The season has started and I’ve participated in my first race in the BEAT jersey during the European championship at Scheveningen. The winter races will lay the foundation for the rest of the season, and this season is going to be very important because I want to grow as a rider and earn my place in BEAT’s future professional team in 2018.
It was my first beach race of the winter. At 9:30 a.m. we started, with 160 elite riders lining up for the 54km race taking place over two 27km laps on the beach.
My starting position (fifth row) was not optimal, but the start was good (see the video by Sam). After a serious effort, I managed to catch up with the leading group of 14 men. I tried to recover in the slipstream as much as possible before we had to climb the dunes in the loose sand, but the other riders were too strong and I had to let the leaders go during the uphill run part.
I kept my own pace and picked up two other riders from the front group. Just before the entrance to the finish, through the loose sand, I made contact with the chasing group. I sprinted with the Dutch champion, Thijs Zonneveld, for 12th place. I was too tired, though, and finished 13th.
I didn’t accomplish my goal of finishing in the top 10, but I’m not disappointed.
I hope to improve my running condition over the next few weeks, and if I’m successful I want to fight for the podium at the Egmond-Pier-Egmond beach race on Saturday, January 7.