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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

(Click for larger image) Cam Jennings of DFL Cyclingnews getting down to business
The 2007 team presentation in Holland
Photo ©: Malcolm Putman

Hitting the big time: The Team DFL-Cyclingnews-Litespeed diary 2007

With a bolstered squad including the acquisition of 2005 Gent Wevelgem winner Nico Mattan plus an upgrade to Professional Continental status, look out for the DFL-Cyclingnews-Litespeed boys pounding the pavé of the Belgian Classics and other high profile European races this season.

Follow all the adventures of Cameron Jennings and the gang as they battle against snow, cobbles and the lure of Belgian beer in their quest to reach the top tier of Continental road racing.

For further reading about the team, visit the DFL-Cyclingnews-Litespeed official site. To check out Team Cyclingnews during 2005 and earlier, visit the 2005 site.

May 9, 2007

Danish double drop

I think I have come to realize that I ride well on dirt/gravel roads. We traveled to Denmark for a double drop of racing over the weekend. Once again the drive up there was a fantastic 10 hour arse numbing ride. Denmark is a beautiful country with plenty to see, and by the way the girls are hot!

GP Herning, Denmark (1.1)

Today's race suited me with 16 gravel/sand/rock sections, each between 1-3km long. The first section was the worst, riders going everywhere in the soft sand/gravel. I think I rolled through the first 200m, then clipped out of the pedals fighting the bike and sand/gravel. I was out of the main group already - thought it was going to be one of those bad days.

Munge on the dirt

In summary, there was a group of nine up the road. Big Donk was there but was so unlucky - he had the first of five flats for the day. Dag was riding across then had a flat. So it was my turn, I attacked the chase group and five riders joined me down the road. After getting close to the lead group we started to lose riders over each dirt section, and then there were three.

We pushed on, each of us getting a flat, waiting, and then swapping off again. A group of 20 riders caught us with about 30km to go. This group was six minutes behind the lead group approaching the four 3km finish laps. Gil & Rudi (Directors) spoke to me over the radio: "If you get in the top 20 there is a beer in it for you." Also: "The race director may stop your group at the finish laps, you might only do one lap, so attack before you get there."

It didn't take long before I attacked the chase group with 14km to go, thinking they might stop us on the first lap, but no, they gave me the three laps to go sign. So I pushed on with another rider to the finish. I had to do most of the work - he was in the box!

At this time I didn't know I was riding for 10th place. In the last lap I could see the group of 20 riders catching us, the rider with me didn't want to give much of a turn so I just sat on the front and drove the last 1500m. No way in the world did I want the bunch to catch me. I turned the pace on with 300m to go and just got to the line before my legs exploded.

Did I get 10th?

So, 10th in a 1.1 is the best results for me so far, I was happy as was the team. Solid race, some of the dirt sections you wouldn't even take your full suspension mountain bike on. You have to see it for yourself.

After the best dinner in the great town of Arthus, the team was ready to race again.

Colliers Classic, Denmark (1.1)

Most of the boys were really keen to go well today with no dirt sections involved. Once again poor Big Donk had some bad luck - his SRM crank fell off. Not happy! This happened as Bjorn, Pablo and I were swapping off at the front trying to bring back some time on the front group.

The course was up and down with strong wind which led to fighting for the best position in the bunch as we were swapping off at the front. We heard a call on the radio: "no more work, Big Donk is off the back, lost a crank." Just as I heard this I got jammed in the fighting for the front, lost five spokes, wheel rubbing on the forks. Next thing I heard was Bjorn on the radio: "CSC has started swapping off."

Well that was race over for the Munge, legs were custard from the day before and I was trying to chase the CSC train from 200m off the back. Bye bye now!

Dag had a great race and finished 30th. Also, Pablo finished his first race. Happy man.

So the team had a good weekend in Denmark with some good results and great sights. Arthus is a great city which is on a harbour, if you are in Denmark check it out. Next race is in a week, Rheinland Pflaz Tour (Germany). Time to recover after another 10 hour drive home and prepare for the upcoming tour.

The other boys have just headed off to start Dunkerque on the 8th, good luck!

'Shake and Bake'

Kane 'Munge' Oakley