Monday, March 28, 2011

Season Underway.....

Back in the heartland and my season is officially underway. Its great to be back racing and despite a disrupted winter the body is feeling surprisingly sprightly. I have defied the norm these past few months. From having much of the winter off the bike with an achilles injury, to starting the season (all be it a little later than originally planned) with testing figures that are higher than could have imagined 6 weeks previous. My condition has returned remarkably quick and it finally meant one thing...it was time to get myself back off to Belgium and get this 2011 season underway.

First race, a kermesse in a town just outside of Gent, called Merelbeke and the small matter of a 349 rider field...hahaha only in Belgium! Must have been some sight from the roadside seeing this huge peloton. Chaos is how I would describe it from inside the peloton, with crash after crash after crash. Luckily not me. I chose to ride off the front or at he back out of trouble, but unfortunately with such a large field nothing was being allowed to get too far away. A huge crash in the sprint saw much of the peloton caught up, but all in all I was relieved to get through the first race of the season feeling comfortable and unscathed.

Since then ive raced twice more. Again feeling surprisingly strong throughout. One race was in France where despite avoiding all the crashes the weekend previously, I found myself meeting the road on the final 90 degree bend that was 'like an ice rink'. Not in a position to go for the win I uttered the words 'keep it safe' approaching the final bend knowing that with the road conditions this would certainly cause some trouble come the finish. A few seconds later the riders were down in front of me and as soon as I touched the brakes it was game over for me too.

I picked myself up, rolled across the line and the next day was racing in sunny Belgium again in a kermesse in Torhout. This week 'only' a 250 rider field lol Feeling the effects of a bruised knee from the previous days crash, I cruised at he back in the early stages before deciding to give it an effort to move to the front. Eventually I did make it to the front and then I was straight off the front. Within a few moves coming and going I was away in what looked like was going to be the decisive move. The pace was fast throughout, with an average speed at the end of 46km/hr and so you could imagine the surprise when the peloton was hunting us down going into the final lap. Despite out best efforts to stay away, 3km from the end we was swallowed up by the big peloton. We certainly had entertained the big crowd there that day in our attempt to stay clear, but it wasnt to be and by the end I had to be content with an earlier primie taken (a primie which saw another rider elbowing me for lol) and the knowledge that it was some more good race km's in the legs at the front end of the race and so this can only be good signs in my first week back racing.
Stay tuned for more feedback on my Onix Bikes as I put them through the paces here in Belgium. Equipped with the Onix Azzuro and the Onix Aurious, I am certainly impressed so far with there performance. Good geometries, stiff, handle well.....be sure to check them out at http://www.onixbikes.co.uk/

Until next time.....