Thomas Feb/March 2014

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After what felt like a very short winter at home it was back to sunny Belgium for a bit of bike racing , but not before a last minute training camp in Spain for nine days with a friend from Belgium.

Whilst away in Spain I was offered buy Bob (the man who supports me in Belgium and who I live with in his rider house) offered for me to go again to Spain with his well known Belgian junior team (DCM youth cycling team) just two days after arriving back from my first camp. So I jumped at the chance of another 10-12 days in Spain to train as it is perfect preparation for my first target of the season which is the under 23 Liege-Bastonge-Liege on the 19th of April.

I Arrived back in Belgium a week before my first race for my team which was the GP Wilfred Peeters. It wasn’t a raced suited to me but it was a good race to get some speed in my legs before getting stuck into the season, it was 165km of nice fast flat roads and the rain showed up just in time for the start. The goal for the day was just to get round to the finish and maybe have a go If I felt good enough, I went with a couple of moves but nothing seemed to stick.

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Mid way through the race I had abit of a rough patch and got cold from being wet and it took me a while to warm back up and get back up to the front of the bunch. In the end I missed the break and just followed in he finished and moved up to the front for the sprint but unfortunately I pulled out my foot with 200 meters to go and came in 72nd place. Not a bad day but also not a good one but it is only the first race.

After a week of some more training I travelled to Amay for a kermesse race which I was told should have abit of climbing and so it would suit me abit more.

When we got there the climb was actually only 400-500 meters long not really a climb. I got through the races after trying to make the break away but missing the split and finished in the 3rd group on the road in 40th place not an amazing day but not a bad one.

The next race in Sint Truiden had a similar outcome I tried and tried all race to get into a good break away and was always n the front but then slipped

back to get some food and drink and missed the main move. I saw the break was going so went in the attack with 2 BMC development team riders but instead of riding with me they decided to attack me until one of them went across alone so again I finished in the man bunch.

After a couple of days rest and maybe switching my brain on abit I moved to the next race which was the support race for the pro race called the schildeprijse. I rode this race last season and knew that either a group of 10- 15 riders will go away to the finish or it is a bunch sprint if the pace is too high. In the opening lap of the race a group got a small gap off the front of the 300 man bunch, I tried to bridge across to it with one other dutch rider but the bunch was chasing way to hard and even doing 60kph we couldn’t get across.

I decided to keep my powder dry and wait until later in the race to see how the race unfolded, the gap started to come down in the last 15 km and at the point I knew it was to be a bunch sprint. I know I am fast if I can come off someone’s wheel, coming into the last kilometre I was sitting maybe 15th wheel and just kept moving up with 500 meters to go the sprint started so I just kept hidden and waited. With 150 meters to go I started to o for a gap to open up my sprint when the rider in front pulls his foot out of the pedal and cuts across my front wheel. That was my race over I went down hard and then the rst of the 300 riders went straight over the top of me.

After a 6 hour trip to hospital just had to get some stitches n my elbow and some road rash scrubbed clean.
Hopefully I will have abit more look in the coming races and first main goal for the season Liege Bastonge Liege (under23).