As some of you may remember, our friend Justin Lindine is in Belgium at the Euro Cross Camp. We will be putting up some of his updates until we get him set as a writer. Thank you for all of your support to help get him there!
Today was the first race day of the camp. It was a relatively small race in the town of Middelkerke which is on the northern coast of Belgium. From what I was told it is a race normally decided by strong coastal winds and sand. Today however was a little bit of a different story. It was very cold, as it has been for the past week or so here, and the snow that the area received was still in place on the course. By the time we raced it was a treacherous mix of snow and one “good” muddy line through it all. That being said the course could have been fun, with some wide open sections, a nasty run-up and some fast 180’s, along with a good amount of spectators for a smaller race.
However, this is where my personal story goes awry. It was race day and my bikes still weren’t here. To say I’m a little stressed out may be understatement. Fortunately, I was able to borrow the loaner bike that the camp has to race on. Unfortunately, the bike is a good four sizes too big, the rear shifter sort of sometimes works, and I had to use some borrowed pedals because as you might guess, they are in my bike case as well. Now, I don’t like to make trivial excuses for bad rides, and a good rider can make a bad bike work. But, it definitely didn’t add to a day where I might not have felt that good anyway. So as I sprinted off the start line with my sweet second row call up (right behind f’ing Sven Nys!) I struggled to make my shifter go through the gears, and sat more or less on the top tube (with the bars higher then my now slammed seat).
Long story short, it wasn’t the best race I’ve ever had, and I wound up getting lapped which is not great. Hopefully it was at least worth the effort and a blowing out of the legs will do me good come the world cup in Zolder this weekend. Hopefully as well, my bikes will make it here tomorrow and I can get out a bit and check out the countryside. I’ll keep you all posted….with what I am expecting to be improving news.