I have managed to get a little behind on the blogging front, not sure what my excuse is, other than some really solid weeks training and racing I havent been up to all that much.
Last weekend I raced another two kermesse races in Belgium, my third weekend worth of racing, in Flanders, in a row! I was hoping for another win or two, however along with the usual array of Belgian talent, I would also be racing against another six british riders, including my good friend, the current British champion Germain Burton.
The race just outside of Moorslede was to be contested in warm and sunny conditions, the course had a long dragging climb on it, with a tailwind blowing the riders up it at a very brisk pace all race. Another rider I had my eye on, Piet Allegeart, who had recently beaten me at the North West Youth Tour, was defiantly the home favorite, wearing "number 1" as the provincial champion.
An early break went in the race, attacks where hard and fast early but once the break had established the group calmed down for a short few kilometers, however this being belgium the guys watching eachother soon stepped on the gas again, I tried a few times out of some tight corners and into a slight crosswind. However the group was very reluctant to split. Finally with two laps to go I managed to split the tiring bunch, Germain and Alegeart came with me, along with Cil De Smaels who had beaten me a few weeks earlier in Woesten. We tanked along, sweeping up a rider in no mans land, however there way still a great deal of ground to make up on the early break. With five kilometers to go I decided I would make my move, taking a chance to make it across to the break solo, I pressed on hard, and was soon out of touch from the group behind. With a kilometer to go I caught the lead group, trying to go straight past but to no avail. Down to the sprint and I took it on with two hundred and fifty to go as the group behind closed in, I had it, fourth win in Belgium. Although I have to say I wasnt too sure if someone else was still up the road so there was no victory celebration today! The podium photo can be seen in my post a few days ago.
Today was much of the same, the course suited me even more, with a steeper climb and tough headwind to split it up. However with quiet a few riders from yesterdays race word defiantly gets around pretty quick, I was a marked man to say the least. An early break went again, I tried to be in every move but anything I was with would be shut down immediately. Its frustrating but there is nothing you can really do in that type of situation, other than wait for the race to get hard enough that people simply cant follow.
The main difference between today and yesterday was that the early break got way too large a gap, one team pretty much shut down the race for those in the bunch and this meant by the time I had broken away I was looking into the face of a two minute gap. I broke away with four riders, Germain was with me again and we started to make some headway, quickly distancing the bunch. I went solo up the climb with about six km to go and held of the three behind for fifth on the day, not fantastic but I was very pleased with how my legs where and my ability to ride on my own ahead of others. Another fantastic weekends racing.