172 starters on a Wednesday afternoon… only in Belgium. (17/03/10 Esplechin).

This was a hard race from the off, again typical of Belgium.

With only one amateur race taking place on this day it meant this race was full-on.

A couple of crashes in the peloton on the same corner on consecutive laps didn’t help matters.

I missed out on lead group of around eight riders which eventully got up the road. I did then jump away and was soon joined by more riders to help chase, but we were was reeled in.

However by this time the speed of the race had taken its toll and the peloton had been considerably reduced, maybe down to 60 riders.

Look at the crowds out on a Wednesday afternoon!

Into the last few kms I positoned myelf well at the head of the bunch wanting to be in the right place for the bunch sprint.

Into the last km I was still right there and with some bends in the road before the final right hander into the finish straight there were some hairy moments.

I got swamped a little before the final corner, a few elbows flying, but managed to keep a fairly decent positon inside the top 10 going into the finishing straight and made up some more places in the final dash for the line ending up 21st overall.

Good to get some practice in with the bunch sprint but of course would have prefered to have been up the road fighting it out for the win.

Another hard 120km of racing in the legs which I’ll be all the better for.

The weather was pretty decent for this race, but the next days’ training really felt like spring had really arrived.

A good few hours spin out in the sun in the morning, with a trip to café: later in the afternoon… where I must add we got to sit outside… not bad for March!