Ian Field’s Blog on VeloVeritas. Some days are good, same days are bad, and some days are a bit of both.
Yesterday was a bit of both which left me very frustrated and disappointed with my result.
It was the opening round of the Superprestige series at Ruddervoorde, I am obviously going well at the moment and had no real reason apart from the fact I didn’t think I liked the course that much to not get another top 20 result.
I got a cracking start and was about 20th going round the first corner, crashes at the start are very rare in cross at the highest level, I don’t know how because they are one of the scariest things you will ever do.
50 of the top crossers in the world charging towards the first corner all wanting to be leading and all have the ability to sprint from a standing start up to about 35mph on most start straights.
I can only describe it as like playing a computer game it’s almost like your just controlling the bike, very rarely do I think about the physical effort needed for the sprint – I am just looking for the next touch of wheels or clash of elbows, and the next gap that I can squeeze myself through!
However when there is a crash it’s usually big!
Yesterday was no exception and a lot of riders ended up on the floor, I was literally inches away from avoiding any contact with anyone when I got hit from behind trying to go up the inside of the crash, luckily I managed to keep it up right and powered away from the incident quite pleased with myself still in about 20th, a great place to move forward from.
I braked for the second corner and then I realised all was not well, my rear wheel was all over the place and I could hear spokes flapping in the wind. I had no option but to pit straight away.
It’s pretty rare to pit on the very first lap and at the big but not world cup races no pit box is allocated to anyone, your crew just fit themselves in where they can. 50 riders in the race all have at least 2 in their pit crew, this makes the pit lane pretty damn crowded when all eyes are looking for their rider.
I had to ride slowly through the pits desperately trying to spot my bike, luckily mine are pretty distinctive as they are so pretty! I nearly over shot my second bike but managed to grab it and get on my way, by the time I exited the pit I was in 41st position.
I put my head down and got on with things, at one point I had got up to the magical 20th position but having gone so hard to get here riders started to come back past me having sat on me for a few laps.
That’s racing and I will learn from that, plus it’s been duly noted who wouldn’t do a turn but then jumped me at the end. The next time I am on their wheel on a stupidly long road straight and there is a block headwind I’ll be the one jumping them as soon as we come off the road.
I managed to hold onto his wheel for the last lap and outsprinted him for 28th place 3mins 22secs down on the eventual winner Zdenek Stybar who seems to be trying to win every race he rides on the very first lap which means only being 3mins 22secs off wasn’t too bad at all.
Next up is a C2 on Thursday in Ardooie it’s more a training session for the World Cup which is next Sunday in Aigle, Swiss, where I really need a good ride and result for UCI points and prize money.
Having received hardly any start money all year so far, I couldn’t afford a tent at the moment, let alone a new camber van like Mr Nys has just got.