small dutch town (google Bakel Holland), and the whole town is out to watch.
INCREDIBLE course, so much fun. A bit of everything. Grass, pavement, single track, 2 sand sections including a brutal run up.
The sign up process is simple. Turn in your UCI license, get a number for 5euro, go get warmed up. I get a few laps in, but wish I had 1-2 more as it is tricky. Finish w/ a few hard efforts on the road and head to the start. Today we race with the amateurs as there is no 35+ masters in Holland. There are some fast dudes...you can just tell.
My start sucked again, not sure why. This time on a long straight road, into the woods in about 25th or so. I stay patient, pick off a few dudes, and catch Greg at the end of lap 1 on the pavement. I make a hard dig and tell him to jump on..
After that I am sort of in no mans land chasing a guy who I think is 15th place. W/2 to go I have about 10 sec gap from him and plan to make up 3-5 sec that lap then drill it the last lap. Except I make 2-3 mistakes in the tight twisty's and loose a few seconds. DAMN. So I get the bell lap and DRILL it, its only 10 min of hurting right? The guy is coming back and after the BIG sand run up I am ~3-4 seconds back...I have his bullseye in my sights.
I chase like mad till we hit the pavement, he looks back, sees me, and punches it....good for 16th place and another 5 euro pay day.
With perfect weather, a GREAT course and friendly dutch folks (who almost all spoke english) it was a GREAT cross day. If I come back to this area someday, I will do this race for sure.
Train well, be well.