Looking back at the season up to yet in the first week of September it has been some what of a consistent year for me, always in and around the top 10, regular visits to the podium including a couple of wins and if none of that then animating races as a minimum. I like the races when everyone is tired and most of the races ive been in this year haven’t really got to that point apart from the UCI races where ive always been present at the front and that came to fruition in the Memorial Vanconingsloo where i managed my best result to date with 3rd, that result itself helped me to finish 7th overall in the Topcompetitie standings too which was a surprise to find out after the last round.
Since the beginning of the season ive learned an awful lot in terms of adjusting the way i go into different levels of racing and adapting how i race them, i think what i was doing early on was allowing others too see me too often trying to make moves and that obviously shows a lot in itself, especially to the seasoned riders and kermesse kings that are ever present as they have that ability to see who is looking strong and maybe anxious for results.
Something else i have been introduced to this season has been stage racing. For me the first one i ever did was Triptyque Ardennais and that is a race that will always stay with me for its horrific weather but also because of the terrain. I was sent there to ‘finish off the condition’ and truth be told it worked but wow it was an experience.
My next one was the ronde van Vlaams Brabant, a race in which i had targeted before the season and so was hoping to do well in, another first, it included a TT and against guys on full set-ups managed to come 26th and first on a normal road bike which felt like a small victory plus it allowed me to stay in contention for the overall which i ended up 10th which i was disappointed with after being one of the protagonists all race but for a final day tactical error dropping from 7th.
Up next was the ronde van Oost-Vlaanderen u23 another target of mine. On the first stage it was all going so well, every team was represented in a break and had 2/3 guys in there and the time gap was increasing rapidly until going into a left hander one of the riders near the front of the break ridged himself (the ridge is a gap in between to concrete slabs found all over Belgium) and in-turn took down myself and a number of other so from one second being in a promising place to the next chasing through cars with a completely snapped lever.
The next few days where a bit about recovering but then also being aggressive and helping fellow Dave Rayner fund rider Adam Lewis out who kept nicking bonus seconds and ended up in a great 5th place overall. For me the race wasn’t the success i wanted it to be but i still gained a lot from it, the two days following the race i also did a couple of kermesses just to make it into a week of racing and something a bit different plus i like the thought of me knowing that ive got it in the legs for a week long stage race when the time comes.
Going into the last month of racing i have another two interclubs to aim for (Artselaar + Zandberg Harelbeke) and hope to do well in them with my current form but there are also a lot of kermesses and the odd pro kermesse to get stuck into before October comes round and the winter training resumes. Thanks for the support, Ross.
Here’s a link to a great article featuring Ross by veloveritas