Blog: Charles Page (5th Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne)

Top Brit (5th) in the Junior Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, Charles Page provides an insight into his race

RST Cycle Clothing & Trigon Bikes

Blog: Charles Page (5th Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne)

Charles writes … This weekend was an exciting one with my first major road race of the season Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne.

After not completing last seasons Gent-Wevelgem after crashing out, I was keen to find some success this weekend even if that meant just finishing. After meeting the Culture Velo boys on Sunday in Lille at the Hotel we were staying at, we set off to the course in the vans for a race recce.

Just after we had driven over the second climb of the route, we pulled over to watch the Elite Omloop Het Nieusblad roll through before setting off on the bikes to start riding the course. It wasn’t until the Oude Kwaremont, that I realised where we were riding and the size of the race started clicking in my head – it wasn’t your standard Saturday Hillingdon Winter Series.

Race day was a surprisingly respectable 8 am wake up to get to the race HQ. After the usual pre-race set up and sign on, everything got serious as I took in the amount of riders around me and how many people there were hoping for a good result.

The race got underway with about 5km neutralised and these might have been the dodgiest five kilometres I’ve ever ridden. I have never leant on so many people, squeezed through so many gaps and held the hoods so tightly as I did for the start of the race as the route weaved its way out of Kortrijk and towards the climbs.

As no-one was really willing to put in any sizeable attacks from the start, unsurprisingly, the first few hills were very congested with only crashes dwindling the bunch.

This all changed at the Kwaremont as I expected. Going into it, I was too far back and had to weave my way through riders struggling on the cobbles. In what seemed like an incredibly long 2km, as my brain was being rattled around in my skull, a group of around 30 managed to get up the road. Being such a class field, this caused a minor panic about what to do next.

There was a point where I thought the race had gone and I’d blown my chance but it wasn’t until a solid 10km of chasing and after another 3km of cobbles to shake a sense of reality into me, that I saw the front group was easily catchable.

The group of fifteen I was with rejoined the front selection with 30km to go. At this point, all of the climbs had been triumphed and we were left with the flat run into the finishing circuit. Attacks now started, a few of which I was involved with, none of them were sticking though until four went up the road as we got the bell on the finishing circuit.

I didn’t fancy staying around for the bunch gallop as I knew there were some very fast riders in the bunch. Not that I didn’t trust my own sprint, but after seeing how seemingly easily the four had escaped and knowing the last 10km were tight and twisty through Kortrijk, an attack seemed like it would work.

Thankfully when I went, I was joined by another rider who seemed to be of a similar mindset. Working well we stretched the gap to 30 seconds on the bunch. We were slowly gaining on the front four, yet the kilometers were ticking down faster than the seconds were, leaving the two of us to duel it out on the finishing straight.

Thankfully my kick was stronger than his and I was able to comfortably take 5th, only 11 seconds behind the front four and with 40 seconds on the main peloton.

I’m incredibly pleased with the result and with how my legs felt through the race. The race was an incredible experience for me and has given me an array of things to take from it which I look to improve on.

Whilst early in the season, there is still a big thank you to all those behind me so far: TrainSharp, Culture Velo, Team OnForm and my parents. The start of a prosperous 2017!

Charles Page Blog Here




Send your results as well as club, team & event news here


Other Results on VeloUK (including reports containing results)

Other News on VeloUK

Tags: , ,