Spinning wheels at the World Cup

Andrew Dillman recounts his Kalmthout calamity

Yesterday’s World Cup was quite the experience. I wasn’t sure how I would end up and honestly still don’t know. The first lap was disaster. Some of it was my fault and some was just bad luck. I was pretty nervous at the line, being surrounded by giant foreign guys is a little scary.

The first lap was the killer of my entire race. I got into my pedal really fast and was mid-pack in the hole shot, but when we got off to run it was way too crowded. I was trying to pass guys in places that were way too crowded and sometimes slip and fall causing me to lose time instead of gain it.

When we actually got to ride it was hectic as everybody was trying to pass each other and the turns weren’t allowing them to. Finally I got a rhythm, but it was soon disrupted as I slid out on an icy turn and after hopping back on my bike I realized my chain was dropped and I couldn’t get it back.

I ran into the pits, luckily they were right there, but by then I was already in last place. So from then on my main goal was to catch as many people as I could and with only 4 laps of racing that only added up to about a dozen. I ended up 58th which is disappointing, but I'm not letting it affect my attitude.

To make things even better, I was one out of two random racers chosen to be drug tested. This involved me waiting with the winner of the race and another Swiss kid as they spoke in other languages and I stared at them. I didn’t want to be first, but I definitely wanted to get out of there. So after the winner did his thing, I volunteered even though I didn’t really have to go, but I figured I could get enough out. I peed in the cup as a Belgian guy watched me struggle to do so due to the super tight skin suit I was wearing. Then I had no clue what to do so the crazy Belgian UCI official with crooked teeth showed me what to do. It really helped and made me feel a lot less uncomfortable that he was really nice.

Today Bjorn and I went on a ride/adventure to one city over, Rosalaere. We went on a scavenger hunt for a bakery and just as we were on the verge of giving up we spotted one. We had a cheese sandwich of some kind, which for those who like cheese would probably be awesome, but I didn’t really like it. I did like the three desserts we got though. So overall the trip has been good so far and I just want to have fun in the next races and do better in the next World Cup and give it all no matter what.

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