Payten Maness - Cyclist

Life is better by bike

Belgium

Heusden - Race Report

Today's race was in Heusden, a municipality located in the Belgian province of East Flanders.

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It was another Dames Elite Race, with a large field donated by the big teams. Having watched videos of the last 3 years races, it seemed pretty clear that the group would stay together and the pace would be high.

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I decided early on that rather than sit in and hope for a result, I might as well try for a break and see if we could get lucky!

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Well, the 1st one didn't work, so why not launch another!

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And again we were pulled back by the group.

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I decided for 1 last effort….
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….and agin was pulled back by the field. By this time I'd pretty much used all I had, but was able to hold on to the peloton and rolling with the main group. Another fun race here in Belgium!


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Dudzele Race Report

Today was yet another beautiful day for racing, and today it was a Dames Elite 100k in Dudzele. Dudzele is a beautiful little village located in Burrge. The race was fun, with a break of 8 forming on the narrow roads. The large teams were blocking well, so the lead had grown to near 4 minutes. We were able to put pressure on the break, and in the end were able to get within 12 seconds of the break, but just ran out of road. It was a fun day, and I was able to get some work in and stayed with the main group. Now, time for a few off days before my last week of racing here in Belgium.

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Erpe-Mere Race Report

Erpe-Mere Race Report

Todays entry is a bit of a traditional race report, but given that I finally won one over here, I thought I would share—

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Saturday we loaded up and headed to Erpe-Mere (Erpe-Mere, also known as Erondegemse Pijl, as the name suggests takes place in the Erpe Mere municipality, to the west of Brussels) for a 60k Junior race. In these races, the 15-16 and 17-18 race together, but are scored separately. This gave Sophie and I a chance to race together again, and as the only 2 Americans, we were out numbered by the large teams from Belgium and the Netherlands. It was about 50 against 2, so I liked our odds.
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I just kind hung in for a couple laps, got a little bored, and then made a couple attacks that didn't stick. I then followed an attack, and that one failed as well. There was a lull after we were caught, so I decided to go again, I was joined by Gabby Geiskens (15-16 rider from Netherlands) and then Brenda Goessens (17-18 rider on ISOREX from Belgium) joined us. Once we had an ISOREX rider in the group, I knew we would most likely make it, as ISOREX is a large team that likes to block when they have riders up the road and we had about 4 laps left.


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With half a lap to go another rider from Gabby’s team joined us, but she wouldn't work so that caused some chaos and slowed us down a little. I was stuck in a bad position pulling everyone to the finish when gabby came around me and started to sprint with 150 meters to go. I was able to get
on her wheel, and came around her in the last 25 meters and barely nipped her at the line for my first win here in Belgium!

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The scene on the podium was amazing and one I will never forget, and I got a huge bouquet of Sun Flowers and a Giant Belgian Beer! It was an amazing day of bike racing!


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And what would bike riding be without COFFEE!

Herentals Race Report

Herentals race report - Today was a really neat race in Herentals, and like most of the races here was part of a festival.

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I had a really fun time bouncing around on the cobbles here with the Elites, and had a great time just trying to hold on on the wet cobbles. As the race went on, the cobbles dried and the scenery was amazing!

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As you can see, the scenery here was amazing here was amazing! One rest day to follow and then back to back races! It's getting good over here!

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Belgium here I come

Loaded, packed and ready for my first trip to Europe…I can't wait!
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