Kris Dahl’s Belgium blog – pt.2
Kermesse Cycling Race
May 23, 2010
The race took place in Leefdaal, Belgium on a rolling course of just over 7 km. In total, we would complete 11 laps, with the total distance measuring just over 80 km. It incorporated a 500 m steep climb, which came after a sharp right turn shortly after the start. The climb opened up onto a false flat up hill section, which gave way to a right hand turn leading to narrower roads and a rolling, gently winding downhill. Next came an abrupt, nearly 180 degree left turn and a short downhill section. After another left turn, the course re-entered town, allowing a few turns and small hills before ending in a slightly downhill finish stretch. There were sixty five starters.
The race began with a bang, with the pack moving fast up the initial hill. The heat of the day did not help the intensity, as it was sunny with high temperatures. The packed stayed together reasonably well for the first half lap, until I launched a counter attack on a previous attack, and went off the front with one other rider. Two other riders bridged up shortly after, but one was dropped fairly quickly. This left three of us, which soon turned to two as another rider was dropped. The Belgian rider that was left and myself worked hard to stay away, and held off the pack for about 35 km. We were then caught by a group of about 8 riders. This break held for less than a lap before it was caught by the pack. By this time, the pack had been substantially reduced. The team then concentrated on covering attacks, until two team members got into a fairly large break. This was held for around 15 km and then swallowed by the pack. After this, attack after attack was attempted, but generally unsuccessful. With a lap and a half to go, a group of four riders got off the front. I didn’t think this break would hold, but they ended up holding off the pack and taking the win. With half a lap to go, I attacked, attempting to catch the break solo. I got within 50 m of the break just as they started their final sprint for the finish. I finished 5th, rolling over the finish line solo. The rest of the team concentrated on the pack sprint, forming a lead out train to get an 8th place finish.
Overall, the race was fast and very hot. I felt strong throughout the race, and was feeling good at the end. I think that I should have initiated my final attack slightly earlier to allow for a bit more time to catch the break. The race went well and Canada had a strong showing. Everyone did well and I am happy with my final placing. Out of the sixty five starters, fewer than forty finished.
Leave a comment
You must be logged in to post a comment.