Thursday, August 11, 2005


It had to be done. The first race back is always hard and it was harder because the circuit in Lokeren is not particularly gentle: 13 x 8.6 km laps with two sections of cobbles/lap. I've done this race every year since it started in 2003 (what a legacy!) and Wednesday was the first time it hasn't been 30+ degrees. In fact, the weather was OK for racing - 20, but a bit windy.

To cut a long story short, the aim was to hang on as long as poss. and try to get to halfway without tanking. I managed that OK, but didn't quite have the grunt to get onto the front bit of the peloton when it split at the end of lap 7. I got across to one group, which promptly disintegrated, then chased with two others. One guy did a turn, then me, then the third...and he was the only one to get on. We were "bijna thuis" according to the first guy, but I wasn't. I ended up in a group of five but we were pulled at the end of lap 9, so it was all over. That was sufficient for a first race back.

Saw Don Gamble there, but he flatted after an hour, alas. We rode back to Gent via the north circular with another guy, who said that he knew a different way that was the same distance but quieter. Fine by us, but it was actually the same distance for him only because he lived in Laarne. Anyway, I suppose we needed the extra training.

Unfortunately this bloody sinusitus has come back and I can't seem to get rid of it. I was coughing a bit after the race and my throat was sore again today. I'm totally sick of it! I'm getting a fair bit of sleep and eating reasonably well, but that doesn't seem to be helping.

Lucy and Pete are coming to visit on the weekend, so that'll be good.

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