Today was really about pre-riding at Scheldecross. The Scheldecross race is this Friday. A big day of racing for all of us here in Westmeerbeek. Marc and Ed will race the Masters races and then I’ll race the Elite Women’s race. Tim and Jos will be at the race as well with the British Federation riders.
Had a leisurely morning with work, walk to the bakery, a yoga session, lunch and then it was off to Antwerp to pre-ride. So the course – sand, sand and more sand. This race is all about the sand. Currently the sand is quite soft and not very forgiving. We think that by Friday it will become more compacted. I do remember being able to ride large sections of the sand last year.
Here is a glimpse of the sand section – it is so long I couldn’t get it in one shot:
Apart from the sand the course is fairly tame. The start features a long paved section with a quick u-turn leading into the hole shot. A bunch of twists and turns, takes racers by a massive VIP tent, underneath the fly-over, by the pits, onto a mix of sand and grass, some fast sections, more twists and turns, onto the pavement, up and over the fly-over, fast entrance onto the sand – and then back to the start.
We spent quite a bit of time riding the sand, looking at entry and exit lines, and playing around with gearing. I must say Marc was a massive help and with his advice I was able to ride a lot of the sand. I even got the thumbs up sign from Marc after riding one section! As I was the one with the camera, here are some pictures of Marc riding the sand and goofing around:
We were out on the course for close to two hours. There were lots of workers out there getting the course set-up and taped. There were a few other riders out on the course – but other than that we had the place to ourselves. A good day on the ‘cross bike most definitely.
Just about ready to hit the sack. Tomorrow I’ll jump into the group ride for a bit and then jump off and do some openers for the race on Friday. Have a good one.