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CROSS HAS BEGUN!

Our Euro man Dan Seaton gets his early season Hup going in Knesselare, Belgium.

GrassMoots racer Dan Seaton dives into Cyclocross season with hi-hopes and changes on the way. This year they will welcome a little one into the family to help cheer him on! Congrats to them, looking forward to a season of reports coming our way!….This week he writes in on his first race……

In Belgium recently the temperatures have been dropping, the rain falling, and the beer flowing, which can only mean that it’s that time of the year again: cyclocross is back!  The professionals here kicked their season off this weekend in Erpe-Mere, while the amateur season has already been going for a few weekends.

On Saturday we headed out to Knesselare, just outside Brugge, for the kickoff of the Flemish Cyclocross Cup and my second race of the season.  The day was cool and rain was threatening as we rolled up to the line (a huge improvement from the 90-degree heat I suffered in last week) and, with a lucky first-row call up, I was feeling good about my first real test of the fall.  Unfortunately, I squandered my good position by immediately crashing into the barbed wire fence that lined the course, but quickly rebounded and found myself in a tough battle with three other guys with whom I traded position for the better part of the race.

The toughest of these riders was another American, visiting Belgium from North Carolina and testing out the local ‘cross scene.  He consistently rode the whoop-de-doo section near the beginning of the lap better than me, but after a summer of the toughest training of my life, I was able to reel him back in on the course’s long power sections.  Having spent most of the summer riding on the road, my Psychlo-X and I were still getting comfortable with one another during the warm-up, but by mid-race we were back to carving turns and powering over hills like old times.

My wife and I are having a baby in about a month, so I knew going into this season it was going to be one full of new challenges, so I wanted to make these early pre-fatherhood races count.  And I think I did a pretty good job of it: I powered through the last lap and put enough distance on my three pursuers to roll comfortably across the finish unchallenged.  I managed to roll across the line just one spot outside the masters top 20, my best ever result at Knesselare, and I also held off my new American friend by 10 seconds or so.  All in all, a good day for me.

Through the woods and green grass…..I love the colors of Belgium….sigh…

Before I wrap this up, I’d just like to say a huge thanks to Moots for agreeing to support me and my racing again this season.  I really couldn’t do this without their help.  Here’s hoping that this is just the beginning of another great adventure on my bike — and, this time around, as a dad as well — here in Europe.

Lush fields of green and course marking tape…..Heaven or Belgium?

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