Wednesday, January 05, 2011

The Belgian Experience take 3

This was my 3rd Euro campaign and I'd say the best yet. The first year the racing was way different. Everything was fast and frozen. Completely unlike Belgian Cyclocross. I never got lapped and I made the Worlds Team. Beginners Luck! The second season I was smoked. Mentally and physically. The racing was brutal. Mud, mud and more mud. I never wanted to see that much mud again....

Next things I know I was back at it again, but this time I struck out on my own. Eurocross Camp was amazing and without that experience I never could have done it on my own. This year there was a whole new set of challenges, but to my amazement everything worked out.

I scored the best possible accommodations at the Hof Ter Kommen. Gregory, Nele, and Chris were the best possible mechanics and support crew you could ask for. They went way above and beyond what I was expecting. So many people sent donations and so many Belgian fans cheered me along the way. Mark and I had things pretty dialed on the day to day life of training and racing. My sponsors had me dialed with the best possible equipment I could ask for and my family went so far as to buy plane tickets and come along for part of the journey. If not there in Belgium with me they were watching every morning on the internet.

The best word to describe it was perfect. I already miss it and wish I could race again tomorrow! I went for an easy ride yesterday after unpacking and building the bikes and took today off. It feels like 3 months since my last race, but its only been 3 days. I'm counting the hours before I can watch Nys, Albert, Wellens, Meeusen, Pauwels and Vantornout battle it out at the Belgian national championships. I had some good races, some medium races, some mechanical problems, and even had the worst race of my entire career, but thats bike racing and dealing with the adversity makes you stronger. Look at Nys, broken pedals, dropped chain, crash in the pits, but then he comes back to win on his home course.

Thanks to everyone who played a part in my trip to Belgium especially the photographers Tom Robertson, Lyne Lamoureux, and many other who captured the images and shared them with was a huge part of my life that I'll never forget. I'm looking forward to applying all my new found knowledge from Belgium and having an even better 2011.

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