My season didn't start in one of the Classics (and how could it?) or even in a road race but it did start with what I have been calling a kermesse race. Wrongly so!
A few years back, I discovered Lakeside, a motor racing circuit which was used by the friendly HPRW for weekend races. The circuit is located in a very large open area, has a beautiful lake next to it (hence its name, I guess), and great views of fields and mountains from the top of the hill.
The hill makes the racing at Lakeside very different from the usual criterium races, run in short, flat courses around Brisbane. I started calling those races kermesse races.
This Sunday, I raced the Mt Cotton Kermesse, an official title for the race. It had more hills than Lakeside, a few more lefts and rights, great surface, bushland all around the circuit, yet I couldn't call the race a kermesse. Something was missing.
I looked up kermesse race and found this: "...general name for a bicycle race held on a short circuit of public roads, usually closed to other traffic." on my favourite Free Encyclopedia.
Don't take me wrong, it was a terrific event, a great circuit, the facilities were great and the organising club, WRRCC, did a fantastic job putting all together. There was also a small crowd yelling and clapping as bunches went past, lap after lap, which did bring a bit of life to the race. It just didn't feel very live, like a kermesse.
Perhaps, I started feeling this way after I watched the video of the final kilometres of the Gent-Wevelgem this morning. The road race went through open fields but then through streets of the city to the finish, looking so more... kermesse like.
My race was pretty much what I expected, a test and fun. I didn't have the form to contribute much and a miracle didn't happen in the 1 hour and 8 minutes that I managed to stay in touch with the bunch. One big effort up the last hill with a couple of laps to go sent me right to the back with a terrible taste in my mouth... I just cruised after that to make sure I finished in one piece.
It was great just to be racing with friends again and great to be part of the QSM team. There was a lot of support from everyone, specially from the QSM riders, irrespective of what grade you raced in. That was a live, warm atmosphere.
I can't wait for the next race!
Week Twelve (Base+race):
Time: 7 h 55 min
Dist.: 223.5 km