I’m back in Canada and my season of the racing in the Netherlands is complete. Its been a hell of a year and an experience I’m infinitely glad that I jumped into. The racing in Northern Europe is awesome; it is such a great arena for bike racing and I have really fallen in love with the classics. After this season, I am much more confident in my cycling and am heading back next year to build on this season’s progression and turn solid results into great ones.
I thought that Baronie-Breda would be final race of the season and left it on a bitter note, the race blew up into wires early on and I made the front echelon however it soon came back into a swarming nervous mass, I lost position on some small roads and then as we exited the forest it exploded again and I was in the second split. After 120km of chasing we were pulled on the finishing circuits and I thought my season was ended with a DNF.
I was less than diligent the next week, but then heard I had the chance to race the final of the Beloften Competitie this past Sunday. I figured I might as well give it a shot and am glad I did. Suprisingly my legs were strong on the day, again it was fast and windy with several cobble sections. With 80km to go, things split in the cross winds and I bridged to the front wire of 10. I had a team mate, Johim guest riding from Jo Piels Conti., and we were up against 3 continental riders from Van Vliet and couples from a mix of teams. It was pretty full gas and we got up to over a minute advantage but were caught with 20km to go. I was cooked at this point, but did some work to help in the fight for position then blew up with 10km to go and came in with the caravan. Johim and another team mate that normally rides for Piels made the front echelon as the finale exploded and went 1-2 in the sprint. So a much more succesful finale to the season, I leave with a good feeling and am already excited for next year.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, leaving Holland is bittersweet. Its nice to be home and see my family and everything, but I will really miss the people and the country I’ve come to know in the Netherlands.