So it’s been a few weeks since my last Dan Patten Blog post. This is because I was waiting until something went my way again… I’m still waiting! The last few weeks of racing has been filled with bad luck, with mechanical problems at the wrong times and a few crashes to go with, not to mention a national championships that was reduced to a training ride.
I suppose I can count myself lucky until now with very few problems this season, however they all seem to have come at once.
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I am sitting here a little sore after my latest race yesterday, a pro kermesse in Melle, where I was wiped out by none other than a teammate.
After figuring in many of the early moves, I was hoping for a good one but it didnt happen in the end. The crash left me bashed and bruised but I was back in the peloton in no time.
Unfortunately what was left of the peloton was pulled out after 130km, with the pro tour riders deciding the race was over. There was not many riders left in the bunch after the race and the weather took its toll on many and so when they decide to shut it down, you have just got to accept it.
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The biggest disappointment came in Geluwe, an Interclub race, five days before the National Championships.
I was really on it that day from the off and after covering several moves, managed to get away on my own. In the process I took a primie but 10km later I was pulled back into the bunch. I would then make the main break of seven riders and had a feeling it was going to be a good day.
However with the gap over the peloton going out I came down on an off-camber corner and in the process took a nice chunk out of my arm and hip.
I went back into the bunch and back to the car and ambulance but I was told to stop with the deep cut to my arm causing most concern.
Nonetheless we got it strapped up and with my manager still with me, decided to try and make our way back to the bunch… bearing in mind the gap was around five minutes.
The only problem was every time we came through the finish line the commissaires wanted me to stop. Still we continued and actually got the gap down to 30 seconds behind the bunch, however at that point I was told I had to stop – gutted!
As the race continued I was taken to hospital to get stitched up. A really disappointing end to what was looking to be a great race for me.
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The National Championships
And then there was the National Championships!?
Another race that left me disappointed. I blame myself as much as anything for being too far back as we went into the 2nd lap of the circuit getting a little complacent. But I didn’t expect so many riders to lose contact with the front so early on in the race, after all this is the National Championships.
As we hit the main climb for the second time I looked up to see big gaps everywhere.
I chased and went through rider after rider on the climb but never made it back to the front group. The next couple of laps I would continue to chase in the little groups I found myself in but not many riders were interested.
The course had killed the race off.
The race was over less than 40km in and for me reduced to a training ride. With most ending up on the side of the road I ploughed on for training more than anything, riding in small groups as well as spending a fair proportion pushing on and riding on my own.
But we weren’t racing at that point, simply getting some km’s in and thinking about the next races coming up; not how you should be during the National Championships.
No time to dwell though, the races are coming thick and fast now I’m back in Belgium (more so than ever) and that’s the way it’s going to be from now on in.
Plenty of time for the luck to swing back my way!
On a brighter note, I did manage to catch a bit of the Tour de France live in between races this week.
Me and some of my teammates went to one of the pave sections towards the end of stage 3. Such a special race – everything about it!
Inspired? Oh yes!
Until next time…