So the race finally came around on Saturday. The first race in the cup series here in Israel, it was also an international UCI event. Not sure thats so great after seeing that everyone got underway yesterday in the Paris-Nice. Could be a thousand riders short if they go through with their threats. Lets hope that they can place their egos to one side and actually concentrate on the spectator's. All we want to see is riding without all the doping thrown in. Completely sidetracked there for a second so back to my race.
The start was slightly delayed playing on my nerves somewhat but as you can see i was pretty relaxed on the line and even got an interview in with the local sports channel. not sure if I'll crack the final cut so I'll just wait and see. They also decided, quite logically, to removed a hairpin turn coming off the tar after the start lap. This made the start lap alot less tactical as there was plenty of space on the hill to get a good position. I started really well and was in the front from the start and did not have to jockey for position near the middle before the single track that would tkae us all the way to the bottom of the loop.
I got to the bottom in first and then we started to climb. There was a strong wind on the open hill so that made things slightly more difficult but to tell you the truth I hardly noticed it as I was focusing on the guys around me. On the climb I lost a position and made the unfortunate mistake of letting the rider go. My reasoning was that he had gone to soon and I would catch him a bit later. By the end of the first loop I was about a minute down and realized my mistake. From there on in I was in chase mode.
I caught up to him within about fifty meters on the technical down hill. I could almost touch him and was certain I could keep it up on the climb. Every time I would get the gap to about twenty meters he would push a bit at the top of the climb and I would drop back again and need to chase. I had left it too late and once I got to the last climb I was basically on him but ran out of gas. I didn't hit the wall, it was simply a realization that I had let him go to far in the beginning. So my first race of the season that I didn't finish on the top of the podium. Can't say I was too pleased about that but you live and learn. On the up side though it means there will be a bit of a battle this year with him in the races. Our next race is in Arad in the south so I'm in serious preparation for that one.