Back to the Kermesse


If you ever get a chance to come to Belgium and race a Kermesse then it might be worthwhile taking this advice. Firstly a quick description of a Kermesse. They are raced over laps of between 5-15km. Generally speaking there is no team work so it is all for yourself.

Be prepared to race flat out for the first 1.5hrs as everyone fights to get into the break. Remember there is little to no team work so attack is the name of the game so the race is going from 30km/hr to 60km/hr and back again all the time and you have to jump over and over again to be in the right position.

A Kermesse is raced from the front, which means you have to be at the front. The normal field is around 150 riders so it is a constant fight to be at the front. If you take anything from this then go into a race with no respect for anyone because no one will respect you. You will get chopped in every corner and you will have to fight for every wheel even if it is the second last wheel.

After about 1.5hrs the race will settle down for a while as everyone realises they can’t keep going flat out for another 1hr. This is when you have to grit your teeth and step up to make the front of the group. Once you are in the front there is no let up, as the attacks will start with 20km to go.

Today I raced the Bouvenchain Kermesse and came 6th. Tomorrow I am there again and racing for GC. I should have been smarter on the last lap and let a great opportunity slip. Tomorrow is time for revenge.


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