Last week our investment analyst, Spencer Seggebruch, embarked on a trip to Belgium to partake in a series of bike races for Volharden, a development team out of Texas.
Spencer will be working remote for the next few weeks and will be periodically updating us on how he is performing during his time in Belgium, the first two race results are in:
Race 1: Deinze “Crashed”
Crashed in the first 50 meters. Did a cx style remount, and made it work. Got a nice “oooh!” from the crowd.
The race was fast. 5.9km lap, up to 114km. 7 turns, a roundabout, two lane split sections, and 400 meters of brick road. Much different from anything in the US.
There was a group of six up the road with about 40 seconds. I bridged up with one other rider. I skipped a few turns once we got there, the gap didn’t go out any further and it got brought back. My race was done at that point, sat in the field for a few more laps, and when they started to turn it up a notch I fell of the back for a DNF.
The race ended in a field sprint. The highlight was when a Belgian spectator asked me if I was “Spencer” and I said yes, then he asked if he could take my picture (without my helmet of course).
Apparently, the fans here are obsessed with getting all the “new guys” photos.
The results are here.. somewhere. https://cycling.vlaanderen/uitslagen
Race 2: Lichtervelde “A Good Race”
Today we went to Lichtervelde in West Flanders for a Kermis (there was actually a carnival at this one). 114km, race lasted 2:40 or so. It was a 6km lap that started in the city center and went out into the countryside on narrow farm roads. Registration is usually in a bar near the starting line.
The terrain here is pretty flat, so not much elevation change. 92 riders today, a little less than the 140 from Wednesday’s race. I can probably name all the races in the US that I’ve raced with that many starters.
Races unfold differently here than a typical American road race. They’re hard from the gun, and get harder. Today the average speed was close to 43kph (26.7mph). No cobbles today, but there were some interesting obstacles to navigate.
I had a good race today, finishing in 12th place. I was in the second group on the road, racing for 10th place. It was a little warmer than typical Belgian weather, I maybe went through 6 or 7 bottles. There are riders from all over the world here, English is the common language for the most part.
One of the neat things about these races is that they cost between 10 and 12 euros and you get 5 euros back when you hand your number back after the race!
Stay tuned for more updates during Spencer’s time in Belgium!