Dan Tulett Reports on his Koksijde World Cup Victory
Last weekend was the Koksijde world Cup in Belgium which I have been looking forward to racing in for over 4 years ! We arrived the day before and pre rode the course with Steve james and Ian Field. The course was different to anything else in the world. With a mixture of tarmac, sand dunes and grass/mud, we had a shortened course but I still rode the full course in practice. There was quite a bit of running, which was very tiring as you always had to be on top of what you were doing so you did not lose control whilst following the lines in the sand. That was probably what I found the hardest. Overall though I really like the course, it seemed to suit me with all its technical features.
Going into the race on the start line I was not very nervous because I knew who I was up against and never really expected much in the way of results – I was just happy to be there!
On the start line I was gridded nearly last, even behind some British girls! By the first corner I was already into second place. Myself and the Belgian champion broke away from the rest for the first couple of laps where on the third lap we were joined by 1 more Belgian.
At about half distance the Belgian champ crashed in front of me leaving me nowhere to go but into him – I went over the bars and onto the road. When we both got up we were in 4th and 5th and we had quite a lot of time to gain. Going through the next couple of laps we slowly made up ground, but I didn’t make it back to the lead two containing the Belgian champ until somehow with two laps to go I found them within catching distance on the finish straight – I dug deep and crossed the gap to them.
Going onto the grass straight before the tarmac finish I was lying in 3rd wheel. I rode through to the front deciding to lead it out. Going round the last corner he tried to come around me, but we were so evenly matched with the race only being won in the last 10 meters.
I couldn’t believe what I had just done. It felt unreal standing on the top step of a world cup podium. It would not have been possible without the support from Hargroves Cycles, Specialized, Prendas and my Dad. Thank you all for the support that was given on the day.