Formed in June 09, Here Come the Belgians is a non-elite anti-team celebrating all things cross, cobbled and Belgian.
Seeking a different experience to the traditional cycling club, its aim is to harness the energy of a vibrant internet cycling community with grass roots racing and riding based around Cyclocross and Spring Classics. There is no race programme in the style of a racing team, more a collection of individual experiences through rides and racing, in whatever location a member may be, that all can share in and contribute toward.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Hit the North 4 - Consistency is Everything

I'm not delusional - I appreciate a lot of criticism can be directed my way with regard to my cycling abilities.  However, I'd like to put the 'lack of consistency' one to bed once and for all.  Regard the below Garmin Statistics from last years and this years Hit the North:

                                                                 HtN 2013              HtN 2012

Time (hr.min:sec):                                       2.14:46                2.18:00
Distance (km):                                              25:50                   26:70
Number of laps:                                              4                          4
Average Moving Speed (km/hr):                    11.9                     12.0
Best Pace (min/km):                                     1:40                     1:39
Position:                                                       174                      174

Bit spooky eh?

Photo: Ed Rollason
Last year I thoroughly enjoyed Hit the North, but this year I absolutely loved it - I thought it was great.  Great people, great course, great atmosphere and great weather.  In addition, and contrary to the above stats, I thought I had a cracking race - much better than last year - and felt much stronger and faster.  

My race essentially started with a lap or so of formation Team Here Come the Belgians riding with Laura Jolly and Belgian Brother Ben.  Thanks you two, loved whizzing through the trees.

Photo: Jonathan Jolly

Although we eventually became separated, and mid race I managed to pull a bit of a lead on them both, I always had thoughts of impending doom, and my mind uncontrollably took over.  With my little couch potato alter ego perched on my shoulder, sowing the seeds of paranoia, I set about trying to maintaining my lead.  Ignoring the taunts of:

"you're not fit enough to keep Laura and Ben behind you..." 

"Don't look now, they are just there..." 

"Those ARE twinges of cramp in your quads..." 

"You're gears are full of mud and skipping, you're going to have to stop and clean them out - oh and whilst you're at it, you may as well quit now because you're a looser..."  

I ploughed on!

I maintained my lead up to the last 500m or so when, glancing over my shoulder, I spotted Belgian Bro Ben!  OH NO!  100m to go he passed me!  I stood and stamped on the pedals but there was nothing there!  Cramp gripped my legs and my mud soaked gears skipped big time with a horrid CRACK!  CRACK!!  Perhaps my little shoulder dwelling imaginary friend had had something all along?

Oh well, after a valiant effort on my part I thought, Bro Ben pipped me to the line.  All credit to him... I suppose??  And anyway, I didn't really want to beat him - No!  What and ruin my consistent 174th placing record?  That's my excuse, and I'm sticking to it.

Photo: Jonathan Jolly


  1. Consistency wins races - just look at the World champs CX, that might be more lap to lap than year to year but the principle is surely the same :-> Sad to miss out this year due to lurgy - always a cracking event.

  2. Yeah missed you two. Next year will be here soon enough I'm sure.

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