Christmas started off well. I didn’t have to work, and Santa was good to the kids so we had a great start to a laid back day. We went to my friend Frankie Van Haehasbrouke’s house for dinner with a few other friends and had fun time.
The Christmas races were both encouraging and problematic. I fell at Loenhout and was knocked up pretty good. I decided to keep racing, which is risky since your immune system is already depleted after an injury. Your chances of getting sick are higher, but I decided to press on figuring I’d get more long-term benefits from pushing forward. I had banged the back of my leg hard in the fall and it was really hurting. I was initially concerned I might have torn something, but I was primarily worried about re-injuring my ribs, which have been a recurring issue all season.
The day after Loenhout I raced at Bredene and was feeling pretty good before the race. I raced well against a strong field and ended up sixth overall so it briefly felt like my efforts were worth the risk. Then, immediately after the race, I could tell something was wrong. I felt bad, really bad. I could hardly walk, and when I stepped out of the mobile home I could tell I was not in good shape.
Sure enough, I got a bronchial infection, which wasn’t helped by a plane ride to the U.S. late last week. Fortunately, I’m on the mend, and I am feeling better now that I’m getting settled at my friend Marcel Van Garderen’s house. Marcel is Tejay's father, and I know him through my wife Cori. Marcel and Cori go way back to when she was racing in college in Montana.
Marcel is part of my informal crew that I pull together when I race in the U.S. Mechanic Dave Kohli and Planet Bike founder Bob Downs round out my small team. I like to keep it simple, so my small race-proven team (remember we won last year) is a good fit.
Nationals are a good time to catch up with my different sponsors so I have been doing the rounds and catching up with everybody. My contact at QBP-Lazer Sport, Chris Smith, will be racing this weekend, too. Lazer has been with me a long time. When I provide periodic updates to my supporters, Chris and the folks at Lazer are always the first ones to write back with words of encouragement. Last year I broached the idea of returning to the States full time with Chris and he was completely supportive. Lazer set me up with a red, white and blue helmet so I am going to do everything I can to hold onto that this weekend.
After a tough early season, things have been on the upswing. Now that the cold I contracted after Loenhout is done with me I am excited to get down to business Sunday. There is a lot of racing left to do this season, so I plan on starting off the new year strong.
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Jonathan Page is an American cyclo-cross pioneer. Page left the US to live in Belgium full time in 2007 after winning a silver medal at the 2007 World Cyclo-cross Championships. Page is a four time U.S. National Champion, a title that he currently holds. He currently races for his own team, which is sponsored by Fuji Bikes, Competitive Cyclist, Spy, Clif Bar, Lazer Helmets, Shimano, Challenge Handmade Tubulars, Somerville Sports, ENGVT, and the law firm of Prediletto, Halpin, Scharnikow and Nelson, P.S. You can find more about Jonathan on his website at thejonathanpage.com.
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