By Jacob Fetty
By Jacob Fetty
The nice sunny warm conditions that characterized last weekend's racing
turned into cold and rain for this contest.
The story began on the way to the race. A stomach bug had been
circulating the house and it bite me. Driving to the race I felt a pretty
noteworthy twinge in my stomach. I urgently asked Corey to pull over at
the next stop. Sure enough. Atomic explosion of the not so pleasant
kind. Get to the race, same story several more times, several more trips
to the WC. Interesting thing for me about venturing to France is that the
bathroom situation always throws me a curve ball. This time was no
different. The new addition for me was the block of soap bolted to the
I am feeling pretty cleansed yet disappointed. Not only is my tasty
breakfast down the tubes (literally) but i am obviously not in the best
situation to race. Oh well. That is racing. Things never line
up perfectly. I can at least attempt to make a good thing come out of it.
While pinning my number on in the changing room. I look around and
notice a gloomy frown on everyone's face. Then i look up and peer out the
window. I see why. The sky has darkened and a cold, soaking rain is
pouring down. Deep sigh. We hang around in the dry until it clears a
little. Go grab our bikes and try to spin around to get a little warm up
in. Boom! Rain dumps down again. Take cover. Five minutes
to departure and it has let up a bit. At least we dont have to begin our
day in the downpour (although it would rain heavily on and off throughout the
My task for the day would be to begin my day early and look for break away
situations. Hopefully get up the road and take the pressure of racing off
the other guys and while i am up there grab some primes and mountain points.
We roll of and action begins right away.
I made it a goal to get to the first noteworthy climb of the day in good
position. Since my computer was not working, a lot of luck and guess work
would be needed. Brian had done this race before and had given some
insight as to what the course looked like prior to the hill (a steep cobbled
one). Luckily i was able to sense the tension in the peloton as a
reference to where the hill would be. Then luck gave me a huge present.
I was first one on the climb. I pushed it in an effort to create
something. A Domo guy attacked me and left me the second place mountain
points. A few of us came together at the top but never really got anything
Finally a group goes away. Pete sneaks in the group with a good jump
and some nice bike handling threw a rain drenched 90 degree cobbled turn.
I take inventory of who is not in the group and await the counter attack.
Just like clockwork one of the teams missing the break sends a rider to bridge.
I latch onto him for a free ride across. We have 11 guy in this group now
and everyone begins working very well together. We drop two guys very
fast. Our situation is good. We have two guys in a nine man group.
Only the Flanders team and the Aussie team (Team Down Under) have missed the
group. I can not remember or spell the other teams in our break but i will
name drop that Domo was in our group.
We built and maintained a lead of 45-50 seconds for a little over an hour.
My computer was shorting in and out due to the rain so I don't know how fast we
were going but when it would short in it would read 50KPH and higher. We
were motoring. While out there i managed to take second on three primes
(although we find our after the fact that one of them was not a prime).
The Domo guy (who would win the race) made me look silly each time. The
guy was strong.
Once we got caught, RJ went with the counter attack. I was pleased to
sit in for a few kilometers and try to recover before attaching myself to groups
that tried to go across to RJ. My legs were aching and my stomach turning.
Ben was riding well and ripping things apart on the main climb, the wet
steep cobbled climb. For two laps i attempted to put him at the bottom in
good position. On one trip up the climb he rode away from everyone except
two Domo guys. The three of them would spend awhile in between the field
and RJ's group. The second time i tried to place Ben in good position was
the end of my day. I was spent, tired, wet, getting cranky, and my
stomach was killing me so i looked for the shortest way back to shelter
From here on my race summary is second hand and i would advice reading the
other guy's account on our website www.cyclingcenter.com
RJ would get caught. A group would get away. Matt would get into
a chase group. Both RJ and Matt were top 20 and Ben was 21st. Pete
gutted out the race and came in somewhere between 21 and 40. Brian got a
flat early at the worst time and it cut his day short.
As a team, we rode well and are excited because we know we can ride better
and are eager to do so.
Next up for us is a race Thursday in Kortrijk.
Thanks for reading
If you want to email Jacob or the other
team-members from the ABC-Aitos team, click here for Jacob,
Nick, Travis or Daniel.
Or you can also visit the Cycling
Center website (they have a guestbook now!) or the Cycling Center
hub at the Daily
(to be reached via the teams & riders link at the left) for more news.