I was hoping to find a race similar to the Vlaamse Weiler Federatie race I got 2nd at, to try and pull off a win before I came home. Unfortunately, the smaller competitions have all finished up now, so it was another tough race for me. The GVA Trophee, for those who don't know, is the highest level of CX race (together with the Superprestige) apart from the World Cup and World Champs. Belgium finally had the weather I was expecting in the last week, when we recieved a dump of snow on Thursday. Driving out to the race, I was skeptical of whether I could really be bothered. The temperature was saying -12 degrees, surely I'm better off leaving on a high with the amazing World Championships, than giving myself frostbite on a freezing Saturday morning. Arriving at the course there was a decent turn out of specators and racers, considering the weather, but it was certainly beautiful.
Pine forests surrounding a frozen lake, all covered in snow, with a blue sky. Very picturesque. Thankfully due to the cold, the course was actually very dry, and superfast. I rugged up to the max for the race, wearing long knicks, thermal undershirt, jersey, long sleeve lined jersey and a balaclava.
I rode 5 laps before being pulled, and got about 40 mins riding time. I beat one finisher, a Belgian, and was apparently consistently 30 secs behind the person in front. Not half bad, but nothing amazing. Still, it was nice to be able to race in the snow, and it certainly was a pleasant way to wrap up my racing. Ellen took some great photos of the race, and Jeroen and his friend Joni were on hand in the pit lane. Whilst I didnt end up changing bikes, I certainly appreciated their help.
**Unfortunately, due to the snow, we were unable to go to the beer festival! Devastating, but better than ending up in a ditch on the side of the frozen road. I'll get you next time Prime.