Saturday, January 1, 2011

Baal Race Report

It is now a new year and a new day of racing. Today was the GP Sven Nys in the hometown of the legend, Baal. The course is on Sven's "Secret Training Grounds" and is always known as one of THE races of the year. The course is basically along this ridge and you descend down one side and then back up and over to the other side and then back up and across to the other side. Back and forth for the entire race, in some of the craziest conditions ever imaginable. Today the mud was either frozen or in some spots a foot deep.
So I assumed my usually back row position and got off to an okay start, there was a bit of human pinball going on once the gun went of but pretty quickly we hit the mud and immediately off of our bikes, running. I shoulder the bike and ran the barriers and while everyone else decided to remount before this flyover, I decided to run to the top then remount and I ended up picking off about 6 guys and moving my way up. I settled into a rhythm and tried to just ride my own race. The course and conditions were so physically draining that you were better off to ride at your own pace for the entire race rather than chase wheels. I would see a group of guys come barreling past me on the wide open road sections then I would catch them on the long tractor pull mud sections and all of the techy sections. So I ended up finishing ahead of a bunch of dudes who just went out too hard. There were about 60 starters and only about 40 finishers, I ended up in 33 so it was was a pretty good way to end the trip and start off the new year.
I hope everyone back home and here in Belgium had a safe and Happy New Year and man am I excited to be heading home tomorrow.

All of the gear waiting to be cleaned after the races and then get packed for home.

The bikes on the USA Car post race in Baal.

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