May 14, 2005 – In the house where we are staying there was an air of anticipation as they waited to see how the visiting Canadians would ride in their first kermesse – Vlamertinge Kermesse in West Flanders, Belgium. Would we come up trumps or suck and look like poseurs? Often in cycling, particularly in Europe, you’re only as good as your last ride. Last night we were able to return home holding our heads high.
The guys rode well in the race, covering the early stuff and generally mixing it up. Zach Bell instigated the early move on the 3rd of 12 laps, taking two guys with him. They were going well and opened up a decent lead of 40 seconds or so, but with five laps to go were back in the field.
The impression, with Belgium being the heaartland of cycling, is that everyone is amazing, but just like at home you have an array of abilities such as the guy that can’t corner (like me somewhat in the rain yesterday), or who doesn’t know how to pull smoothly in the paceline, and finally the guy that is just squirrely and that you want to just put in the ditch. All of these types of riders were in the race yesterday, and with that realization I knew that the racing wasn’t all that different to competing at home.
With Zach’s break caught the attacks started again and the break of the race was established with four laps to go. I followed the right wheels and made the break, but have to admit that getting that break established put the hurt on my legs. For the rest of the race everyone worked smoothly, almost smoother than in any break I’ve been in.
The last 5km of the lap were into a headwind and it was here that the attacks started coming as we neared the finish. Each rider took their turn trying to get away and in the end one guy (Jurgen Deceunink of the Lombarden/Firestone) slipped away in the last kilometre for the win. The rest of us sprinted it out and I ended up 7th on the day. The Jet Fuel boys could come home with their heads held high.
13/05/2005- VLAMERTINGE (W)
(118,8 km – 12 x 9,9 km)
1. DECEUNINCK Jurgen LOMBARDEN / FIRESTONE 02:35:00
2. MC CORMACK Mark COLAVITA OLIVE :09
3. DEWULF David C.C. CAMBRAI
4. VERMEERSCH Stefaan MEZ TEAM BELGIUM- SNELLEGEM
5. GELDHOF David WIELERCLUB NEW HEEBRA-MOORSELE
6. LAPLASSE Goswin VZW WIELERCLUB “ONDER ONS – PARIKE”
7. RANDELL Andrew JET FUEL COFFIE
8. NAUWYNCK Stijn LOMBARDEN / FIRESTONE
9. COUCKUYT Nico DELSOL TEAM – HEULE
10. PACKET Wim W.C.” SOENENS-GERMOND” INGELMUNSTER
11. DEMEULEMEESTER Nick SPORTING CLUB MEERSE – KLUISBERGEN 1:10
12. LEVEILLE Stephane E.C. RAISMES PETITE FORET
13. PAGE Jonathan COLAVITA OLIVE
14. VANTOMME Rino JONG EN MOEDIG – ARDOOIE
15. DENECKER Serge W.C.” SOENENS-GERMOND” INGELMUNSTER
16. REYBROUCK Jonas CYCLING TEAM LISPANNE-DE HAAN
17. VAN LAECKE Giovani SPORTING CLUB MEERSE – KLUISBERGEN
18. DEBLAUWE Chris WIELERPLOEG CERDI-TEAM – INGELMUNSTER
19. LOUAGIE Lorenzo JONG EN MOEDIG – ARDOOIE
20. VANDENBULCKE Bruno C.T. EDL – PROLACON MAR – DJ.MATIC
21. DUMOULIN Mirando LOMBARDEN / FIRESTONE
22. COUDENYS Wesley RIJSCHOOL AH – GENTSE VS
23. DECLERCK Wesley WIELERCLUB NEW HEEBRA-MOORSELE
24. VAN ACKER Thomas MEZ TEAM BELGIUM- SNELLEGEM
25. VANNESTE Bart DELSOL TEAM – HEULE
26. CAPOEN Youri K.S.V. – DEERLIJK – GAVERZICHT
27. HAEDO Juan COLAVITA OLIVE
28. KNOCKAERT Roland VC Â´T MEETJESLAND – EEKLO
29. BELL Zach JET FUEL COFFIE
30. LIEFOOGHE Bert K.S.V. – DEERLIJK – GAVERZICHT