Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Back in the Game!


So im recovering well......so well in fact that I come my closest to date to winning here in Belgium on Sunday, finally ending up in 3rd place, but so close to taking the win.


The race was in Sint Kornelis Horebeke, which is a town close to my base here in Oudenaarde and is the home town of one of the teams main sponsors.....so an important one to do well in. Was a good field but was on it from the start (really thought it was going to be my day!). Got away early and group of 11 or so had most of the big teams in there...Beveren 2000 with a couple of guys, Lotto, New Heebra, PWS,etc.

Cocquyt, Bracke, Vanhuffel and a few of the other hitters missed it but this one wasnt coming back. It all worked well and I took a few primes. I got away with 30km to go, not planned but took a prime and had a gap so continued to attack through the cobbled section that greeted us on each lap, but they pulled me back 8km later. From then on the attacks came but was still feeling really on it and went again last lap taking a couple with me. We had about 20 secs by the line. I unfortunately (and im still kicking myself now for it) messed the sprint up by going too early. I gapped them at first and thought it had worked but they got back on my wheel and that was my chance taken. Disappointed not to win as I had done everything right until then and felt completely in control but considering how I was feeling even a week or so ago, good to be back on it and feeling strong again.

23/05/2010- SINT KORNELIS HOREBEKE (O)

1.12B - ind.reg.wedstr.(100-120 km) Elite z.c./U23

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1.12B - ind.reg.wedstr.(100-120 km) Elite z.c./U23

Aantal deelnemers: 81

1. EISING TIJMEN WRV DE PEDDELAAR 02:35:00

2. DE JONGHE KEVIN WIELERGROEP BEVEREN 2000 VZW

3. PATTEN DANIEL ASFRA RACING TEAM

4. VAN HOECKE GIJS WIELERGROEP BEVEREN 2000 VZW :00:23

5. VAN BIERVLIET MATHIEU NEW HEEBRA-LOMBARDEN

6. DE GROOTE JEFFREY ISOREX CYCLING TEAM :00:34

7. FOUQUET KEVIN ROYAL CUREGHEM SPORTIF - BRUSSEL :00:41

8. VANSPEYBROECK TIM PWS EIJSSEN CYCLING TEAM :00:51

9. MINNE STIJN AN POST SEAN KELLY TEAM :00:57

10. VEJMELKA DANIEL COLBA-MERCURY-DOURPHONIE :01:10

11. LEGLEY MATTHIAS NEW HEEBRA-LOMBARDEN

12. SCHULZ PHILIP COLBA-MERCURY-DOURPHONIE

13. DE ZUTTER KRISTOF WIELERSPORTVER. ARTEVELDE VZW GENT :01:40

14. DE DECKER STEVEN FLEMISH CYCLING PROJECTS

15. BAEYENS TOMMY KEUKENS REDANT CYCLING TEAM

16. DONIE BIRGER SDC - ROGELLI CYCLING TEAM

17. POLNICKY JIRI SUNWEB-PROJOB CC

18. VANDAMME DAVY SDC - ROGELLI CYCLING TEAM

19. DEVAERE KEN JOHN SAEY CYCLING TEAM

20. LAUWEREYS GERTJAN ASFRA RACING TEAM



The following day our team had a run out in the Interclub competition. This round of the series took place in Liedekerke and was 162km with a nice cobbled berg on each lap, so important as always to stay close to the front as much as possible. Surprisingly again I felt pretty good and was there or there abouts in the moves from the start. At one point I was in a break of around twenty riders and with the cars being moved behind us I thought it may have been the decisive move. However with so many riders there was too many not willing to work and so it eventually was pulled back into the peleton. A group of 14 riders did eventually get away which I wasnt part of , however I was to clip off the front of the peleton with 20km to go. Joined by three other riders we dangled off the front with the peleton chasing us down all the way to the line. I led it out from the final corner trying to ensure we were not caught and deservingly we just managed to hold on out there (by seconds), with me taking 16th, but we certainly had to work for it. Again all things considering not a bad result given the last few weeks but feeling strong, enjoying being competitive again and was unfortunate not to be in the final selection going for the win. The two hottest days of the year so far and two races that have got me firmly back on track....watch this space!

