Scott Stewart, Chad Beyer, Tejay Vangarderen, Taylor Sheldon, Spencer Beamer, and I headed to the UCI 1.12 race called Oudenburg today. It's in the north of Flanders, so guess what--it's the home of flat, windy races. This one was no different, navigating 160 flat kilometers through 16 laps of a race circuit.
On the first lap, the legs were feeling spunky--I countered a move and bridged up to a group of two off the front of the field. We motored it for a few km before passing the finish line. There is a preem every lap in the race, so I gav'er for a bit of a sprint and took the preem. The Belgian dude I beat in the sprint wasn't too happy with that. When I came around him to win the preem, he shoved his bars into my hip and gave me a bit of a scare. I guess I wasn't supposed to win the preem after solo bridging to a break? I don't think I'll ever understand these Belgian racers.
After such an exciting start to the day, the rest of the race was pretty standard. Hard in the crosswinds, single file most of the day, a break for 10 laps that gets reeled back with 3 laps to go, then the field attacks the hell out of each other until we finish in pieces. Tejay got in a break on the last lap, so the rest of us sat on stayed at the front. A chase group formed with 5km to go, so I bridged to it and sat on. It came back with 2km to go, where a field sprint ensued with 10-15 guys already up the road. I was up there in the sprint for a top 30 finish.
These races are always hard--in comparison to any USA race that is. This race was relatively easy, compared to, say, the 1.2 Renniglest race I did 6 weeks ago.
I may have another race to do here this week, but I'm getting pretty fried. I just found out Chequmeagon is on the agenda here in September. Let's just say--it's on.