Every season I come a point where I need to stop, take a break, and hit the reset button. This year that moment came earlier than normal.
The season started off as expected. I had a good summer. I spent time with family, I rode, and I did some local races around my new home in Kamas, Utah. The weather in Utah is better than Belgium, and the roads are amazing. It was a good summer, and we settled into our Utah house nicely.
My U.S schedule started in September. Starcrossed went well, and though CrossVegas never goes as well as I would like, I did win the first day at Charm City a few days later. It was a lot of travel so early in the season, and it takes a while to get back in the swing of things.
Cori and the kids had flown back to Belgium to get the house ready while I finished up my U.S. racing schedule. Getting settled back into our Belgian house is always more work than I plan for. The whole family, including myself, came down with the flu, and that is never good for one’s racing schedule.
By the time the World Cup in Valkenburg rolled around, I was starting to feel I might be running on empty. That was confirmed at the World Cup in Tabor, where again, I didn't feel I had anything in the tank.
This is bike racing. I've been doing it long enough to know these lulls come and go. I have trained myself not to panic, to be patient, to work through it, and stay confident that the legs will come around. It’s disappointing that my hard work from the summer won’t be immediately rewarded, but I know the results will come. This is when I hit the reset button. I take time off, hang out with the family, and recharge.
Luckily the kids had a school holiday, so immediately after Tabor we drove up to Steinmaur, Switzerland to visit with our good friend Michael Mueller. When we first moved to Europe we lived in Switzerland, and the Michael generously hosted Cori and I. Now, Michael is our children's godfather, and we spent the whole week riding, making gelato, eating Swiss bread, and relaxing. I even got to jump in the Steinmaur Radequer, a C2 race, where I finished seventh behind winner Francis Mourey.
The highlight of the trip was my 9-year old Emma's birthday. She has asked for a bike tour as her present, so Cori and Michael took her on a two and a half day trip into the Swiss and Italian Alps. I drove the support van with Milo and Pearl, and met them two times each leg, before heading to a hotel to set up shop.
Now that we have returned to our home in Oudenaarde, I feel recharged. I am excited for the coming weeks, and ready to race. This week Fuji is shipping my new Altamira CX 1.1, with a custom national champion paint job. New bikes, especially ones that look as cool as these, always provide a little extra motivation. I will have the new bikes up and ready to go for my next race in Lorsch, Germany at the GGEW City Cross Cup, which is a C1 event.
Racing outside of Belgium is a nice change. The environment is so intense here, that when I'm invited to a race, and the organizers are excited to host me, it's a great feeling. While in Lorsch I'm also going to spend time with the Fuji Germany team. Being able to work as an ambassador for cyclo-cross, and the Fuji brand, makes the choice of running my own program feel like the right path. I’m looking forward to working with Fuji in the coming years.
Thanks for reading and I check back soon for more updates on how my season is going.