Wow, today was nuts! I raced the Zolder World Cup last year as well and I found it to be fairly wide open, with a few tricky descents thrown in towards the end of the lap. But it wasn't anything that I would consider life threatening. I would consider what I did today mildly life threatening. I made it through though and now I'm here to tell you about it. The course was taped and set up fairly similar to last year's. The new factor in the mix was a good amount of snow. They had shoveled, plowed and salted most of the course. The definition of a shovel being used loosely though... There were a few course workers doing their best with a piece of plywood nailed to a signpost. Anyways despite the preparations to clear the foot or so of snow, there was still a nice slippery layer covering most of the course.
I felt alright warming up and was doing okay with the technical bits of the course. The start of the race on the F1 track was pretty quick and made for almost instant chaos once we hit the snow. I found a good outside line to avoid the biggest pile up and kept my wits about me. The first half lap was going great as I was riding by many others that were laying on the ground. Then I met my first of several straightaway dooms... Going by the pit I caught a mini-snow-rut the wrong way and took a pretty good digger. I got up as my bike was getting ridden over by those that I had just passed while they were taking their turns on the ground. My bike and body were all right so I continued onwards. Then came the series of descents... The first of the two was fine. The second one I screwed up and got some air time without my bicycle. Bike and body still okay, so I remounted and crossed the finish line to head out for another lap.
By the second lap there was a bit less traffic in my part of the race and it was easier to see the mini-snow-ruts that marked most of the course. I continued plugging away. Clearing the descents was a good challenge for me and provided some thrill upon each successful completion. I felt like I was riding fairly steadily, just not super far up in the field. The laps ticked by without any more major events and I was moving up a bit. Unfortunately I was pulled with one lap to go in 41st place.
While my result was far from good, I really am just happy to be all in one piece still. Hopefully the bike handling skills and cojones growth from today will pay off in the future. Perhaps even tomorrow? Because there is another bike contest here in lovely Belgium. The Superprestige race in Diegem is one of the coolest courses I have ever done. It is very urban and has some cool features throughout. As long as we are on the subject of cool things... How about Lars Boom throwing down in the elite race today! The race was awesome to watch on TV and I'm glad that Boom is back racing. Even if his schedule is limited he certainly puts on a good show. I'll try to get up some pictures from today soon, until then here is a video from the last lap of the elite race.