Race Report: Acht Van Chaam

Another day of hangin' out with my old pal Marianne Vos. Acht van Chaam was another post TDF race with LOTS of fans. Even Froome showed up to race, these folks get REALLY into it. 


  • Quinoa
  • Tuna
  • Red Beans
  • Avacado
  • Egg


  • Rice
  • Burger Patty
  • Mixed Veggies

This time I got in a solid warmup. I also got a little lost on my way back, and I had to pee. I decided to hold it until after the race and lined up in the back. I was annoyed that I was starting so far back, but prepared myself to fight my way to the front immediately. 

They fired the gun and I started making moves. It was a bit of a neutral rollout, but everyone's elbows were pointy, so I followed suit. The car moved out of the way and there was a surge. I was in the front. GO MCGOWAN GO! I tucked into a good spot and tried to hold my position.

A few break attempts happened, but I was sitting pretty next to Marianne and Anna van der Breggen. I figured I was doing fine where I was. Until eventually I got caught behind a wheel that was gapped going into a massive headwind out of a turn. UGGGGH. 

I didn't think I could close it. I didn't even try. I decided to be patient instead. I stuck with the pack. We made a couple attempts to close the gap. Every now and again I'd find myself slipping behind to the part of the group where the accordion effect made the race way more work. I moved forward again.

I followed a move in the home stretch where there was no wind but the ground was covered in plastic beer cups so I didn't want to take my chances of sliding out going top speed into a turn. I slowed a bit and we caught her after the turn instead. The spectators were mostly drunk and rowdy. It was super fun minus the literal trash all over the road.

The race was 60k. This length feels fairly normal now. At around 4km the course was longer than most crit courses, so that was nice. More space, less technical. 

With two laps to go, we caught some women who were detached from the break. Things got chaotic really fast. I fought my way to the front trying to get a good position in the final lap. Then I turned into Meek McGowan and let the other women push me around and out of position. It was my own fault. I had the legs, but I let my guard down. 

I was frustrated and disappointed in myself. It was almost as if I gave up on the race before it was even over. I didn't fight to the end. I snapped out of my fog in the final stretch and sprinted the last few meters of the race. 

I finished in the money, but I am so mad at myself for not doing everything I could. I've done this in the past, and it always leaves me feeling inadequate and unworthy. Yes, I was there, but I wasn't present. 

Today we tackle the cobbles in Belgium against CX champion Sanne Cant. I'm asking for Black Jesus to be whatever technology helped Michael Jackson pull off that mean lean in the Smooth Criminal video. 

What did I learn:

  • It aint over till it's over.
  • Don't ever get complacent, the situation can change at any second.

Goals for today: 

  • Don't be intimidated by the cobbles
  • Don't be intimidated by the locals
  • Don't get complacent.