Zolder World Cup

My first World Cup has come and gone. What a day! What a great day! Quite cold here – well cold for Belgium: -2 celsius.

Tim drove me to the race today – thanks Tim for giving up your Friday to take me to the race and to be there at the start to collect my warm-up clothes. We left pretty early – 9ish so that we could make it in time to arrive before the U23 race (Tim was helping out the British team). You know me – I don’t mind arriving early – in fact now I’m so used to it, I’m more comfortable being at the race four hours in advance rather than the normal two hours in advance. We got a primo parking spot right next to the course and with a good view of the big screen television.

The race venue filled up super quickly. Soon enough by 11:30 you could barely move. Hanka K. parked across from us and her bus drew quite a crowd. This overflowed to myself and Nikki H. (who had a most excellent ride today finishing 16th – congrats Nikki – you rocked it today!). We were surrounded by people. I really felt like a monkey in a zoo. A couple of people asked me for my rider card (I don’t have any) and one lady asked me to sign her t-shirt. Talk about a spectacle. Fascinating. People stop to look at your bikes. To stare at you. They check your tire pressure. Look at your water bottles. Watch you pedal. You name it – everything is analyzed. I suppose if I paid 14 euros to watch a race – I’d be staring and poking as well.

I’ve written a race report and posted it. The race was good. Good hard. Lots of hard lessons learned and reinforced.

Marc and Ed arrived about half an hour before my race. They were racing in Reusel, NL today. Thanks guys so much for making the effort to get to my race. I owe you both big time. D-Rock SJ stopped by to offer a few words of encouragement – thanks dude – means a lot to me. Lets just say I was super nervous. So nervous I nearly cracked and didn’t line up. But I’m not that athlete anymore…

After my race, I hopped on the trainer and did a 40 minute cool down. I really think this will help me recover. I slugged back a bottle of super recovery drink – glutamine powder and calcium powder. I chased this with a small box of Cecemel. Perfect liquid recovery. Chatted with Marc, Ed and Tim while I was cooling down. Talked to the people who were staring at me again. Then moved over to watch the men’s race. Wow – what a race.

I have a new favorite rider – Thijs Al. This guy kills it. He rides super hard. Doesn’t give up. And best of all is the exuberance he shows when he wins a race. Awesome.

It took us forever to get home. Massive traffic jams on the way home. There must have been about 25, 000 people at the race. All trying to leave on the same small road… Ah well, it is all part of the experience. Got home and Ed had cooked dinner and Marc cleaned up my bike. After a chilled out dinner we’re just sitting here shooting the breeze.

Bonus of the day – I got talk to Jos’s mom! Cool. Now I just need to talk to my brother. Happy Boxing Day!

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