Thursday, November 30, 2023

Dan Patten Blog – Back to the Front


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So last time I was posting here on the Dan Patten Blog about the great weather we were experiencing in Belgium at that time. Unfortunately the sun has gone and the rain has returned. Clearly 20 degrees+ in March was a treat. I’m hoping a treat that returns soon.

Nonetheless come rain or shine I have continued on my road to recovery, and in the weeks since my last posting, have recorded my first podium position of the year with a 3rd in a kermesse race in Bury.

Dan Patten Blog
On the podium , so my form is coming.

The heavy rain, wind and reduced temperatures would make for a hard fought battle in Wallonie. Clearly the easiest way to try and stay warm was to go on the attack (not that I need an excuse) and as early as the second lap that is where I went and the breakaway was formed.

Despite attempts to bring us back it wasn’t going to happen on this day. I took my share of primies and for the first time really felt I was getting back to normal. I was in the mood to ride!

Dan Patten Blog
When am I not in the mood to give it some?!

As the race wore on the weather took its toll and the breakaway began to split.

Six of us were left at the front and would fight it out to the end. Bodies that were shutting down at that stage due to the wet and cold trying to ride away in pursuit of victory.

It would not work out to be my day on this occasion but 3rd was certainly a sign that I am getting back to normal. And on top of that, despite the conditions I was enjoying being back out there and going for victory again at the front of the race.

Later that week I returned to Wallonie and produced another top 10, this time in Taintignies Rumes so consistency is starting to build again.

Dan Patten Blog
I’m sure inspiration has also played its part in these last weeks.

With classics fever in these parts, it’s certainly first hand inspiration on a plate.

Dan Patten Blog
Peering through the fence, there must be a better spot to watch the race…

Even more so because it would be Tom Boonen’s classics year again: Harelbeke, Gent Wevelgem, Ronde Van Vlaanderen, Paris Roubaix… Tommeke Tommeke Tommeke Tommeke!

Dan Patten Blog
The top boys rattle across my training roads.

Given my returning form I have my first Interclub competition for my new team this coming weekend.

GP Affligem, a race which takes in some of the famous bergs including the Kapelmuur and the Bosberg amongst others.

Also the cobbled climb of Wambeek-Ternat, the location of one of my wins from last season.

This week in training I went to recon the section of the race taking in the Kapelmuur and the Bosberg.

Dan Patten Blog
I’m pretty familiar with the Kapelmuur nowadays.

With rain expected on Sunday it was important to look at climbs such as the Kapelmuur in the wet to assess ideal tyre pressures, lines to take, etc. And after six climbs of the Kapelmuur and three climbs of the Bosberg it’s safe to say I know them pretty well ahead of Sunday.

Dan Patten Blog
Until next time…