Posted by Editor on 12/21/07
Chown Report from Belgium
|Nathan Chown is one of a group of Canadians who have gone to Europe to race cyclo-cross over the next three weeks. Here is his report (and photos) from the first event, held earlier today.|
Did my first race today in Antwerp. Over here we have a group on 7 of us racing and helping out. We are staying at the cycling center in Hertzberg. We have a great set up and took a really cool van to the course. A lot of riders have huge buses / Winnebago's as their transport and more bikes and wheels then you can shake a stick at. So I have now started my own supporters group and will be making up some clothes at a later date. I have attached a picture of the groups president.
In the women's race Wendy [Simms] rode strong for a solid fourth and was with current world TT and former cyclo-cross champion Hanka Kupfernagel for a lap. Other results in the women's race were Barb Howe in ninth and Natasha Elliot in 13th. Highlighting the women's race was the worst false start ever seen, as the gun went off about 5 seconds after the field had left and this caused a lot of confusion for some riders who had slowed thinking they were being called back. But in the end it was game on.
In the men's race I managed to finish on the same lap as the leaders, as did Derrick St. John. I got a great start and threw a few elbows and was in the top 20 for a 1/2 lap until a Colstrop Palmans rider did an endo in the sand and I had no choice but to plow into him. The cool part was that after I got up a Belgian fan righted my bike and I was on my way. This set me back about 10 spots. From there I rode steady and lost about 2 spots a lap to finish 43. Technically the course was not bad and surprisingly I rode the sand not too bad.
The only downer was a hard crash on the ice with 3 to go. I went down really hard and decided to back off from here as I was still feeling some jetlag and I still have 4 more races to go.
Chown Club President
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