Belgium Boys – Mitch’s Zottegem Race Report (updated with photos)

Posted: July 20, 2015 in News, Racing, Road
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A quick race report from Mitch on yesterday’s win in Zottegem:

After coming off a few great races in Herzele, Opwijk and Parike I new I’d be a marked man and that it would be difficult to get in a break for this reason.

The race started with a neutral section of 95 boys (not that you would know, the pace was so high) and when the neutral zone was finished the race was on.  The course was quite technical with many fast corners and sweeping bends. There were a few hills near the middle of the course that also split the bunch up and was an area for attacks to go.

Mitch 'testing his legs' with a bit of an effort on the steepest climb on the course.

Mitch ‘testing his legs’ with a bit of an effort on the steepest climb on the course.

The first lap I was just finding my feet around the course and when the second of eight laps came I decided to jump twice to look for the reaction of the bunch. Both times the bunch was hot on my heels and it wasn’t until we hit a nice, strong headwind on the third lap that I got a gap, put my head down and got into a tempo for the long road ahead – still with just under 40km to go.

Mitch getting away with three other Belgies, all keen to make the break stick.

Mitch getting away with three other Belgies, all keen to make the break stick.

Two boys from different Belgian teams bridged to me and from the get go I could tell they wanted to stay away just as much as I did.

With three and a half laps to go one of the boys in the group popped and dropped off leaving myself and Kenneth (one of the Belgian riders), and straight away we looked at each other and were both determined to power on. After this we got a time gap of a minute with three laps to go. Kenneth and I kept working really well together and after that the time just kept going up and up.

Just a few laps to go and the break would soon be down to two.

Just a few laps to go and the break would soon be down to two.

On the last climb of the last lap I decided to attack once again and it worked, I got a gap and was solo in which I came across the line 13-seconds in front of Kenneth and 1 minute and 55 seconds in front of the peloton.

I was extremely happy with how I rode the race yesterday and to top it off with a win was unreal. Our next race is in Wortegem-Petegem tomorrow so now it’s time for abit of recovery before what is sure to be another tough race.

Thanks again to our unofficial race photographer Rudy Schietecatte who’s come through with the gold and brought the race alive for us folk back home in Australia.

Fellow Aussie traveller, Riley, had a bit of a shocker feeling achy and suffering headache… just before he pulls out.

Fellow Aussie traveller, Riley, had a bit of a shocker feeling achy and suffering a headache … last rider on the road just before he pulls out.

Next race is tonight at Wortegem-Petegem – apparently the best of the courses the boys will race with two very steep inclines each time around the nine 6.75km laps.  It will be leg-tearing so let’s hope Mitch has recovered from his efforts and Riley from his illness.  Maccie’s next race is Wednesday night our time.

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