I started with slightly tired legs at Erpe-Mere, a race on the last weekend before the Boucle de l’Artois. Last Thursday I finished a serious sprint-training block, so that gave me some muscular tension in the legs.
We had to climb a hill (around a kilometer long) 14 times, so the mission was quite simple: make it a hard race! It was no problem with the help of some Belgian and foreign teams, who were present in large numbers. Pretty soon we were in front with 15 riders, and we quickly built a gap of a minute. Because of the tough climb the riders dropped out of the leading group one by one, until we were left with only five riders. Bjorn de Decker launched strong attack with 16km to go and then I countered him. For a moment I was alone at the front of the race, but some minutes later Björn attacked again and bridged up to join me on his own. In the last lap I tried to break Björn, but it didn’t work out. So we rode together toward the sprint. The last corner was a little less than 300m from the finish; I felt good and wanted to be the first out of the last turn.
After the bend I had a small gap, but I started my sprint too hard and was not able to hold it to the finish line, and Björn sprinted past me. I couldn’t do anything about it; Bjorn’s sprint was too strong this time. The next time need to play the finale a little bit different to be succesful.
You can find the results here.
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