Leading up to the race I was pretty happy, training was good. Did close to 6 hours on Wednesday, 2 easier days then the race was on Saturday! Weather was mint, sunny and a bit of wind… 22-23 degrees, couldn’t ask for more at this time of the year! We woke up early on Saturday, drove 1.5hours to Oudenaarde which is where the race started and finished.
Race start was 12.30pm, we met other team mates Tom David and Wade Manhgam at the race, along with myself, Jason Christie, Cameron Karwowski and Tom Findlay. Chris (our mechanic) had built us up some awesome wheels, 32 spoke Mavic Reflex with Ultegra hubs…. Bullet proof. We had 17 climbs, 7 cobble sections and 3 cobbled climbs. Most normal wheels wouldn’t be able to withstand the big cobbles in Belgium we were about to race over! In saying that, we missed the worst of the cobbles and the cobbled climbs that the Pro’s raced over the weekend before!
Race started, right from the go it was dodgy. Everyone was very twitchy, eager and wanting to be at the front. Before the first cobble at 11km, there was a huge stack! We knew where the 1st section was, I was 2nd rider into the cobbles behind an Italian.
Throughout the race I was happy with my positioning. Was first in the bunch up a number of the climbs. A group of 6 riders were off the front, but they never got more than 2 and a half minutes. At 105km there was a feed station, flat, fast, 40-45kmh.
A stupid Mexican rider grabbed his feed bag and put it through his own front wheel, taking me and him down! I was pretty pissed off… I hit the deck hard, landed on my hip and had graze’s on my hip, elbow and hand.
I said a few words to the Mexican, put my bike on top of the car and went to the finishing circuits to get cleaned up. Race over, but shit happens… Tom David and Tom Findlay rode well, with Tom David coming in 12th, and Findlay around 30th. It was a hard day out for all but it seemed we all enjoyed the experience and learnt a lot.