Catching up on my first two weeks of cyclocross racing in Europe.
GP Hasselt – I chose to race Hasselt in order to get some good speed in my legs before the World Cup at Koksijde, and I sure am glad I did, as the following day was cancelled! Saying that a World Cup would be cancelled is something I never thought I’d have to say. It happened, however, and so be it. The course in Hasselt is notoriously bumpy and fast with a set of planks placed on the only muddy spot on the course, plus a few fast up and downs through some construction dirt; pretty typical for a DVV race. I used my front row call up to my advantage and had a great start. I was sitting around 4th when I changed bikes. On my way out I had a collision with another rider and broke my brake lever, forcing me to pit once again. I would say it really took my rhythm away and I never recovered the spots that I lost. I ended the day in 12th.
World Cup Koksijde – CANCELLED!
World Cup Zeven – Zeven was another brutal, back pounding course set in rural Germany under the fog and the cold. The course was flat, save for a large hill that we traversed three times per lap. It’s a rather punchy course with no real time for rest. I lined up behind the World Champ on the second row and thought I would hold back a bit to keep my engine from over heating. Well, maybe I help back too much. I was able to find a good groove but never really able to get the power I needed to break the group I was in. I finished a modest 30th and a whopping 4 min down from the winner. Perhaps it wasn’t my day.
Flandriencross Hamme – Hamme is one of my all-time favorite races. It’s super fast with some pretty cool, technical, pumptracky features. Again, I took my first rowcall up and had a decent start. Unfortunately, I must have hit something on my way to the start line and had a front tire leak! I hit the woods in a great spot and shot from the right straight over to the left! Whoops! I am just glad I didn’t crash or bring any one down with me. I lost a few spots and needed a first lap trip to the pits. After that, I found a good groove and made my way back into the top 20, eventually finishing 14th and beating out some good guys. I would say I am happy with the direction my Euro block is going!
12th – Soudal Classics Hasselt – Cyclocross Magazine | Cyclingnews
30th – UCI Cyclo-Cross World Cup Zeven – Cyclocross Magazine | Cyclingnews | Velonews
14th – DVV Verzekeringen Trofee – Flandriencross – Cyclocross Magazine | Cyclingnews
Now, on to Spa-Francorchamps! The Superprestige Spa-Francorchamps, held on the storied F1 track. This was my first race here in Europe, back in 2014 and WOW, what an eye opener. I hope to make good on my return! Stay tuned to find out what happens next!
December 3 – Hansgrohe Supreprestige Spa-Francorchamps – Francorchamps, BEL
December 11 – Vlaamse Druivencross – Overijse, BEL
December 18 – UCI Cyclo-Cross World Cup Namur – Namur, BEL
December 26 – UCI Cyclo-Cross World Cup Zolder – Zolder, BEL