Last Saturday at the Brompton World Championship Final it was time to put my legs to the test. Would all that training – one doesn’t simply ride to Norway – pay off or would I get lapped by the tough guys once again, just like last year?
One thing was for sure, unlike last year when I didn’t have any idea what to expect, I came prepared. Clipless pedals, check! Slightly tuned bike, check! Kojak tires, check! Another thing I had going for me was that I also participated in the Vienna, Barcelona and Monza BWC competitions. Not that I consider myself a seasoned rider, I’m definitely learning and improving each time I participate.
A faster unfold, faster laps, less rookie mistakes….
Who knows, if I keep it up, maybe one day I’ll be a serious contender racing for the prizes. At 40 years old – two more months people – there should be enough margin for improvement, right? Let’s race!
Good news, once again I would start in the first wave. Unlucky for me however, was the fact that with starting position number 106, I would never be able to tail the lead group. Nothing wrong with my unfold, but the top racers aren’t all that bad either now are they. After the unfold I had a fair share of ground to cover to reach the first group. I could see them maybe 20 meters away, but I never came any closer. My personal goal was a spot in the top 50 and I’m glad to say I succeeded. I was the 33rd rider to roll over the finish line, completing all 8 laps with an average of 38 km per hour. While it was raining ladies and gentleman!
While prepping the bike at home, I didn’t bother taking of the mudguards, something I maybe should have done! “But mudguards are essential when it’s raining” I hear you say! No arguments there, but I soon found out it’s no fun tailing someone without mudguards so I found myself in the lead of the second group more than once. My suit might have been ruined, I still had a great time.
I saw former winner Michael Hutchinson break away from the second group at break neck speed at a certain point during the race, but none were able to follow. Merely one round later, we again caught up with lonely Doctor Hutch. Chasse patate, mechanical problems or something else who knows, but not only did I manage to finish before Doctor Hutch, I also finished before Tour de France stage winner David Millar. Cheers to that!
All in all we didn’t spend as much time at the Brompton Hospitality Area as we might have wanted too, thanks to the British weather. Saying the weather on the big day wasn’t all that is quite the understatement. The slight drizzle we could easily manage, but when drizzle became heavy rain… Let’s say we weren’t particularly fond of the rain, ponchos or not! And at the end of the day, we – yes we, Team Small Wheels was present with 4 riders – we could still think of 5 to 10 things we could have done different. Things that in the end could have made a difference too!
Make no mistake about it, we had an absolute brilliant time in London and if we are lucky enough to be drafted again next year, Team Small Wheels will be racing again. And since I can’t wait all that long, I’ve enrolled for the Rapha Nocturnes in Copenhagen. Who’s going?