Canada House in Holland New Year’s Eve Update

Provided by “Heemer” Heemskerk

Hello Guys,Last night we got back from a nice Belgian trip!
On Thursday we left the House and I drove the van to Zolder for the World Cup race where Brian and Andrew were going to race for Canada. We pre- rode the fast course and then attended the manager’s meeting to pick up all our stuff. I had to act as the team manager, which I actually was for the boys in the Espoir race, and bid on the pit box, got the passes, changed the hotel address, talked to the Dutch National coach etc etc.

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The race was not bad for a first big race for the boys, they started in the back and pretty much rode the race in the back, lots was learned and has to be learned. A good boost for their fitness levels.

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2 days later we all started in Diegem (Super Prestige UCI 1). Both Brian and Andrew in the Espoir race and myself in the night race. Andrew started really well and rode in the top 10 for a few laps and then proceeded to blow his engine.  Brian rode more consistently and finished the race on the same lap as the winner: Walsleben who also took the World Cup last Friday.  My race was a disaster: I had great legs during warm up and felf confident but right at the start a rider hit the fence and bounced back into my front wheel…a loud crack, most likely my carbon front wheel and I missed a crash by a hair.  Result was that I had to chase back onto the main group dead last at that moment…..I passed about 15 riders and was back into the race and next I crashed really hard in a gravel corner damaging my knee and loosing some skin on the race course: DNF.

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The next day we all started in Middelkerke (UCI 1) and we all raced together in the same race.  Again there was a huge crash and I narrowly escaped another crash which took out 10 people!  I had a good race and finished 24th 4 min down from winner Sven Nijs.  Brian broke his seat post and Andrew flatted his front tire and crashed…both DNF-ed.

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The following day we all started in Loenhout (GVA and UCI 1) both Brian and Andrew in Espoirs and me in the ELITE race.  107 Espoirs lined up and both Andrew and Brian had to start in the back…..lots of time lost already while clipping into the pedals.  Andrew flatted again and we really need to work on his smoothness on the bike 🙂  Brian finished the race 1 lap down and it was good to see him getting another race into the legs and boosting his fitness.  My race was OK.  Nothing special except for the start where again 2 riders went down hard right in front of me.  I seem to be a magnet for crashed right in front, or right next to me…..it really starts to scare me now since the guys are totally nuts in the area where I have to start my races – a danger zone.  One of the guys, Jempy Drucker, riding for Fidea was taken to hospital with a broken collar bone.  Again I lost quite some places because of this incident and finished 48th right behind Derrick St John from Canada.

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All course were marked by fast conditions and sketchy icy corners and not really my thing, although I live in Canada for 4.5 years now.   Starts have been crazy with quite some crashes and that’s the most scary part right now.  My knee is in pain and has got a little hole in it but I was happy to be able to race again and with only a little bit of pain after the crash in Diegem.

Now we are back in the House for the next few days recovering from 4 cross races in the past 5 days..IMAGINE!! (Editor’s Note – THAT’S TOTALLY AWESOME!!!)  Every race had about 15,000 PAID (10 EURO’s PP) spectators showing up and those Belgians can be really loud, next to making fun of the people racing their brains out in the back of the field.

 

I am in the airport right now waiting for my lovely wife Debby.   It sure is a busy life racing cross right now.

thanks and have a good NEW YEARS EVE!!!!!

-Tim “Heemer” Heemskerk

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