Kermis Kings… Perhaps a combination of Mallorca, having a hectic time before getting out to Belgium, and a bit of illness and settling down in Belgium, but for the first few weeks certainly I have been feeling rather lethargic.
However it’s just been a case of taking a day at a time and allowing the body to feel fresh again. I think the key however was trying to re-establish some sort of normal routine again and get some structure… can make a huge difference!
The races however have certainly gone better than the body had been feeling for much of the rest of the time.
I opened my Kermesse campaign properly in Lierde (07/03/10) and did so in style, attacking some of the real big ‘Kermesse Kings’ and in the process almost taking the win.
Just 20km down the road it was perfect to ride out to. With this and a feeling that I just needed to really open up and race hard I attacked early and found myself clear.
I was soon to be joined by some of the big hitters including Mario Willems and Tony Bracke.
As a group we worked well together but into the second half of the race more riders come across and the lead group began to swell. Knowing this I went again with something like 30km to go and it was to be the decisive move.
Ok, maybe this was a little early at this stage with the big hitters still there, but I did it more so to try and break up the group… and it worked!
10km or so later I was joined by another small group riders, albeit the best riders – but at least it had done some damage, and that was how it would be to the finish.
A lot of jumping around on the final lap as usual and I tried my luck as well with a few km’s to go, but the earlier solo efforts had just about set in.
Bracke was to take the win going on the last climb and I finished in 5th just a few seconds later.
But already a good start and hopefully an indication of what’s to come. One things for sure I think my efforts on this day gained me some more fans here in Belgium.
This was also the week that I was told I would be supported by the Dave Rayner Fund for the 2010 season.
A big thanks to the committee for their decision to support me this year as it will be a big help and allow me to fully concentrate on the reason that I’m here – to ride well, win races and progress further in the sport.
At the same time a big thank you must also go to ‘The Grays Public Purposes and Recreational Trust’ and ‘The Thurrock Sports Council‘ who both have provided me with grants during the winter to support me for the 2010 racing season. They’re local organisations to me at home who have shown their generosity by supporting me and I am extremely grateful for such assistance.
To Adrian Timmis at Cadence Sport who has coached me for the past two years and who I have improved greatly under.
Also to Paligap Ltd. for continued support towards Powertap Powermeters, and of course Jim Chisman of Flanders Racing in the UK who has supported me in many ways coming into the 2010 season (check out the Flanders bikes and contact Jim for more info).
‘Til next time!
07/03/2010- LIERDE (O) 1.12B – ind.reg.wedstr.(100-120 km) Elite z.c./U23
Aantal deelnemers: 93
1. BRACKE TONY – JOHN SAEY CYCLING TEAM 02:53:00
2. CRIEL TOM – C.T. KEUKENS BUYSSE KNESSELARE 00:00:03
3. DE ZUTTER KRISTOF – WIELERSPORTVER. ARTEVELDE VZW GENT
4. WILLEMS MARIO – KINGSNORTH INTERNATIONAL WHEELERS
5. PATTEN DANIEL – ASFRA RACING TEAM
6. PENNE FREDERIK – SDC – ROGELLI CYCLING TEAM 00:00:15
7. VANDAMME DAVY – SDC – ROGELLI CYCLING TEAM 00:00:50
8. CASSIDY MARK – SEAN KELLY TEAM
9. VAN SPEYBROECK BART – WIELERSPORTVER. ARTEVELDE VZW GENT
10. VANLUCHENE STIJN – WC SPORTVRIENDEN – EEKLO