A few weeks ago, Marc had a lot of bad luck in the Eastern Ontario Cyclocross race in Cornwall – but he persevered and kept on fighting. Well, today I had the same experience. Lots of bad luck that made it very challenging. To say I was frustrated at the end of the race would be an understatement.

Before I get into the details (also check out my race report), I need to extend some big thank yous: a big thanks to Ignace for driving 70 kms to pick up myself and Nikoline and then drive another hour to take us to the race and for doing everything for me (cleaning my bikes, setting up the trainer, cheering me on, doing the pits and packing the mobile home), a big thanks to Jacob and Karsten for their help on Saturday with my tires and for giving my bikes a check over (as well for the cheering and the understanding words after the race), and a big thanks to Nancy and Andy for coming out to the race – helping out, cheering, standing in the pits, taking my clothes at the start and for being really good friends.

So the race, well, I’ve written a blow-by-blow over on the Race Reports page but here is the nitty gritty:
– decent call-up and managed to squeeze into the second row
– mediocre start
– passed a bunch of girls and caught and passed a bunch on the first climb
– realized my front brake was clamped on fully on my wheel and had slipped under the rim (I had a slight collision with a course barrier in the start)
– lost lots of time trying fixing my bike – was dead last by a country mile
– got going, passed girls, and had more in my sights
– few laps later – I dropped my chain and had to stop to fix this
– next lap I hit a bump and my left shifter/hood became really loose and turned to a 90 degree angle with my wheel
– pitted, lost two spots
– put my head down, kept on digging and finished the race

So a frustrating day. I felt really good out there and for once I was in the action and in a group that I could have ridden with. It was a good course for me – dry, power course and not super-technical. I guess this is shown by the fact that even with all my issues I didn’t get lapped. It is not fun being the last rider on the course (I wasn’t last in the race but the last one allowed to finish) – but it is better than dropping out.

I focused on riding as hard as I could and on improving on the technical sections. I’m sitting here watching the elite men race with my housemate and pal Nikoline and already I’m picking up on things I can do differently and improve on.

In the end I suppose it was a good day. After all – I was racing my cyclocross bike in Belgium – it really doesn’t get much better than this! A big thank you to all the people who cheered me on and took photos today. Also a big thanks to Gabby Day for loaning me her PowerTap battery cover tool (battery died yesterday).

Up next for me is a race with the junior boys in Hasselt on Saturday and the famous Asper-Gavere on Sunday.

Best of luck to Marc and all my Ottawa pals in their race today in Kingston! Thanks as well to Mar for not complaining when I woke him up this morning to tell him about my race!

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