Thursday, January 18, 2007
Due to the recent blizzards in Denver my flight was cancelled and moved to Sunday (Christmas Eve) with an unexpected upgrade. I began my Euro Camp with some pre flight coffee and a croissant in my first class recliner at the very front of the plane. As it was my first time flying first class I noticed the level of hospitality and happiness in this part of the cabin was much higher. Thoroughly stuffed, I arrived in Chicago feeling better than ever but not looking forward to the 8 hour coach flight to Brussels. Thankfully the Chicago Brussels flight went better than expected with no delays. Geoff and his son met Danny and I at the airport early Christmas morning to pick us up and drive us to base camp where everyone was eating breakfast. As soon as I got there I unpacked my bike and went for a ride around town to get ready for my first world cup. There was something like 15,000 fans that day which is far more than any race I have ever done. The level of competition is very intense and the crowd involvement is incredible. The courses were set up to be technically challenging combined with the weather and sand it made for some amazing racing. Everything was done for us except race our bikes. Our hosts Ells and Noel were extremely gracious providing us with clean living and lots of great food. What an amazing way to end my first year as a cyclocross racer. My experience here has taught me a great deal of what’s required in both preparation and skills to be a competitive racer and I look forward to next year. By the way the chocolate and waffles really are that good!
Posted by Team TIAA-CREF / Clif Bar at 1:33 PM