Today was the big World Cup race in Hofstade. To put everything in perspective right away the elite men's race had over 25,000 spectators. This race is the real deal. We got to wear our sweet USA/Spiderman skinsuits. Now it is even more appartent to the spectating Euros that we are the Americans. We got our numbers and spiderman helped us to pin them last night before.
As you can see Eric was very nervous the night before the race. I had done this race last year, so I tried to relax and treat it like any other race.
Our race was to start at 10 AM, but it hardly gets light before 9 AM over here. So I hopped on the trainer while I waited for it to get light enough to see the course. I was burning up and peeling off the layers right away. The weather has really been warming up over the past few days, which often means more mud.
I got out on the course to find it as challenging as ever. This is always a very hard race. The main feature of the course at Hostfade is the beach. It is one beach, but the way the race is set up it makes it seem like four seperate sand pits and each one is 50-100 meters in length. The sand was a little bit more ridable this year, but there was still some running for me. Ian snapped a good photo of the hard packed sand in the middle of the beach.
I think that the race went pretty well for me. I ended up 35th. Last year I was somewhere in the fifties and I am always happy to have improved. Now as I sit here writing this I realize how much lounging around we do here. Our lives have been so simple for this past week. We either train or race and then just lie around. I must spend close to 13 hours in bed per day. We get our training done and then we just sit around and do our best to be recovered for the next race. We have been entertaining oursevles for hours on YouTube. Literally almost all we do is ride, eat and rest. It is so nice not having much of anything else to worry about. It is really allowing us to focus everything into racing while we are here and to make the most of it.