2016 World Championships are now finished and I’ve recovered enough to find the energy to write some kind of summary of the experience. Thing is that just the long journey, 3000 kilometers on the highways taxed me quite a lot. But still, it was a great experience, I learnt a lot and I enjoyed a lot!
As always, everything is never perfect. The race organiser could have done some things a bit better: I was missing a small competitor prepping info before each race - how to start, how to exit after the race, how to pass (exterior or interior line for a faster rider) etc. I also found somewhat problematic that the announced starting times were not followed at all and that the race announcements were 98 % in dutch.
More serious problems concerns the final results - at the time of writing, 4 days after the race, official results are still hidden, we participants have not received any information of the results and the race web site has been modified to advertise the next year’s event. This is is a real no no for media interest - secret race results! If you are willing to tackle through dutch web sites or some web forums, you may find links to the “race results” which are just scratch lists, no categories, no age groups. And even then you will find two different versions of the results of the 3 h race. One might be the correct, official one, the other is something else.
Saturday - one hour time trial
To put it bluntly, the one hour TT was a disappointment. For a reason or another, I did not feel well. My body was not responding normally and I do not know why. Maybe it was because of the long journey or the coldness, but whatever, I didn’t have legs.
I started my race 20 minutes before the scheduled time because “you can start when you want”. That was not a problem, but to know when and how to stop, that was a real brainer: no flag, no indication of any kind that the official one hour is now gone. I trusted my own timing and put one more lap just for the peace of mind and then left the track through the grass. I had finished the race with 35.2 km/h average speed.
Saturday - 200 m fastest lap at indisde velodrome
In this race everything went quite desperately. I had been given a starting time of 17:40 and I was still napping in the hotel around 15 hours, when my friend Tero announced via SMS that I should come to the track - they are ahead of the schedule. So I drove to the Wielercircuit and, with the help of Tero, carried the trike inside the velodrome. The race operators were friendly hurrying me to the track “just keep your line above the black line”. Without seeing anyone’s example, I hit this more than 45 degrees inclined, 200 meters short merry-go-round. Lost my sense of direction almost immediately, was scared like a duck and could not force my brains to ignore the obvious danger of crashing the “wall” immediately in front of me - that’s how it felt at least. I started to feel sick pretty soon (not a surprise) and exited the track early on with a somewhat ridiculous average speed of 44.4 kmh.
Sunday - 3 h race
Sunday was a good day! Legs were back in business and I enjoyed riding with all my heart.
I started the race a bit conservatively as I wanted to finish the race without total bonking and as I remembered my feelings from Saturday. Pretty soon, however, I realised that this day is different, my legs and body are “in normal state”, so I started playing around, drafting, accelerating, riding like you ride when the clock is ticking.
I had prepared almost 2 litres of Overstims endurance drink, which I also almost totally consumed, together with two energy gels, as I had planned to ride without stopping, which I also achieved. I had good feelings up to the 20 last minutes - I even tried to follow a velomobile and a semi-faired low-racer, only to realize that there is not much to gain by drafting these guys.
Two hours seemed to be some kind of culmination in the race: many riders slowed down remarkably and I found myself being relatively stronger, which helped to carry me over the final laps in good mood. I think the last hour I rode almost totally solo as the track was filled with riders which were either faster or were slower than me.
I finish third in the trike class, first in Masters age group (maybe, the results?!?) with 35.4 km/h average speed - a bit faster than in one hour race.