Wow, that was fast. First lap I looked down and we were going 33mph. I lasted about what the guys projected for your first kermis, 15 minutes. I learned quite a bit though. You CANNOT let gaps go. They are really hard to close. Plus the other racers get really pissed, luckily I didn't do that. Also, some of you may have heard about taking the corners slow in European racing. This is definately true. I would be going 30 on a straight, 15 in the corner and back up to 30, 200 meters from the corner. It makes finding a rhythm really hard, much harder than in the US. The Soulard crit course is the closest thing I can think of that feels like what we did today, but there were only 5 or so corners and it was a 7.5km loop. The accelerations and stung out racing feels a lot like Soulard, maybe even The Loop during Gateway Cup. Todays race was really large too, around 130 racers. I was also surprised to see Webcor, Endeavor, Snow Valley, TIAA/CREF and Great Britain National team racers out there today. From what I hear most of them are staying at the US U23 National team house. All in all it was a hard race. All of the guys on the team got pulled at some point today. Our last guy went with about 3 laps to go. It was a hard race for all, 120km in under 3hrs. In the end these races are definately rigged. Passing notes on water bottles seems to be a common practice. Paying of other racers is not out of the question either apparently.Lastly, possibly most humorously, some Belgian man came up to me as I lining up on the startline and grabbed my sideburns, rubs them saying something in Flemish then he and his buddy give a big belly laugh. I have no idea what they said but I geuss they enjoyed them...even Belgians like the burns!
Some new pics from today have been posted!