08-10-2021 | Luc Nouwen

World Cup blog: cake, rain and a shortened course

Luc Nouwen is competing on behalf of CycloWorld (and Belgium) at the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships in Sarajevo and nearby areas. In a series of blogs he tells about his adventures.

The day after

It's Thursday, October 7th: the day after the time trial. I slept badly: full of adrenaline, rode the time trial again about twenty times, shot awake when I virtually smashed into the ground in the descent, the dark hole in the tunnel ... Yet wonderful such a hobby where you first exhaust yourself in training, then go through a fairly nerve-wracking preparation to get everything perfect and finally a bad night's sleep. It's hard to imagine that in the meantime gas, oil and electricity prices have gone through the roof, wars are raging and the climate is doing the craziest things. With my solar panels, electric car and fuel oil purchased at a reasonable price, I can put the former into perspective. And the fact that they all fly to Dubai to debate the climate obviously eases my conscience.


My hostess Marjana loves to bake and since the kids are out of the house (one in Leiden and one in Frankfurt!) she likes to take the opportunity to spoil me with high-calorie pastries. Since I had not had dessert in the restaurant last night anyway, it was of course "gefundenes Fressen" as they say so beautifully in German. The weather forecast continues to predict freezing temperatures for the last 7 km climb to the finish in Jahorina on Saturday (medio fondo).

Yesterday evening suddenly an email came in from the organization: the course of both fondos will be shortened due to the bad weather: even snow is not excluded. For the medio fondo only the flat lap will be taken, followed by the climb to Jahorina. This brings the total to only 66 km. The gran fondo has also been shortened and now counts 100 km.

"Sisu" say the Finns: strength and perseverance I will need to devour the 66 km with 1000m+. I would have liked to bring out the Irish thanks a million to thank Marjana, but outside the evergreen island the expression is not so well known. Meanwhile, it is desolate in Pale. It has been raining all day. The gravel road to the apartment has turned into a big puddle. Jus going for short spin could give you pneumonia.

We make "mysigt" (cozy, snug) in Swedish fashion with an English cup of tea with honey. The Spanish (one of my many former home countries, in addition to Sweden, Finland, Germany, Ireland, England and Magyarország (Hungary)) bowled out the Italians in the Nations League: viva España!

We are already looking forward to the Belgium - Spain final. Just have to get rid of the French... (postscript: that unfortunately didn't happen...) It was hard to choose between the European track cycling championships in Switzerland and soccer. I love international events, as my Finnish better half and my three children, who were born in Germany, Belgium and Ireland respectively, attest.

In any case, my outfit for Saturday is ready: Belgian colors, Dutch website, Italian pants and arm warmers!

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