It’s weird to think that Silvelle used to be a Superprestige venue. As I learnt about it yesterday, it was part of the Superprestige calendar between the 1994/1995 and 1999/2000 seasons, won by Paul Herygers (94/95), Daniele Pontoni (95/96 & 97/98) and Sven Nys (98/99 & 99/00). So the choice to go to Italy for the European Championships suddenly didn’t sound that random anymore.
The course itself first seemed a bit boring. But after a long week of heavy raining, it turned it into a rather challenging day of racing. But the challenges didn’t end there. In the name of equality (I’m all for it), there were a race for the junior women, which was great. However, all the racing was squeezed into one day, so this was the first time that I shot six races on a single day. While I appreciate that the Masters’ race were occupying the slots on Saturday, it was a long day in the wellies, without much food, as there was no food in the press room.
That being said, I really enjoyed yesterday. It always surprises me a bit how much people outside of Belgium move around on the course. The Silvelle course design almost encouraged moving around, there were many spots where you could catch the race a few times in the same lap by moving around.
There were also quite a few ditches intersection the lap, which added chances to catch the riders splashing in mud or jumping over said ditches. The junior women drew the shortest straw, the mud was probably the thickest for them, it then turned into this thick, sticky thing by noon, and for the elite women and men, there were plenty of lines that were dry. Glorious sunshine, great racing and great crowds – definitely a highlight of the season so far for me.
What did you think of the race?