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Bring on the Big Dog
26 Mar, 2004

To tell you the truth I've had a shit of a time lately with sickness, and a few crashes, not to mention the fast racing as we head into the northern classics season. Today I rode the Dwoors Dor Vlandarin, a 202km, NO actually it was 215km race, which took in some of the famous climbs that are in the Tour of Flanders every year.  It was fine all day, which I was very happy with but there was alot of wind, which made the race hard as the pace just seemed to always be on (well it bloody well felt like it!). Today is the first mini classic and for me, my first race ever over the cobbles, so all I set out to do
was finish well and learn.

NERVOUS was the order of the peleton before a cobbled section, or a cobbled climb. DANGEROUS also comes to mind now that I think of it too!  I found today that you really have to know the course, know exactly when to hit the front, know when to eat, know when to rest.  Man alive, learning all this is worse than school!  But I can say that I feel these races could (note I say could) be for me.  Just not this year!

I'm not going to report much about the race other than I finished and finished with reasonably good legs too.  I tried to go in the first break early but it never went.....and did it hurt my pins or what!  I had probably the best legs I've had all year.  Easily turning the small gears and yes sometimes the
big dog when it was on........ I can say that I was extremely happy to finish and now I have a bit of confidence too which has got to help .  I had to walk the last part of the Patersberg though, as there was a crash in front of me and this made me lose my hard fought position. Not that I would have rode away and won it though!!!!  To tell you the truth my legs felt better when I mounted that dirty old bike of mine at the top!  I wouldn't recommend it though!

Next up I have a big race called E3 Harelbeke.  This is just a step up from the race today.  Its going to be another big learning curve but I'm up for it!  I just want to get through this next month, learn as much as I can and then hopefully, if all goes well, be ready to rock and roll with some big results at the beginning of May at the 4 days of Dunkurque.

My schedule for the next few weeks is tough. I do E3 this weekend, then after that is 3 days de Panne,  then maybe Flanders, for sure Gent Wevelgem and the biggest dog of all, Mr Paris Roubaix!  Sheldipreis follows and then I finish up with the Amstel Gold race.  My next report could be from my hospital bed, but ill keep you all informed.

 

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