The Margin

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Tour De Finance: Biking in Belgium (Part 2)

Spencer has been doing a wonderful job working remotely and has given us another batch of updates.  If you missed the first race summaries you can find those here.

Race 3: TOP 10!!

There was a heat advisory today, high of 86F.  I was begging for 86 degrees about 2 weeks ago in St. Louis.  The race was about 17km from our house, 25 min drive.  A smaller field today, 50 or so riders.  Not bad for a Monday afternoon.  The race unfolded as usual here, attack after attack, get caught, attack again.  The course played more of a role than usual with a decent amount of elevation gain. 75 meters per lap for 13 laps of nearly 9km each.  The average speed was a little slower, 39kph, and took a little longer, nearly 3 hours.  About 30km into the race I was in a group of 11, the first group on the road.  Primes were offered to the first rider across the line on every lap, I managed to pick up 10 euros from one.  The group eventually made some selective moves and I found myself racing for 9th with 3 laps to go. I beat the riders in my group for my first top 10 here in Belgium.

Race 4: Bugged in Belgium

Caught a stomach bug and missed my 4th scheduled race, spent 20 hours in bed instead, then spent the next 24 hours trying to load up for the next race.  The weather finally broke and now we’re seeing highs in the 70s, little bouts of rain here and there, and a nice “breeze.”

Paige is here with us now, she just finished up her law school career with the Missouri Bar Exam last Tuesday and Wednesday.  Yay!

Race 5: Back on the Bike

Erpe-Mere Bambrugge 1.12B. 20+ turns on a 7.5km loop.  A few features included a short but noticeable 20m stretch of cobblestone, a few stretches of single lane farm road, a highway, residential streets, and some carnival game trailers.  This was a relatively flat course with 327m of elevation gain over the entire 114km.  There were 130 starters.  The race was fast, the average speed was 43kph for 2h45m, including a section of 65kph+ on each lap.  After 80km of a mostly single-file, strung out field a split of 20-ish riders quickly gained 30 seconds on the field.  I spent a good amount of energy trying to work to establish a group in the first half of the race and was at my limit when it went.  A few late attacks went on the final lap, but they were caught before the finish.  I stayed towards the front of the field, finishing in 29th place.

Our house is basically in the middle of the Tour of Flanders cobbled sections and climbs, so I’ve been trying to take as much of those in as possible in between racing and sleeping!  4 more races to go.