Last weekend (18th March), I was lucky enough to ride in the UCI 1.1 race, Guido Reybrouck Classic. Indeed, I found out on Thursday night, during my training session, that I had been offered a place in the Cervelo-Goodzo development team, on the flip of a coin, I might add. I know lucky right! I leapt at the opportunity and duly finished my session to prepare for the weekend. Looking at the weather I found out that the dreaded ‘Beast of the East’ returned for my first UCI race (-10 degree wind chill / 35km/h windspeed). In preparation [for the race] I rode out on Saturday in bitter conditions, which included snow in order to get an idea of what to wear for the following day, which had very similar, bitter, conditions.
Due to this being my first race over 100km I had absolutely no ambitions of what to expect, the only thing I wanted to do is get to the finishing circuit…
…wahoooo! I made it after a freezing cold day that had really got to my head and therefore having a headache for 20km, which really isn’t a nice feeling to have.
Unfortunately I didn’t manage to finish due to insufficient nutrition experience, despite this inexperience I did get pulled around 60th rider. That means that only 56 riders finished out of 150 starters (giving you a bit of perspective of how hard the race was). Furthermore, Backstedt/HotChillee said the race was the “toughest bike race the boys have experienced this far in their careers or are likely to in the near future,” so giving me confidence that I got that close in those types of conditions.
The Cobbles were the best bit of the race for me, especially being such a big lad as well. Personally they felt like smooth tarmac, the kind found in Belgium not Britain. British roads are crap! Also happy to get a 10th place on a cobble sector lasting 1800m, showing how well I actually go over them. Moving up relatively quickly, in relation to everyone, is a massive confidence booster, as well as seeing all your competitors get punctures after the cobble sectors, and looking down at your wheel and finding all is well.
Overall, lots to take away from the weekend especially that I was so close to finishing and I am not even on peak form yet!! That should come later, if training goes to plan and I can get these awful GCSEs out the way. And thanks to Trainsharp for the training this winter, it has been a massive development as shown in the test I had the Wednesday after.
Stay tuned for more!
Over ‘n’ out.