In the house where we are staying there was an air of anticipation as they waited to see how the visiting Canadians would ride in their first kermesse. Would we come up trumps or suck and look like posseurs? Often in cycling, particularly in Europe, you're only as good as your last ride. Last night we were able to come home holding our heads high.
In the race the guys rode well, covering the early stuff and generally mixing it up. Zach instigated the early move on the 3rd of 12 laps, taking two guys with him. They were going well and opened up a decent lead of 40 seconds or so, but with 5 to go were back in the field.
The impression, with Belgium being the heartland of cylcing, is that everyone is amazing, but just like home you have an array of abilities: the guy that can't corner (me somewhat in the rain yesterday), or who doesn't know how to pull smoothly in the paceline and finally the guy that is just squirrely and that you want to just put in the ditch. All of these types of riders were in the race yesterday, and with that realisation I knew that the racing wasn't all that different to back home.
With Zach's break caught the attacks started again and the break of the race was established with 4 laps to go. I followed the right wheels and made the break, but have to admit that getting the break established put the hurt on my legs. For the rest of the race everyone worked smoothly, almost smoother than in any break I've been in. The last 5km of the lap were into a headwind and it was here that the attacks started coming into the finish. Each rider took their turn trying to get away and in the end one guy slipped away in the last kilometre for the win. The rest of us sprinted it out and I ended up 7th on the day. The Jet Fuel boys could come home with their heads held high.