Dan Feb 2103

dan_whelanDue to not being able to get out much at home because of the bad weather, I decided to go to Majorca for a week in February to start training for the season ahead. I got some really good rides in in the warm weather

When I got back I didn’t have much time to pack, then I was off to Belgium to start racing. When I got here the cold weather was a big shock to the system going from 18 degrees to -9

After a day, the snow came which meant I wasn’t able to ride my bike much as all the roads were covered in snow. After a week of being in Belgium, I went to pick up my new team bike. I went out training with the team that afternoon, it took quite a lot of getting used to as the brakes were on the opposite side to what I’m used to!

My first race went well with a rolling course, the speed was a bit of a shock averaging 44km/h for the full 120 kilometres I just missed the break that went up the road but managed to get 10th in the bunch sprint finishing 31 out of the 200 rider field.

My next race was a really flat and open course, I think this was one of the most windy races I’ve ridden. It had a 3 km straight with a strong cross wind which put the whole field into the left hand gutter every lap. Two groups got away up the road, I was left in the 3rd group with about 30 riders in it, in to the final few laps the pace started picking up and up. On the last lap Craig (my team mate) attacked, so I went with him, which paid off as we were able to stay away from the chasing bunch.

There isn’t much to say about the next few races, apart from the first one, the temperature had gone back down to -3 again. Including this one, and the next 4 races, I somehow managed to puncture in all of them, including the first stage of the Ardenne Challenge. The Ardenne Challenge was one of the hilliest race I’ve ridden in Belgium.