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We race tomorrow. Today was a chance to try the course again, test gear, try some bike changes. But first we had to check out the accreditations. Getting passes for riders and crew is much more complex at a World Championships than a World Cup, don’t ask me why. Photos were taken and passes hesitantly handed out to our dubious crew. The UCI doesn’t want riders ‘sneaking’ in their friends to these events, god forbid.

The rain had made some differences, corners were muddier, they had even added sand to one mud patch that made it boggier and harder to ride. I have never seen them alter a course after riders had started riding it before. The feeling I was left with wasn’t as positive as yesterday but it was still good. Dave and Bender were great in the pit and the bike changes were smooth (once we had established which side of the pits I was coming to) We had discussed with Paul from the Aussie team tyre choice yesterday, they were favouring the Grifos (an all-round tyre) and us the Super Muds (the ultimate in grip in the mud). We tried them out today. After half a lap of skating around I decided not to listen to the Australians any more.

After the practice I raced home to pick up Emma and the boys, came back, more accreditations and photos as we signed up Emma the soigneur, and then the end of the women’s race

Fun in the mud...
Fun in the mud…

We tried scoring some of the free cowbells that seemed to be floating around but they just were not to be found anywhere, tomorrow maybe. Bender went souvenir shopping at the BKCP tent instead (shaking of head while looking at the ground)

Once home I made dinner while Bender spent his second night in a row outside prepping bikes.

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On closer inspection…

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After we tested the bikes again again and enjoyed a Belgian sunset, complete with nuclear power plant in the background

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It should be dry tonight so we will head to the course early tomorrow to see if it has changed at all at the first practice. After that there will be a bunch of waiting. Dirk, the man who said no to a VIP ticket with Telenet so that he could bring his whole family to the race, will be coming with the last crate of Malteni (unfortunately neither Alex or William from Malteni could make it so there will be no resupply). For anyone reading this, if you would like to join us at the Team New Zealand/Malteni Stevens/Nichelson Bikes tents for a beer after you are more than welcome! We won’t be leaving until after the crate has gone, so hopefully by the time Sven is on his way to the airport with another rainbow jersey under his arm we will still be fending drunk Belgians off while we talk of good times…

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