Christmas Season

For cyclocross racers, this is a very special time of the year. Yes, it is Christmas season racing time. This means six races in nine days. This week is a whirlwind of racing, recovering, cleaning bikes, talking about the races and getting ready for the next race. A very special time indeed.

The week was kicked off yesterday with the Diegem Superprestige. I did this race way back in 2007 with the junior boys. What a race – the course is like no other race course and the crowd is positively electric. Yesterday marked the first time for the women’s race at Diegem. It was tough to not be racing but I thoroughly enjoyed hearing all about the race from Nikoline and Sarah – sounds like it was an epic day on the bike. The whole gang of us watched the men’s race last night – definitely a race worth putting on your “to do” list – either to race it or watch it…

This is our fifth Christmas in Belgium – amazing how time passes so quickly. The first few years here we didn’t do much for Christmas but now we’re into having a dinner with whomever is staying in the house and simply enjoying the day. After a spin on the bike we’re off to Bergen-Op-Zoom to visit the Hoppman’s bicycle store and then wander around the shops in this pretty little Dutch town. Tonight we’re having a big house dinner and closing the night off with midnight mass at the Blauberg church.

Racing kicks off again tomorrow with Marc racing in Balegem and the others going to Zolder to pre-ride for the Boxing Day Zolder World Cup.

We’ve only got five more days left here in Belgium (well really four since we fly out on Thursday) and we plan to make the most of them.

I wish you all the best during this Christmas season – I sincerely hope you’re able to spend this time with family and friends enjoying one another’s company. If I’ve learned anything over the five Christmases we’ve spent here in Belgium is that this time of the year isn’t about unwrapping presents – it is about family, friends and smiling faces.

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