By Steve Medcroft
Page says he chose the Petange event over the more popular GVA Sven Nys Grand Prix in Belgium when the latter event delayed confirmation of his start contract, and was surprised at how tough the Luxembourg terrain and conditions were. "We had melted snow and cold and icy rain; you had to use your energy wisely," Page told Cyclingnews from his Belgium home Thursday evening. "The course started up a hill then went down this section of mountain-bikey singletrack."
Page was still suffering foot injury he suffered when he punctured it on a strip of steel post at Middelkerke on December 29 and found himself seventh wheel early in the race. "I felt blocked up at first. I started at my my own pace but kept working throughout the race. With four laps to go, I went from seventh to second in one lap and my body turned on. I just kept going harder and faster and eventually went through everyone."
The win was Page's first in elite European competition. "It was a milestone for sure. I know the best racers weren't there but it feels special to be the first American to score a Euro 'cross win."
After a short training vacation in the Cypress sunshine, Page says he's on track for a strong World's. "The foot is healing and I’ve never felt so good at this point. I’m really looking forward to World's; I’m very focused, I’m not nervous. I’m just going to do my work and hopefully that will take me to a good placing."
For complete results and pictures from the Grand Prix du Nouvel-An, click here.