Clear Eyes. Full Hearts. Can't Lose!

Clear Eyes. Full Hearts. Can't Lose!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

back to winning and back to typing......

Yes I am still alive....though the last week I have not moved far from my bed after being hit hard with a chest infection! Anyway I apologize for my lack of updates recently. It has been a pretty busy few months of racing and the weeks have just been flying by without even knowing it. My trusty macbook has also been playing up on me, which couldnt have happened at a worse time (apologies for any spelling mistakes as I am currently typing with a belgian keyboard which my computer does not recognize :)). Remarkably I have held good form for the most part over the last few months and with that has come some good showings and more importantly some good results. Most recently 2 weeks ago I took my second win of the season. It was a kermesse race in Wambeek that saw me and a rider from the Kazakhstan national team (Alexey Lutsenko) dominate and ride away about halfway through....never to be caught again! With a cobbled berg each lap for 13 laps, the course certainly is selective and so it proved on this day. We worked well together and I would go on to take the win come the finish. Coupled with a 5th place in the same race two days previous, it also meant I took the overall two day classification. On both days I also took 2nd in the berg classification so it really did turn into a successful series of races for me.

Between my successes in Gits and Wambeek I have had a number good top 10 placings, the best being a 3rd in Merelbeke and 4th in Ingelmunster.....both very strong performances and coming very close to the win on both occasions. I also had a very strong showing in the Belgium cup race (Beker Van Belgie) Zillebeke-Westouter-Zillebeke where I was away on the attack from km1. Though the breakaway would begin to split up on the finishing circuits, I always remained in the front, attacking probably more than anyone in my search for freedom. Though the break whittled down, unfortunately we were to be caught by another small group in the last few kms and I would end up 12th. Not the result I was looking for but certainly a strong showing having been out from the off. I would also have an attacking Tour of Liege (Ronde van Luik), stage 2 in particular where I was out for most of the day. Going over the famous Muur de Huy in second place, I would continue pushing on in the second half of the race when the peloton was closing in. It was inevitable that we would be caught eventually, however yet again I think I showed the type of rider I am and continued to ride even when it was only me left out front, until they finally dragged me back. I actually found myself in nice time trial mode... well that was until I see the lead motorbike turn off up a road that resembled a wall and at that stage of the race that was to be the rhythm breaker for me and the peloton would swallow me up.

A couple of weeks later I would come very close to winning the first stage of the Tour of Namur. At this point I was beginning to get a bit tired and in need of a break. However despite suffering through most of the first stage (and I was hanging at times), I was able to come alive at the end and get away in a small move in the final 10kms. With 3km to go it was just three of us but we were soon joined by eleven more. I misjudged the finish a little, leading the race through the final chicane with around 50m to go, only to be swamped and ending up with 9th. With 21 seconds time gap over the peloton this did give me an ideal opportunity to try and go into a jersey in the next days. However events on the road over the next couple of days meant the advantage soon slipped away. The last couple of days I would lend my services at the front of the peloton to help control things with the team of the leaders jersey (EFC Quick Step). It was something I had done for a little bit on the 4th stage to help bring the gap to the breakaway down. However it was something they were clearly grateful for as on the final day they thanked me for the help and asked if I would help again....ofcourse I obliged. Its important to make friends in the peloton and im sure one day the favour will be returned. Above all else it is something that once again showed the type of rider I am and the work I am prepared to do, as I look for a chance again to move up for 2012.

So that kind of fills you in on the last few months for me here in Belgium. With just over a month of the season remaining I hope to get over this chest infection as quickly as possible so that I can get back to racing and add to the win tally before the season is out. In a few days I will be posting a blog about Onix Bikes, how they have helped me this year and my overall impressions on the bikes as we approach the end of the season. Lots going on with Onix ahead of 2012 so be sure to check out:

Until next time....

1 comment:

  1. Great reading! Congratulations on the victory & I hope you have a speedy recovery!