Team Cyclingnews.com - Down Under - 2004

XC World Cup #1 - CDM, Madrid, Spain, May 23, 2004

Pain in Spain

By Joshua Fleming

Hello all,

Just back from Spain, Round 1 of the World Cup. Important selection race for Olympics.

Race was held in a park about 3km from the centre of Madrid. Place was extra busy with the prince of Spain getting married. The police had the town shut down to all cars, which made it a little hard to get from motel to the course; they would not let us through on our bikes, so we had to take on the masses of people on the footpaths.

Weather on the day was perfect; I was looking forward to the race after coming off some solid training and racing.

Was called up in about 70th spot which is about seventh row on the grid. The course was fast with short climbs so I new it would be important to try to get to front as quick as I could to get in a fast group.

Off we went. Well, I think I got about five metres over the line when there was a mass pile up, and before I new it, I was on the ground with a few others looking back at about 80 guys crashing into me.

Finally untangled my bike; by this time I was back in about 130th spot. After a few stop starts getting around a couple more crash victims and lining up into single track on the first lap, I started working my way back through the field to finish 55th.

Was pretty disappointed with the race. Filip Meirhaeghe was the winner. Next week is Houffalize Round 2 of the World Cup, a very technical course in a hilly part of Belgium.

Looking forward to race.

Chat soon,
Josh Fleming



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