Omloop Van der Drie Dorpen

I don’t know what that means but the Event organiser had some notes that went like this

Organiser’s Notes – Undulating. ABCDEFGH 32m, (Start in age groups @ handicapped intervals, Overall & age group awards). THE ROADS FOR THIS EVENT ARE 40% UNSURFACED AND 60% SURFACED 25mm/28mm section tyres suggested.

That was me hooked so I entered.

Plans were hatched to upgrade the CX bike and so parts were ordered including Pave Tubulars which I planned to run on my CX wheels. I went with 24s not 27s not sure why but in the end it was a very wise move. It was wise because although Morgan put a shift in certain parts did not arrive in time so plan B was to ride the Tarmac. Again I can’t thank Morgan enough for the bottom bracket and other prep work he did to have me on the line well prepared.

The race email arrived and I looked at the couple of pictures of the course and I admit I just smiled and laughed a lot, more and more this was a race for me.

Course description: 5.5 miles with a 1.3 mile off-road section each lap except the last one which had a second 1.3 mile off-road section and climb to the finish. How hard can it be?

Waiting and chatting at the start as the handicap unwound I realised that although fast on the road I may have made a mistake with the tyre pressures, before you knew it the handicap had unwound leaving the 6 (not the 10 listed) A riders on the line.

Off we went and no issues for me on the road as I settled into our small group. At this point thinking 6 of us working together in a truce for a few laps and all that and then we turned onto this



Placing badly onto the terrain and bouncing before losing the wheels I struggled along the section looking at the abandoned riders already on the side I was thinking I may be there soon. As I hit tarmac my 4 companions, (yes 4 as I had lost someone as well) other As were gone. TT mode and very quickly I had them in sight. Those 120 PSI tyres were good now. I caught them just before the gravel section and we repeated the process but this time I was not so badly dropped. As a bunch it was obvious certain riders were happy to potter but as soon as I put a burst on everyone grabbed my wheel and on lap 3 as we approached the gravel everyone wanted passed the slow bloke. YES ME !!!! sadly for them I was getting a feel for the bike on the stones and dirt so had no trouble staying in touch, sadly for me this meant when the chap fell in front of me I had to evade him and ended up in the field where I promptly feel over. I pissed myself laughing but remounted and again set off to chase down the other 2 guys. Lucky for me they were not working hard as a pair and I was back in no time. The next lap nothing happened as we worked the gravel as a 3 but on the next tarmac climb Phil kicked. Initially I thought it was harsh as I had been working but I quickly caught him and we had dropped the crosser who was soft tapping on the front but far to comfy off-road. At some point two things happened firstly a loony in a white van caused us to take evasive action to avoid him and rain came down. As Phil and I approached the last lap it was obvious I wanted to push the pace on tarmac but he knew he was too strong for me off-road. Whooshed passed the bell down to the next corner and bang down I went, mud on the tyres, wet road, too much speed and lots of pain. I didn’t get up quickly but up I got, decided I was ok rolled the bike to the next bend and decided it was ok so onwards. I did after all have no idea on my overall position but knew I was 2nd in Cat. I rode as hard as I could with no chance of catching Phil but with no desire to get caught. In the end I backed off a little as I crested the hill to the finish.

The final climb all seated

The final climb all seated

I crossed the line bloody and bruised but smiling my head off thinking where do I sign up for next year.

Still not sure on the overall and 2nd from 6 starters doesn’t sound that impressive but this was a very hard war of attrition race and I rather enjoyed it.

I hope everyone who got injured is fine and that all the bikes survive, mine needs some TLC as do I.

Excellent organisation, great course, brilliant idea with the handicap, top job by the marshals. Where do I sign up for next year?


1 Response to “Omloop Van der Drie Dorpen”

  1. September 8, 2014 at 11:04 pm

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