Saturday, July 19, 2008

Zwevegem Race Report

Lady Luck finally granted the 15-16 US National Team its wishes today as we were able to sweep the podium on the 62 kilometer circuit race. The race consisted of 17 laps of around three kilometers. The race had a late start so we were able to get a few extra hours of sleep. After waking up at around 11:30 Anders and I walked over to the local bakery and bought some breakfast and "race recovery" food. When we got back and ate our breakfast we then chilled for a few hours before we started getting ready for the race. We left at around 1:45 (oops. I mean 13:45) for the 20 minute drive to the small town of Zwevegem. Arriving at around 14:10 we walked over to the local bar to get registered. When we had all gotten our numbers and had gotten them pinned on we set out on a warm-up/preview lap. When we had ridden the course twice and taken a quick pit stop on the side of the road we rolled up to the start line to get a good starting position. Due to the fact that this wasn't a very big race there were only about 40 or 50 starters, but according to Yogi one of them had already won seven races in the year. After a quick start we slowed down to an easy (and I mean EASY) pace. With a few more attacks, that all got reeled in, in the first lap we crossed the line to see the red flag waving which indicated that a prime was the next lap. This was kinda weird because they said that there were primes every 3rd lap, but oh well! After going another few laps Alex attacked and quickly built up a large lead. With no one really chasing we just kinda rolled around the course for another few laps until the attacks started coming that ended reeling Alex back in. Soon after Alex was caught Anders attacked. Just like Alex, he quickly built up a huge lead. After a couple of laps, with Anders off the front and many attacks going on in the pack, a large group of about 10-15 guys rolled off the front with Alex and me in it. Because Anders was still up the road it gave Alex and me a free ride in the breakaway. With about five laps to go the group had been reduced to only 7 or 8 guys in it. We then could look back and start to see the main field closing in on us due to the lack of cooperation in the break. Alex and I then got to the front on a strong head wind section and "hammered" for a while. The only others that could hang on were the guy who had won seven races that season and some other random dude. When I pulled off and got onto the back of now reduced break the "random dude" got dropped and I realized it to late to try and bridge back up to Alex's group. I then dropped back to the rest of the break that was about 15 or so seconds back. After sitting on the back of that group until about two laps to I put in an attack at the same spot where Alex and I got on the front. When I looked behind me the rest of the break were already pretty far back. I then set into "time-trial" mode to try and catch back up to Alex. After about one lap I looked up to see the light green jersey of the guy who had won seven races by himself. With a "carrot" in front of me now I tried even harder to catch him. With a little over a half lap to go I finally reached him. I then tried to attack him to try and get away, but that didn't work. After just kinda spinning around for a little more. When we reached the section where we had the extremely strong head wind I tried another hard attack. I only gained about ten or fifteen meters on him, but due to the head wind it was like 30 seconds. After keeping that up for a while he finally just sat up which gave me the opportunity to roll in for third place with Alex taking the win over Anders. After rolling around for a couple of seconds we saw Joel get second in the field sprint for 14th. Peter had tried to bridge up to the break, but he was unable to catch up and went "Ffffffwwwwweeeeeuuuuuuuw (exactly Peter's words. It was really hard to spell) off the back" and James ended up getting dropped and pulled off.

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