Peter Merritt reporting on his weekend trip to Belgium:
On Sunday 5th May, I went out to Belgium for a couple of races with Team Manager, Jason Nind. The first race was the Heule 1.12B Kermis in West Flanders. The circuit was flat, exposed, technical, and conditions were windy. We had 11 laps of the circuit to complete for a total of 106km (66 miles). Midway through, a breakaway established itself. Due to the open nature of the circuit, the break was never out of sight of the peloton, which encouraged many counter-moves attempting to bridge the gap. I got myself into multiple moves off the front, only to be apprehended by the pursuing peloton on every occasion. With 2 laps to go the peloton started to splinter into different groups and I maintained as frontal a position as possible in order to avoid being on the wrong side of a potential split. Unfortunately, on the last lap, as the weather went from sunny to heavy rain, I crashed on a particularly slippery corner. By the time I’d got back up it was game over. I hopped back on the bike and rolled in a minute behind the peloton for 66th place.
The following day, I lined up at the Sinaai 1.12A Kermis. 15 laps of a flat and very technical 120km (75 mile) circuit, featuring a 500m clinker section. The level of the race was higher than the day before, with multiple UCI Continental teams from Belgium and Luxembourg competing. After my tumble in Heule, the sensations weren’t great and I spent the first hour not doing much in the hope that I would warm into the race. About halfway in, with a breakaway having still not been established, I got stuck in and tried making it into a successful move. Like yesterday though, nothing stuck and I missed the winning break that got clear of the bunch in the latter laps of the race. With nothing more in the tank, I couldn’t do much else other than stay in the wheels. I finished in the peloton for 44th place. A hard couple of days that didn’t go to plan, but as ever, a great experience to be back racing on the continent