Thanks to a tip off from Nikki, I learned about the junior boys race in Hasselt today. Much closer than my previous choice. So I hit the road this morning for the easy 45 minute drive to Hasselt. I’d never been to Hasselt before. Turns out it is a pretty big town/city.
Anyway, found the race course with no issues (thank-you GPS). Got settled in the parking lot and then got out for some warm-up laps. It was super warm this morning. So I decided to wear the red leg warmers. I think I like them. They made me feel fast so that is all that matters. Got in some good warm-up laps. Did a few of the key sections a few times to get a feel for lines. Watched some of the juniors to see how they were riding sections.
Since I was there alone, I needed to find someone to pit for me. Turned out to be super easy. The friendly guys parked next to me said they would do it. This helped so much – a big weight off my mind. Did the typical pre-race stuff. Number pinning. Warm-up – decided not to get out the trainer today. Just warmed up on the road. It was super warm so I was able to race in my short sleeve skinsuit with out an undershirt. Yes – that warm in November. I was warm-up with bare legs – did get some looks for that!
The race was pretty good. My goal was to not get lapped. Well, didn’t quite fulfill that goal. I got lapped half-way through my second last lap. So I finished in 40th place – 1 lap down. Mind you, considering everyone from position 24 down was lapped, I’m not too crushed. But still, it would be nice to hold off these kids. (Some of whom I was 20 years older than!). I’ve written a race report over here.
Perhaps one of the best things about today was seeing so many people that I knew. Ran into Rudy before the race. He gave me a few tips “don’t be afraid of the sand, just pedal through it”, and he cheered me on each lap. Saw Serge of the BKCP Team (he is wrenching for me at Koksijde) – he introduced me to a few people at the BKCP compound and told everyone that I also ride a Stevens. Hung out with Nikki and Nicole a bit as well. Just nice to have some friendly faces at the race.
Did a little cool-down ride that took me into the centre of Hasselt. Mmm, what a place. I’ll definitely returned. Discovered many little winding streets with lots of top shops and some very interesting looking restaurants – including an Indian restaurant. Since Hasselt is so close, I think I’ll be making a trip there one afternoon for a bit of a wander around.
After the cool-down and a quick bike racer shower at the car, I dug out my camera and took some pics for you. Decided to take some photos of the elite vehicles/campers/set-up. So here are some pics of how the top men’s teams roll: