Ash Towey – Adventures in Belgium Part 2
After having a pretty tough time over my first three races out here in Belgium I really wanted to complete the whole race without being dropped or getting pulled out. I put my training wheels on because I was riding out to today’s race, what a great decision that turned out to be! After my 30km ‘commute’ I arrived at Ruiselede, where I was greeted with a cobbled town center, correct choice!
The cobbled section turned out to be the easiest section of the course, made easier by not having to worry about smashing my race wheels to pieces. I started the race right up towards the front because I had seen that there was a seriously exposed crosswind section straight after the start. This meant I had good position going into the first lap, as predicted it went straight into the gutter. I’m getting used to this. The first 45 minutes went as normal with constant attacks, eventually a breakaway went up the road. The pace of the peloton didn’t really ease up, and I was pretty sure it was going to split again. I positioned well and eventually the group split in half and I made the cut of 25 or so riders with the break still up the road.
We all worked together, hoping that the break would come back to us, a couple of riders got dropped from the break but nothing more than that came back. With 1 lap to go I was rolling back from being at the front of the peloton when another rider let the wheel go and a splinter group was formed off the back. We worked hard to try to get back to the peloton but the group wasn’t functioning properly and we never saw them again.
I rolled over the cobbles and then the finish line one more time, finishing in 22nd position. Only 2 places outside the prize money. This was my best race by far, and I was happy to actually finish, next time around my aim is to get into the top 20