Goodbye Belgium!

Jordan Cullen reflects on his first European adventure

A busy week of racing is coming to a close in Izegem as we all get ready to head home and get ready for nationals. This trip has been a great experience for everyone with some amazing memories and excellent racing.

This trip was my first time ever racing in Europe and I really enjoyed it! I loved how much harder and more aggressive the racing was compared to the United States.

I did five races while I was over here, Namur, Diegem, Zolder, Loenhout, and Bredene. My favorite one was definitely Loenhout because the race was pretty muddy, had a pump track section, and a long road stretch.

I had a third row call up for this race. How the starts work here is that instead of a whistle or starting gun, they use a series of lights that go from red to green. I lost a few spots at the start because I was not being aggressive enough but I quickly made up lost time on the running section. I continued making up time and with one lap to go I was in a two person group going for 28th place. I sat behind the other rider until the muddy running section I booked it and then kept the pressure on for the rest of the lap.

I was super happy with my result here and all of the other US juniors did great too! This race was also super crazy in the pits. We had 14 riders all with a spare bikes. What made it even more hectic is, since we were spread out on the entire course you could have pitted, but the mechanic you were looking for was helping somebody on the opposite side of the pit. I only had to pit once early in the race due to a flat tire but the mechanics pulled it off flawlessly.

This trip has been a great experience and I have learned a ton from the racing and living in the house. I really hope to come back here and race some time soon!

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