SummaryRacePrepQualifyingRace1Race2NextRace - Pictures

RACE IN LELYSTAD, 14-April 2013
Pictures: Click here for pictures

5th out of 59 starters. Quali: 3rd. ~500 spectators
Great start into the year. Unfortunately I was not as fit as I hoped to be and I could not preserve my qualifying speed into race speed, but with a 5th and 4th race finish, I am quite happy and looking forward to a great year. I had many battles and action during the races, so it was really fun. Time flew by - the extra 5 minutes didn't actually bother me too much and worked rather to my advantage.
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Race Prep

Italy was the perfect preparation, unfortunately a really bad cold hit me right after that put me down for two weeks. Even afyter that, I couldn't work out and raceday was the first day really where I didn't cough anymore. Not ideal. Saturday before race, I went to the practice day in Lelystad and afterwards prepared the bike for the next day. Busy week. On raceday, weather promised to be ok, but in the morning, it was still drizzling.
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First two practices before my group were still really wet, but it stopped raining. It was tricky with the track. Just before qualifying, it was still too wet for slick tires, so I put the rain combo on. During the 25min, the track dried up more and more and towards the end, I found a good rhythm and bulit confidence on the dry lines. These were quite narrow, so you had to really stay on race line. It worked out great, I won my qualifying group! The second group had a further drying track and two fast guys were in there, so they posted a better time than me. This meant 3rd position on the grid.
Quali result: 3rd
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Race 1

I didn't have a good start and after some ellbow banging found myself in 6th position. We all were stuck behind a relatively slow rider up front. I gained one position up to 4th place after Olaf Harmsen made a mistake in the offroad. Then I reached the slow rider, the first three starting to get away though. So I tried a move in the offroad, but couldn't make it stick - missed a corner, got on the dirty part of the track and almost crashed! I saved it somehow, but lost my 4th position in the process... then I also got passed by Nicolas Decaigny who went down early in the race, so back in 6th.  After that, it took me again a few laps to finally move up to the slower guy and this time I made it stick (at the same spot, just this time I managed to brake in time...), so finished 5th overall.
Race 1 result: 5th
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Race 2

Second race same story, not a great start, again in 6th position, right behind Marco Jansen. I followed him closely and in lap 10 passed him for 5th position. Everything seemed settled, but then Olaf Harmsen crashed in lap 14 and I gained one position to 4th! This was a good development and I clinched this place. Good news is that I'm in reach of the front runners, so interesting races ahead. This season, we ride 20min plus one lap, so five minutes more. This is really a tough one... but the same for everyone of course. It requires some strength management.
Race 2 result: 4th
Overall: 5th
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Next race

The next race will be in Zelhem already next week. Traveling during the week will make it difficult for me plus I need to fix the exhaust system of the bike on race day, so fingers crossed that everything works out...
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Pictures: Click here for pictures