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Thursday, July 1, 2010

Brasschaat Euro Cup

On Sunday I raced the ^^^ in Belgium. I was very much anticipating this race as I knew I had form, but just needed to prove it. There was an interesting start list which was charged with young talent. Slovakian swimming phenom Richard Varga had my interest for a fast swim, as well as Frenchies (both Junior World Champs) Vincent Luis and Aurelien Raphael, Kiwi Dylan McNiece, Dustin McLarty etc etc. I knew there was a good making for a break on the bike. The field was balanced by a juggernaught of crazy young runners, namely Etienne Dienmunsch, Miguel Fidalgo, Mattias Zoell, Brendan Sexton and a few others. I knew no matter what happened it was going to be tough!
The swim turned out to be slower than I expected, but we managed to get a tight little group away with all the usual suspects. The course was dead flat and we were hitting 52km/h on a few of the straights. We were working well, but a few of the guys starting to look at each other and our group slowly fragmented. All the hometown Belgians in the chase group looking to impress onlooking females made sure we didn't stay away, and we were caught by 20km in. I then missed a small break, and consequently spent the rest of the ride trying to motivate the pack to do some work and chase them down. By the end of the ride, we had given 5 athletes a 2 minute advantage going into the run, which pretty much meant we were now racing for 5th at best. Meanwhile all then sick runners were getting closer and closer to the back of our group. Onto the run, it took me 5km to find my legs, but eventually got them going and picked up (or saved) about 10 places in the final few kilometers. I finished 11th, a few seconds outside the top 10. I was hoping for a better result, but I was somewhat happy that I was actually able to run to my potential in the final 5km. I splitted 30:40 on a 9.6km course, so I'm happy with a sub 32min 10km. Dienmunsch (2nd place from the 3rd pack) from France showed his class with a 28:28 10km, which I guess really needs to be seen to believe. The guy was insane, so kudos to him. Also kudos to Aurelien Raphael for taking the win from a gutsy break on the bike.

After the race I traveled back to Veldhoven in the Netherlands to rejoin some family, and spent the Monday cruising around with Don my Uncle in many of his cars, drinking Belgian brews and playing with his overly energetic labrador. When you go out with my uncle, always expect to drink a little more than you anticipated, and watch out for 'tripel' beers, which believe it or not are triple strength. Many good times are to be had with this man, and in this wonderful country.

1 comment:

  1. can't decide which I like best, the car or the dog.....you raced hard Josh. Good job.