See part one for the first half of Mo’s European tour.
1.1 – GP Hotel Threeland Cyclocross
The race course was set up right through another small town and into the surrounding woods. It was hilly and very much like a mountain bike course with singletrack style climbs and slippery, muddy down hills.
I hadn’t done that much climbing in a race since the summer mountain bike races, but I gave it my best shot and kept trying to keep my effort steady rather than burn too many matches on the climbs. I spent most of the day on my own and finished ninth with my first European race top ten!
We headed back to Belgium that night to prepare for the final race of the European campaign. The race was going to be on par with a World Cup course with a very stong field of competitors. I was hoping that my last race of the trip would be a strong one.
1.2 – Fidea Classic, Tervuren
After pre-riding the course, I could tell that we would all be off the bikes and running within the first two minutes of the race which was good news for me as I like running in the mud. The rest of the course was filled with twists and turns through the woods, some small climbs and several sections of getting on and off the bike in the mud. I had a decent start position and was surprised to find myself running in the top five at the top of the muddy hill.
After I hopped on my bike, the fight for the top ten ensued as each rider tried to use their strengths and move past one another. A few riders passed me but I was able to pass a few more heading into the last lap to grab another 9th place and a second top ten for the week of racing!
That night we headed to the home of our friends Christine and Jonas along with our friend Lyne and enjoyed a home cooked meal and some local specialty aperitifs. It was a perfect way to wrap up the races and enjoy some socializing while watching the race coverage on TV too.
The following day we packed up all of our equipment and then Karlien and I spent some quality time scrubbing the mud out of my racing gear before putting it in her washing machine while Matt and Gijs went off to pick up some specialty beers to bring home. Later that day we headed to Turnhout, a town close to Arendonk. We explored the busy shopping district on the first day of the annual winter sales and had an amazing lunch at a tea house. That night we joined friends Luc, Heidi and Jasmien for another fantastic homemade dinner and relaxing by their fireplace.
On our final day in Belgium, we headed back to Ghent to return the borrowed equipment to the BMC Service Course. We took one last trip through Antwerp for some coffee at Caffénation and another lunch and ginger tea at Lombardia before heading home the following day.
Upon returning home, we awaited news of the US World’s Team selection. We settled back into our work schedules and a well-earned rest week for me. Late Friday afternoon I read on Velonews that the team had been selected and that I was not selected as a discretionary pick. Having missed the selection, I was even more thrilled to have had the opportunity to do four races in Europe the week before. And now it’s time to say a HUGE thank you to all of my sponsors, fans, friends and family for your support this past season. I could not have done it without you!
But we’re not quite done yet!
Please join us for the annual MM Racing End of Cyclocross Season Party on Saturday January 30th at the Ride Studio Café in Lexington from 6:30-10:00 PM for snacks, beer and maybe, just maybe some cupcakes! Bring your friends and let’s celebrate our succesful season together. So we know how many cupcakes to make, please RSVP.
We have lots of new and exciting things to share with you in our next newsletter, including awesome custom computers from Cateye, more sponsor spotlights, a great new sponsor and much more. So, stay tuned!
Thank you to our sponsors for their continued support: Bob’s Red Mill, Seven Cycles, SRAM, Mavic, Pedro’s, TRP, Fizik, Mad Alchemy, Bonfire Health, Challenge Tires, Thule, New England Athletic, Ryders Eyewear, CatEye, ClifBar and Lazer Helmets.
Thanks for reading!