Monday, April 26, 2010

Now it's definitely a Classic

I think an event needs to happen at least twice before it becomes a tradition, but if there was any doubt that yesterday's gravel road race deserved to be called a "Classic", they can now be laid to rest. Not only was it a challenging (even grueling) race, but the location and the community put it over the top, in my opinion. A post race meal in the community hall, Belgian folk dancers (KK has video), and the blessing of the parish priest (no injuries, as far as I know) all contributed to making the opening race of the season a tough act to follow, and a memorable event.

As for the race itself: As you turn off highway 2 at Holland, you're immediately struck by - of course - all the hills, which came to define the race. Predictions that this would be a war of attrition were borne out, as most riders crossed the line one at a time after being strung out over the course by the hills and the gravel. My version of the Cat 4 event went like this: For the first half of Lap 1, Johnny G, KK and I had managed to stay near the front with a few other riders. Then the big hills came. Then my front tire went flat. Then everybody passed me, while I changed tubes and futzed around with my mini-pump. But in truth, I didn't mind the rest. By the time I got back on the bike, I had recovered enough to push on, and crept up the field a bit to finish 7th. There were a few other flats as well - Olli and Steve both flatted in the Cat 3 event, and there were probably more. For me, it was just like Menno Cross last year - a flat at a critical point in the race totally changes everything, and yet I'm having so much fun that it doesn't matter. Post-race good times only improved the mood.

The real story was Johnny, or rather The Johnnys. S took the citizen race by storm, and brought home a jar of gravel for his efforts. And it turns out G is the FGBC's in-house climber. He goes uphill like a goat. With the hills of Bruxelles behind him, he'll make short work of those little "Rockies" in July.

The Cricket also deserves mention for driving 4 hours to lend support, moral and otherwise. He remains on the injured list for now. He should also have a bunch of pictures to post, no?
Lastly, a big thanks to the organizers and volunteers, especially Hal and Ian for putting on an awesome and unique event and setting a new standard in road racing!


The Dark Lord said...

Awesome. Thanks Adam. I was bummed to have missed this one.

g said...

Thanks for the props adam. That was a great day. If only we could have stuck together we may have improved our lap time and finished a bit closer to Prince Dan. Ummm...that guy is a bit of a machine. He rode away on the hills like they were false flats. I was wondering if my brakes were rubbing. Turns out i'm just slow.

KK through down a great race as well. (Butter belted again)

Anonymous said...

Thanks to all for a great time and some sweet as climbs.
My day went well enough with it pretty much being a off the back time trial. I'd like to say that the 21 miler i ran the day before killed me but in all reality I have run 10-20+ this year so I should be use to it by now. What I need is to get some miles on that new ss I have so Johnny and I can have another blast at the back 40 this year.

Thanks to Brad for making me mash gears like only I can while he soft pedaled:)

Dallas " seriously...... my legs are toast." Sigurdur

Anonymous said...

most of the credit goes to ian who did a lion share of the work on this one. he envisioned this one a long time a go and that vision was good.


Cricket said...

a couple pics will come soon...