It requires all of one’s wits to race at the front of a klassieker. In the thick of the action, the mind enters a state of hyperawareness where senses are heightened and actions become almost automatic. The environment up front is extremely dynamic and even the slightest hesitation, just a moment taken for mental respite, is likely to send one arrears.
After a winter away, my racing instincts have been dulled. Today, in the peloton, where swift, assertive action is needed, I was a half-step behind. In a waaier koers, there is no forgiveness; from the gun, throttles are opened and the game is on until echelons form in the wind. Today, I was too far back when the peloton split. At that point, it was over, despite a protracted effort to make it across to the front selection.
While not many made it to the line, I wasn’t one of them and that is disappointing. Naturally, I can’t expect to come out firing on all cylinders in the first race of the year but missing the battle is a let down. I feel strong physically but there’s no doubt that I need to spend some more time in the trenches to sharpen my wits.>