Omloop van het Waasland

16Mar09

Omloop van het Waasland was the seventh day of racing for Team Cinelli-DownUnder and myself. When I used to be a rower I was lucky to have more than 20 race days in a year. By the end of my first month here I will have over 10 and this is only early season. That means two or three times a week you have to deal with all the stress and nerves of racing and then the sore legs and pain after the race. At the level I am at there is no chance for a mid season break or for having bad races. You are only as good as your last race.

Yesterday I was flying. My legs were strong and the power felt like it was on tap. I was finding my way through the bunch with ease (a sure sign the legs are good) and was following moves with out discomfort even having some digs myself.

Omloop van het Waasland is 194km of pancake flat small roads with cobbles thrown in every so often to break it up though lots of towns and villages. All day it was fast and no break was given room to move until after 100km.

Me hiding in the bunch in Waasland

Me hiding in the bunch in Waasland

Logan cornering behind a Rabo rider in Waasland

Logan cornering behind a Rabo rider in Waasland

In a race like this I use a reference of Beach rd back in Melbourne. Every so often I would go for a fast ride on a Wednesday morning with a group of mates and finish off with a couple of macchiatos afterwards. The ride is full gas and is about 50km long. Therefore a race like yesterday is 4 Wednesday mornings. I often race thinking Black Rock to the coffee shop left. This helps the kilometres tick by but unfortunately I am not given any coffee as encouragement. I will have to talk to Nico (DS) about this.

I had a thought yesterday after a break I was in with Niko Eekhout and Gert Omloop as to why I never think is it really worth it. I don’t think I have ever thought is it really all worth it pushing a 53×11 for 194km when your legs feel like concrete while someone is pushing you into a gutter at 45km/hr around a corner before you head onto a section of cobbles that rattle your teeth out and your arse is starting to bleed thanks to the saddle sores as the lactic pours out of your eye balls.  The thing is I love it. Last year it took a long time to adapt to it but now I love it all. I love the craziness of the racing over here. I love the near misses of racing (there are too many to count in a single race yet alone a year), I love the suffering  and I love the test.

Team Training. Recon for Dward Door Vlaanderen

Team Training. Recon for Dward Door Vlaanderen

On the cobbles during recon

On the cobbles during recon

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