Belgium Boys – Finishing with a bang!

Posted: July 22, 2015 in News, Racing, Road
Tags: , , ,

As the boys come towards the end of their adventure, here’s Riley’s report from the nieuwelingers second last race:

Wortegem-Petegem: After some mechanicals, bad luck and illness in my previous few races I came to our second last race of the trip wanting to make up for it and maybe get another win in a very strong field. After the usual early breaks where bought back and the field had thinned from the around 90 starters to about 40 the racing started to heat up.

Trying to get away in an earlier break - this one got bought back after about a lap.

Trying to get away in an earlier break – this one got bought back after about a lap.

With the Belgian national championships next weekend almost all the top guys were out racing for their final hit out before Sunday’s race.  Including the current national champion himself.  Wearing the national champion stripes and donning number one, it’s kind of funny how much everyone else respects him.  When giving him a bit of a bump to get through a gap I got the sense that he hasn’t had that done to him much during his year in the famous black, yellow and red.

Anyway, back to the race.  After coming round to get three to go (18k) I saw a chance to go at the top of the first big climb and I somehow got away without being chased by everyone.  After hitting it through some technical parts of the course I came around to get two-to-go with about a 30-second lead.

Not long after getting away coming up to get two to go.

Not long after getting away on the third last lap… I was feeling great and took the gap out to around 30-seconds.

A bit over halfway though the second last lap Mitch and another Belgium kid bridged and we were working well.

Coming around to get the bell I took a gravel covered corner a little too hot, which wasn’t a good idea.  I lost traction with my front wheel and my back wheel slid and hit the lip of the inside of the road popping into the air and landing… and all of a sudden things became a lot harder!  I went back to the bunch and loosened off my brakes but I could definitely smell something burning and I was pretty sure despite the sensations in my legs, it wasn’t them that smelt.

Back in the bunch I decided despite my lack of handling and rubbing rear brake I may as well try for the bunch sprint.  The reigning Belgium champ got the last laugh launching a perfectly timed attack after the bunch had brought back Mitch and his breakaway companion and he stayed away for the win.

I spotted a gap that moved me right up to the front with half-a-lap to go. What a great position I thought, however I could only enjoy that great position for about five-seconds, before there was a great big bang!  I knew it wasn’t my legs as they still felt fine!

After a tyre goes bang!  And these tyres are pretty tough - Specialized Roubaix 25c - reckon there was a lot of rubbing!

After a tyre goes bang! And these tyres are pretty tough – Specialized Roubaix 25c – reckon there was a lot of rubbing!

The rear brakes had been rubbing on my tyre and I had managed to rip the Kevlar out of the sidewall… another opportunity goes begging. The sag wagon dropped me off at the line and I walked across in 38th.  I probably wasn’t as disappointed as when my chain came off in Opwijk two races ago, as this time it was caused by my own misjudged cornering… 

Mitch winning the sprint for second.  His fourth podium in five races (including two wins)!

Mitch winning the sprint for second. His fourth podium in five races (including two wins)!

Mitch did well to win the bunch sprint for second and an American friend from our house finished 18th.  Hopefully that was my last bit of bad luck for the trip and I’m looking forward to my last race at Borchtlombeek on Saturday.

jens 4

The Belgium champs has won four times during the year he’s worn the national colours.

Maccie is racing tonight – hopefully we’ll get a race report from him.  He’s mainly recovered from his crash at the junior Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and will be hoping for another top 10 finish.

Thanks Riley for the entertaining blog post and may some good luck come your way.

Thanks to Cece DesOrmeaux for the photos.  Cece is a coach on the boy’s camp.

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