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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.
July 10, 2007
Melle Pro Kermese, July 5
What a week it has been, great results and quality family time! My good week all started with taking the parents to Melle to watch the Kermesse, and me getting the unlucky number 13. After taking the piss and laughing at Worm for getting number 13 the other week it was now my turn. I am not superstitious and I don't pin it up-side down like most other riders do, so it wasn't a big deal but many others told me it was bad luck.
The race had its fair share of twists and turns and a few heavy rain showers to make it exciting. Hamish went up the rode early, so the DFL-Cyclingnews boys did some fine team work covering counter attacks. After some rain and 100km of the race gone, the lead group was caught. Pablo got caught up in a crash and threw himself down the road, a bit of skin off and some stitches never hurt our Columbian. The race split up coming into the last 2 laps, Skruf, Big Donk and I where in there. With a lap to go I attacked over the bridge, Darren Lapthorne (current Australian Champion) came with me. We worked well together to stay away from the chase, thanks to some good work from team mate Skruf. It came down to a sprint to the line; I fell a bit short and ended up second. It was a close race and great for mum and dad to witness my best result so far in Europe.
After the race we took a drive to meet Nick Gates and Andria for dinner at the Irish pub in Geeraardsbergen. It was good to be back in the Irish pub with Gat, good times had there. There is nothing like a good feed, some red wine and a couple of Gat's stories to make it a quality night.
Strombeek Pro Kermese, July 7
After an easy day riding to Punto for a coffee and some confidence from my last race I was pumped for a good day. I took my parents again thinking they might be the good luck charm. The sun was out for the start, 16 laps of a 10km course with 2 drags in it. The team didn't have anyone in the first break, so we had to swap off to bring it back. Hamish and I went with the first counter attack, a group of 13 formed out the front and this is the way it stayed for most of the race. Coming into the last 40km Hamish said "I want to start the games early today," and this is what he did! Hamish attacked off the front a couple of times but nothing stuck. I followed a few moves but it wasn't very serious.
Coming into the last lap things eased up a bit so I attacked, just like the last race, again one rider came with me. We had a little gap but he wasn't rolling through that hard, I couldn't do all the work and I think he was wanted his team mate behind to win. We where caught with about 5km to go. Hamish and I followed a few more moves to no avail, but then with three km to go two guys got a good gap on us before the windy overpass. Everyone just looked at each other and the gap grew to 200m, thinking I might just have enough left in the tank drag them back and set Hamish up for the sprint I cranked it up, caught the 2 guys up the rode and kept going hard until the last corner. With 400m to go, Hamish came off my wheel and started the sprint, holding on to get the first win of the season for team DFL Cyclingnews. I rolled across the line in 8th happy for Hamish and the team! It was good to be part of the win and have another good ride in front of my parents.
Sunday morning I rode in with Rhys to Leuven, where we stopped for a farewell breakfast for mum and dad, who were leaving to carry on their adventures with out me, while I travel to China, what a great way to start a recovery day, good breakfast, nice coffee and an easy ride home.
This last week has been great confidence builder for the team, before we head over to China for the Tour of Qinghai Lake on Tuesday where we are hoping for some strong results. Until we leave though, I will be enjoying a few easy days on the bike.
"Shake n Bake"
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Kane Oakley/DFL-Cyclingnews