Sunday, August 19, 2007

Recon riding

Set out with members of the Cycling Center team for the recon ride today of this Tuesday's UCI race. Loaded up the team van with bikes, wheels, and myself, Peter, Jim, Bruno, and Santi. And I just need to say, this race will be cattywompus. The course is hard. There seems to be very little actually flat. More rollers really. Plus the real climbs, which was what we went out to see. Our man for the day will be Steven Van Vooren. A top Belgian. The dude is fast. And so is everyone else racing. Other than me and Santi, this is mostly made up of the A team. Steven was third here last year and is looking for the win. Not sure if I'm racing yet, that decision will be made today. Basically the race consists of a local "parade lap", 2 loops, then into some local finishing circuits, Kermis style. The 2 loops are what we focused on, cause that is where the race will be made. Particularly one section. The Monteberg and Kemmelberg. We hit the Monteberg first, a long tough paved climb of a little over a km. Its hard cause its not consistent. Goes steep then flatter, over and over. Plus will be made harder as everyone will fight like dogs for position leading into it, and then even more going over it cause right after a very short descent... you hit a hard left onto The Kemmelberg. Rough corner onto the cobbled climb of Gent-Wevelgem fame. And pretty rough cobbles up it. Gotta hold the speed and push a big gear. Hold on for dear life then sprint over the top and onto the cobbled descent. Nice right hand corner at the bottom on the cobbles and then that is where the the pace will get even higher to really splinter whatever is left of groups. Then rollers to the next climb on the loop (can't remember the name, but it hurt) and back to do it again. I know I m not as fast as many, so the key for me will be position and suffering if I race. Position near the front so I can fall back a few spots and not have to sprint as hard over the tops, and suffer like a dog to hold wheels and not have to chase. Simply because the pace will only get harder for a while after the climbs. If you are off, you are probably not getting back on. Time to cross your eyes and hold that wheel. Needless to say I was tired last night. Three hours easy today, and then we'll find out the plan. We're getting down to the wire here in Belgium, so I need a wicked race or 2 here in Belgium before I leave. Time to lay it on the line. Ciao

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