I have been here in Vorselaar for two and a half days now, and it has been nothing short of fantastic. We've had a few awesome training rides so far and even some SUN on Friday. Delicious meals cooked each night by Jim Anderson keep all 16 hungry bike racers happy and Dave Hartman, our awesome mechanic, has been tuning up bikes to keep everyone riding issue free. Thank you so much Jim and Dave!
Right past downtown Vorselaar is a network of muddy little trails that are roped off into a course with a few options for length. Every day that I have ridden there so far, we have seen local guys and kids riding the course on mountain bikes.
At first, I was a little surprised to see people riding around with no helmets and street shoes in full riding clothes, but unlike back home, riding bikes is totally cool! Today, after some openers on the course for tomorrow's race in Namur, a few of us stopped and talked to two of the guys we saw riding. They knew all about the races we are going to do this week and all of the big Euro riders, and also told us that even though the world championships are in America this year, a Belgian would still win. It was really great to have an immediate connection with these guys without ever meeting them before.
While we were doing laps on the course, I wondered if any real races were ever held at this little venue, so when I got home I searched online. This is what I found! (see gallery image of Sven Nys racing the Vorselaar cross course).
Although I haven't raced yet, I have already had a great time on the bike. I am very excited for tomorrow's race on the World Cup course and for the other races I have lined up ahead of me during this trip. This year, I have so much more confidence going into the first race, so I'm not going to hold anything back!
I'd love to thank my Mom and Dad, Toby Stanton, and the NEBRA board for all of the support and help to make this trip possible!