Published on 1st September 2015 | By Chris Walker

Season update

With the season close to over and a few months since I did my last blog it’s about time I did another. The last few months have been alright, I’ve been learning and taking a beating from the best guys and finally got to ride a stage race for the first time this season. In June I went home for my National Championships and to see my family for a week or two. It  was the first time I seen my family since arriving in Belgium back in March. At the start of July I raced the small classic ‘Omloop Het Nieuwsblad’ u27. I got my ass handed to me that day. I was pulled out the race with maybe 40 other guys at the finishing circuits. I can only learn for next time. In the same month there were some problems among the team with riders leaving and other things. I ended up just doing kermesses for the rest of July. It wasn’t what I wanted but there was nothing I could do but try to remain positive and make the most of every kermesse I did. In August I was told for the remaining part of the season I would ride for ‘XEltextiel – VDB Steenhouwerij’. I still can’t pronounce the name of the team now, but I was very happy to be riding some Interclubs and ‘Ronde Van Oost Vlaanderen’ u23 with this team. They’re a great bunch of guys and staff who welcomed me into the team with open arms. The week of Oost Vlaanderen we all stayed together in a house. I forgot where exactly but it was somewhere in East Flanders. The atmosphere was great, even if I could’t understand much because I don’t speak Dutch. They translated the team talks for me along with other stuff. Fortunately for me most of the stages were the same as last year apart from one or two days. The race was won on the first day from a break and the rest of the days were controlled with bunch sprints. I managed to get into a break on Stage 4 for the final 40 or 50km’s. We never had more then a minute and by the finish the gap was no more then 10 seconds to the peloton. I attacked inside the final km and managed to hold of the break to win the stage. I couldn’t believe it, I’m still lost for words now. It didn’t settle in until a day later that I actually won! Now am ready to give everything for the remaining part of the season!

Team XELtextiel – VDB Steenhouwerij
Big thank you to Karl Bickley for supplying me with USN energy products for the season and the Dave Rayner Fund for giving me this opportunity to race in Belgium!
Ronde Van Oost Vlaanderen Stage 4