From last Friday to Sunday our camper would be heading west this time. We left for the first edition of a Flemish Mountain bike stage race.
In the afternoon there was a mini prologue planned (3,1KM) next to the lake where the organisation was set for the weekend.
I was the first in the women solo category and Peter would start about 15 minutes after me. It was a flat, fast turning track. Easier than the last prologues we had to conquer in France and Poland.
I finished the track in 8'38", good for a second place in the woman solo category, Peter finished it in 8'05".
Saturday was a very hard day. 4 loops of 37K with a lot of road and short steep mythic climbs known from road races like The Tour of Flanders (De Ronde van Vlaanderen); Koppenberg (offroad), Taaienberg and a less famous climb but much harder 'Leo Pironpad', an offroad path with cobble stones thrown in all over the track. And all this four times, yes 4 times... 😨 And to make all this an even more mythical stage it was true Belgium weather. Rain, mud and TOO much wind.
For me this became a true Suffer-fest with a Capital S. It was not just an off-day, I hope this was my worst day of the season. But I reached the finish ... after 148K (2500HM) and more than 7,5 hours in the saddle.
Peter had great legs, but he didn't enjoy the loop, nor the weather so after 2 rounds he went for a shower and cleaned his bike and supported me.
I finished second woman but in a very disappointing time with about 25 minutes behind the first woman.
Making up 25 min was impossible, but maybe I could take the stage win today. I know I had to keep my head cool and focus, because any little mistake would be a disaster. Peter was in the same group and that eased my mind.
I kept pedaling and finished FIRST 😲
It wasn't enough to make up the lost time from Saturday but I won the last stage 😛
|Vojo magazine 📷Jan Geys|
Sure this one will be here to stay, and I invite everybody to go mountain biking in the Flemish Ardens.
Mountainbike Van Vlaanderen, we will be back next year.
Thanks to all the friends, family, partners for being there and encouraging us to keep on doing our thing.