24/05/2010- LIEDEKERKE (B)

Elite 1.12 - eendagsw. Intercl. El.z.c./U23/BCP

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Elite 1.12 - eendagsw. Intercl. El.z.c./U23/BCP

Aantal deelnemers: 0

1. GIAUX JEROME - PROFEL COLOSSI CT

2. ONGENA THOMAS - PROFEL COLOSSI CT

3. GUNS JURGEN - ROYAL CUREGHEM SPORTIF

4. VERELST DANNY - ROYAL CUREGHEM SPORTIF

5. SIMON JEAN-PAUL - PROFEL COLOSSI CT

6. VERMEIREN TOM - TERRA FOOTWEAR BICYCLE

7. VERMOOTE GEERT - NATIONALE MILITAIRE PLOEG

8. DE SCHEEMAEKER DAVY - PWS EIJSSEN CT

9. VANKERCKHOVEN JOCHEN - PWS EIJSSEN CT

10. BIERMANS GREGORY - SNAKE CYCLING TEAM

11. VAN DIJCK KEVIN - VAN GOETHEM PRORACE CT

12. VAN GUYSE JARNO - NE HEEBRA LOMBARDEN

13. VAN GOIDSENHOVEN KURT - VAN GOETHEM PRORACE CT

14. VERHAEYHE SANDER - NE HEEBRA LOMBARDEN

15. FOUBERT GLEN - VAN GOETHEM PRORACE CT

16. PATTEN DANIEL - ASFRA RACING TEAM

17. UYTTERSPROT DIETER - VAN EYCK SPORT

18. PENNE FREDERIK - SDC ROGELLI CT

19. STEVENS TIMOTHY - PWS EIJSSEN CT

20. CLAEYS KEVIN - PWS EIJSSEN CT

21. COCQUYT NICKY - NATIONALE MILITAIRE PLOEG

22. VAN DRIESSCHE KJELL - NE HEEBRA LOMBARDEN

23. DRIESEN TONY - ROYAL CUREGHEM SPORTIF

24. VAN ASBROECK TOM - MIXTAEM LOOK REDANT

25. NEVENS SVEN - ROYAL CUREGHEM SPORTIF

26. BEYENS YOERI - SNAKE CYCLING TEAM

27. GOOVAERTS TOM - TERRA FOOTWEAR BICYCLE

28. VANCRAEYNEST KEVIN - MIXTAEM LOOK REDANT

29. GREEN MATTHEW - VL TECHNICS ABUTRIEK CT

30. LEYSEN TOM - TERRA FOOTWEAR BICYCLE


Monday, May 17, 2010

Getting back on track.....


As the season rolls on the races are coming thick and fast. May was always going to be an important month with the Belgium Cup (Beker Van Belgie/Coupe de Belgique) series taking center stage. As reported in the last blog post I had been to see the doctor after feeling very low for a couple of weeks. Of course it was not going to turn around overnight but I was hoping that It wouldnt take long before I was feeling back to normal. I continued to keep things easy in training and low and behold on the day of my first cup race of the season in Kampenhout the body didnt feel half bad. Despite how I had been feeling previously I put myself at the head of the action from the off.....maybe getting a littled carried away considering how little riding I had been doing, but I wasnt there to make up the numbers. Despite going off the front a number of times in the first half of the race and being in the thick of the action nothing was being allowed to stay away for too long and with an average speed of getting on for 44 km/hr by the end of the race it is easy to see why. Being a public holiday in Belgium meant for even larger crowds out on the course, which you couldnt help but feed further off. After a larger out and back loop the 160km race finished with 7 laps of a tight, fast kermesse type circuit. In the last 30km I began to pay a little for the earlier efforts and was forced to sit in (or hang on as it was at certain points) as we motored around the finishing circuits). In the last few kms I thought I would try and salvage something from the days efforts and moved from the back passing riders all the way to the line, ending up in/around the 30's. Nothing spectacular in terms of positioning (officially placed as 22nd along with many riders) but some points for the team and certainly something to take into the next round of the cup when hopefully the body will be even better.

