Today was the Omloop van Borsele, a UCI 1.2 race. Five laps of 24.4 km made up the 122 km course. Joelle our current Canadian national champ has flown in to race the next couple of races, so we started with a full team. All of us were convinced that this race was in Belgium, but surprise, it was actually back to Holland we drove! The course was extremely flat with very narrow winding roads, typical Holland.
Last year’s race was a bit crazy with Cervelo driving it from km 1 and a break staying away the whole race. This year it started at a bit saner pace. I was positioned so well in the group for about the first half hour. It’s actually fun going through corners when you don’t have to slam on the brakes! Unfortunately I lost this good spot when the group slowed down and started to swarm, darn it.
It was on the third lap that the pace quickly increased. The group started to splinter and I had to work hard with Joelle to close gaps. We got back to the group, but then another acceleration splintered the group again and a group of 21 riders got away. This group not including Joelle or I, the two Canadians left near the front of the race, darn it.
The heat sure made racing tough today. It was 27 degrees out! I know not the hottest temperature ever recorded, but still a shock to the system after all the colder temperatures. I tried to think cold thoughts to feel better. Winnipeg winters… skiing in -50 degree weather… eating gelato… ok starting to feel a little colder… oh wait maybe that’s just the dehydration setting in.
I was not impressed with the commissaire who would not let us take bottles on the last lap. The rule is that you are not allowed to feed in the first 50 km or last 20 km. We were definitely still within the limit and I think everyone was thirsty.
The race was won for the 4th year in a row by sprinter extraordinaire, Kirsten Wild (AA Drink). I was second in our group sprint and finished in 23rd/177 starters, Joelle finished in the same group as well.
Next up tomorrow is the Grand Prix Roeselare, a race in Belgium for real this time.