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« Za Trip: Thursday January 17th - The calm before the storm | Main | Za Trip: Tuesday January 15th - A wet rest day in Amsterdam »

The Wed Morning Cross World Championships...No 12 BELGIUM EDITION!

Place: Tongerlo, Belgium

That's right Boulder 'cross fans! Dubba and I dragged the crew out for a TRUE international edition of the Wednesday Morning World Cross Championships - Belgium Edition. Today in our ranks we had Two US National Champions (Dubba and Kathy Sarvary (50 to 54), a few Masters hard men (Me, KP, and our new friend Dave) a master US 'cross course builder, frame builder and race promoter (Tom Stevens) and one of the 3 Canadian representatives to the Trevisio 'Cross Worlds and our house mate, (Osmond Bakker). Truly and international crowd.

We started our day in Blauberg and pedaled the 10 or 12 k to the sporting complex in Tongerlo where a cross was held a few weeks ago. Weather dot com indicated rain (as always but we hhevn't seen a drop. In fact it's the perfect temp and tackiness out today.

We show up and with Os' help, reconn our course. This is not your average Elk's club, Boulder-ites. This is tight, twisty, wooded, bermed and slick single track with laid down trees for double speed barriers, open speed grass sections. Absolutely fun.

After the reconn and course set up, we shed the big coats and get our race faces on. JUST like home, Dubba calls out... "New England start, folks. Could happen anyti...GO!" We're off. I uncharacteristically blow a chain off the cassette at the start and have to literally stop and put the mo fo back on! I bite the handlebars to motor and bridge up to KP and Dubba. The Os has clearly been racing in the Super Prestiges and World Cups during his time here (he's got Hoogerheide coming up this weekend so he can thank is for chasing him today) and was off to the races. Brandon dispatched KP and I mid way through and attempted to bridge with KP and I doing our groove thing through wooded single track. Epically fun. We can OFFICIALLY say the Wednesday Worlds has gone international.

So, just to ensure things felt EXACTLY like Boulder, as we are kitting back up with jackets, an official looking lady comes trudging across the field and starts talking to us, indicating..."You know, this is private property and you need a reservation to use the sporting facilities here." Just like home indeed. Classic.

We then did some tempo work for a bit through this insanely muddy/forested trail network, then back out on the roads for our ride back to Blauberg.

Some digies of the people from the Wed Am Worlds ride. No vids today folks, SORRY!

Kathy, Dave, Tom, Dubba, Osmond, KP
Mmm. Tongerlo Brewery.
Os getting off the goo
Look ma. I'm in Belgie.

And it wouldn't be a Wednesday Worlds without a solid review of the "Bikes of the Wednesday Worlds - Tongerlo Edition":Dave's Colnago C 50 bling back in ints native habitat.
KP's Scott Team with Dugast Typhoon 32's

Dubba's Time machine
Rock Lobster B in za haus
Os' Stevens Team Carbon readied for the Hoogerheide WC this weekend. He'll probably opt for team issued Easton Carbon wheels with Challenge Griffos glued on.
Continuing on the carbon theme, Os uses Harrie's beautiful Spooky Carbon brakes with BBB holders and SwissStop yellow compund brakes.
Unbreakable Dura Ace with 46 x 39 with a 12 x 27 in the rear. Everyone runs double rings here as you would expect to ensure that low end gearing is available in deep mud while the big 46 serves like a road big ring as most of these courses are grass crits.
And of course Dura Ace with Easton bits rounding out the cockpit.
My experience with the TRP EuroX Carbons has been FANTASTIC. The coupund of the brake pads is different than the SwissStop yellows I use. Not as gummy as I thought but they modulate well when heated and make a sort of nylon on nylon sounds when hard braking occurs. They can stop my big carcass just fine.
The Rock Lobster A ready for war this weekend.

We showered up and had a destination in mind: 4 Bikes in Westerlo. This shop apparently is the bizomb but we wanted to go in and see for ourselves. It definitely had all the bling with one of the most immaculate service bays I've ever seen. KP and Dubba are hooking up the free cappuccinos from the Saeco machine when suddenly, out of the corner of my eye like a shiny Gnome all dressed in white:
The limited edition Selle Italia Flight saddle. Hmm. Looks like I'll be back on Selle's next year as I gave up hope in the US trying to find any of the white goodness. Oh, and check out the ka-bling shoe covers I scored. White sex to cover the white sex.

Lastly, house owner Jocelyn and our old friend Rachel Lloyd showed up to say hello and wish us luck. Rachel is prepping for Hoogerheide this weekend and the Worlds in a few weeks time. Go Rach!

That's it for Wednesday folks. Living the dream here in Belgie. Mol this weekend and it is going to RIP!


Reader Comments (8)

very, very entertaining!

I love how you call yourself a hard man!!! UNPRO as you say but that's ok, we all slip up now and again;)

January 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

OK, I'm taking liberties here: If you are still training in the rain and piss and mud and racing with elbows in your face, I will do the mea culpa to you. Maybe hard man is not the right adjective for me these days. Maybe crusty beeatch is better!

January 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterGreg

Hey Greg,
don't let some wannabe dilute your
high. With all the sh** you had to work around this season, it took hard detirmination to make this happen & follow thru !
good on ya !

had a decent waffle yet ??


January 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

sickness Greg. especially easy to say as I type this when it's -5 here in Breck. i was wondering why Euros all run double rings. with the exception of some big gaps b/w gears, i still have a good range with a single 42 and a 13x29 10-sp cassette. the gear inches aren't much diff on the extremes, but there are some gaps to deal with. my next cross race will be in March in Eagle Co., hopefully.

January 16, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterjeff

Today I ate some Belgian chocolate in your honor. Fly my brother!

January 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Love your blog. I like staying in tune with different 'cross scenes and your blog is a good window into what'z going on in the Boulder/Denver area. Every year I think about doing cross masters worlds but just can't rise from the dead come january. You've got the plan down by going over and hitting a bunch of local race before that one race to make the trip productive. I sure wouldn't want to fly 1/2 way around the world for one 60min race either. Currently I only get across the pond once a year and that takes up most of my vacation days. If your interested, check out my blog at and link to my Belavita Italian Vacations side project. Keep hammerining over there and throw some elbows back! Ciao

January 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMark Studnicki

What is the world nevertheless small..!!!I visit your web blog thanks to your fellowmember John Bevans,of whom I have got the address. Previous year I stood with him during the cyclo-cross world championship game in Belgium.
I wish you success during the races and especially a pleasant stay.
Drink especially not too much beer...!
I continue visit your web blog regularly.

January 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

He folks! Thanks for the notes....ESPECIALLY Bevans buddy! Great to meet you and I will take all of your advice EXCEPT the not drinking too much beer part.

January 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterGreg

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