Whilst I did the Belgium cup I made the conscious decision to give myself a week off racing afterwards, since I hadnt had one all season. Hopefully its allowed me to recharge the batteries a bit. Ive been getting back to basics and just getting some steady km's in the saddle and trying (as much as possible) to chill out in between. Living in a nice town like Oudenaarde has its advantages here too. With a community of British speaking riders based in and around Oudenaarde, its so easy to meet up and just go and spend some time chilling at a cafe or two in town.....it dosnt always have to be hard graft!
With the sun shining and an evening kermesse just down the road in Kluisbergen-Ruien, it seemed the ideal night to test the body out and that I did, tearing it up early on and with it bagging myself a few primes. The main reason for being there was to test the body and on what was a pleasant evening in Belgium and with good crowds, cobbles and primes every lap I couldnt help but do it by attacking through the start finish cobble sections. By the end I rolled in 22nd (again) but by riding so aggressively early on I had bagged myself 70 euros for my efforts.....not a bad nights work. A normalized power of 339 watts for the 102km race with a max of 1216 watts (no doubt on one of my attacks through the cobbles) tells me that the body had its test.....now to the weekend!


Saturday, May 8, 2010

Things dont always go to plan!

Another example today of how things can seemingly go from being all rosey to disastrous in an instant. The Great Britain Womens National squad was today taken out by a car whilst out on a training ride between Oudenaarde and Brakel. Thankfully everyone is alive, but it has left several broken bones amongst them and a number of other injuries. Getting to the scene as soon as possible, the severity of the accident was clear to see straight away and its just another reminder that even in a cycling friendly nation like Belgium these things can still happen. Best Wishes to all the girls for a speedy recovery!


My problems seem nothing compared to what happened to these girls today, but the last couple of weeks have certainly not gone to plan. I returned to the UK all fired up for the East Midlands Cicle Classic knowing I had built some good form over the previous weeks in Belgium and was going there confident of pulling out a result. Even on the morning of the race I felt good and was completely relaxed, knowing what I needed to do and knowing I was in the shape to do it. However I knew from my first attack that something wasnt right. Maybe I just needed to ride myself in? It wasnt happening. I continued to get in attempted breakaway moves knowing that getting away around the opening two laps of the reservoir is often crucial in this race. However it wasnt happening. I was overheating, my heart rate was racing, stomach cramping, felt very dehydrated and seemingly wasnt recovering after any effort. After leading the bunch back through Oakham I began slipping further and further back through the peleton. By the time we hit the first narrow road I was towards the back and as soon as the bunch began to split the extra efforts to keep getting back on were telling. I kept dropping back to the car but by about the third or fourth time I waved them on...race over....and climbed off at the next feed. Its a horrible feeling, even more so when you have high expectations of doing something in a race, but sometimes the body just dosnt allow you to do your thing. What actually happened? I do not know. Initial thoughts were maybe something eaten the night before/morning of at the hotel...maybe a lot of salt in the food? Who knows?


The problems continued the following week also. Whether directly connected or whether a result of what had happened at Rutland I was feeling very tired going into the weekends races. A little circuit race at Hog Hill to test the water still told me that something wasnt quite right. I placed 6th but with my body overheating yet again and heart racing I knew there was something more to it. Despite this and probably my own downfall I went to do the Chas Messenger in Buckinghamshire the day after. On what is a tough, wearing down circuit anyway it was always going to be a tall order. After getting in an initial break and being sent off course we quickly found ourselves back in the peleton. I struggled my way round the 160km for 19th, but almost salvaged a lot more over the last couple of laps bridging across to a number of different groups before finding myself in the lead group (well going for 3rd come the final few kms). However with riders sitting up and cramp setting in I wasnt going to be jumping around anyone anytime soon and a few of us lost contact with this group just 2km from the end, ending up just behind.


On my return to Belgium I was straight in to see the doctor....the same afternoon as I got back in fact. A blood test and urine test carried out and had the results a few days later. The tests came back showing a few things that were a bit low that may have been contributing to the way I have been feeling. Treated straight away and with a couple of prescriptions also, hopefully I will be back on track straight away. A very efficient system for getting cyclists back to normal quickly and just another one of the percs of being based in Belgium. With a number of good races to come in May, I hope to be feeling back to normal and next time have some more good results to talk about. Until then........