ended up their getting a 3rd and 2nd place in stages and won the Points Classification in the end.
I wanted to make up for it a little at the Tour of Gironde a week later, but again it wasn’t to be. I once again got a 2nd place and 3rd place and again won the Points classification. I wasn’t over the moon about it, but had nothing to complain as my results were as consistent as ever.
Finally in our last week we did a “nacht criterium” in Germany. Only 80km on a 2km circuit with primes on every lap, mean’t super intense racing. In the end I won the kick from a break of 3.
Our last race was the Ronde van Zeeland Seaports, a 1.1 with teams like Rabobank, Vaconsoleil, Farnese-Vini and others present. It was a pretty big occasion for us and I really wanted to do well in this one.
I was happy to see super strong winds as we arrived in Holland in the morning and from the outset Rabobank split the race in pieces. By 60km, we were down to 16 guys in the front with another 40 chasing 1’30 behind. Rabobank had the ascendancy with 5 riders in the group. They tried to use their numbers by attacking and trying to put it in the gutter on a few occasions, but with 30km to go Kevin Hulsmans, from Farnese escaped, forcing Rabobank to chase. Once he was caught his teammate Luca Ascani put in the counter and quickly opened a 30s gap. This forced Rabobank to make a move with 20km to go and Lars Boom attacked the group, dragging me and Madison World-Champion Gijs van Hoecke along.
We quickly got on terms with Ascani, but obviously Rabobank wanted more riders in front, and Mark Renshaw tried to bridge from behind in the final 10km. Van Hoecke and I increased the pace and dropped Ascani in the process not allow Renshaw across. Despite coming to within 5s he just couldn’t get on.
This mean’t it would come down to the 3 of us. Van hoecke still tried one last time to attack in the final km but it wasn’t to be. I had the best legs in sprint beating Boom to the line.
I regard it as my biggest win of my career to date. It really is a magical feeling beating guys like Boom, whom I always admired, to the line.
I am back in South Africa for 2 months now before we go back to Europe for another 6 week stint. I must thank MTN and Doug Ryder for the support and opportunities they have giving us and allowing us to compete in Europe against some of the finest competition in the world.