Super Prestige Round 2 – Zonhoven Race Report – Ian Field
Zonhoven has been on the Superprestige calendar now for 3years and it is a crowd favourite with the ‘stadium’ sand pit section where the atmosphere created is electric. You drop into the natural bowl areana from the top of a sandy descent, its steep the sand is deep and this leads to the quite frequent over the bars face plant type of crash the crowd crave.
People ask me the technique to dealing with such a unique feature… in all honesty there isn’t too much technique needed, carry speed over the top, aim for the rut, keep your weight back, hands on the drops and look to your exit point while trying to remain in the said rut. There easy.
Zonhoven is a cracker of a course but the start is awful for anyone not on the front row or even someone on the front row who misses their pedal. This lends itself to one of those races which is just going to be a battle royale for myself gridded on the third row. After the first lap I was way down in the mid 20′s a long way off the pace of the chase groups I need to be with let alone the front runners. However with my training and preparation actually based around this week of racing my legs really allowed me to move through over the next few laps 25th, 23rd, 20th, 19th were the calls from the pit crew. I was literally spitting distance off the bag of the group racing for 14th I was flying!
Just 15mins to go I thought, just as I could sense a top 20 in the bag boom the group ahead splintered into 1′s and 2′s and the pace really went up. I was left dangling for the remainder of the race hoping someone would come back to me. They never did and to add insult to injury the French Champ caught me with Thijs Al on his wheel on the last lap. I had nothing left having given all I had to give. 21st.
Another frustrating finishing position but a happier day as I know I rode well and given a fairer start I would have been right in the game. Having said that from reaction from pit crew and journo’s after the race they felt I had been very much in the race and the chase for a top 15. It’s nice when a ride gets noticed like that.
Next up is the Superprestige in Hamme.[nggallery id=10]