So, as you know, our boy “Nuke” has been in Europe (and Zach’s finally beginning to accept his new nickname). First, let’s catch up with Azencross / Cross des as 2010 which is part of the GVA Trofee Series, Zach came in 19th. A very snowy and icy race, “I wouldn’t say that it was completely thawed out but it was definitely getting better. I’m definitely satisfied with the race. I got caught up in one of the crashes in the start but luckily I didn’t have to wait long and was able to squeeze through somewhere in the 20′s still. From there I just rode my own pace and worked myself back up to the front group about halfway through the race and sat in there for a couple of laps. Then with two to go there was a crash in the same corner as the one in the start and I got caught up in that losing the group.”

Reflecting back on the trip as a whole, Zach says: “Overall I’m quite satisfied with my brief trip over to Europe. The weather provided for some interesting riding as for the first week (the only time when we didn’t have a constant stream of racing) all the roads were iced over. While a handful of the other riders went to the trainers for their training a solid group of us braved the ice each day so we could train outside. Yes, we just rode a different route to Kortrijk for coffee everyday but we were still getting a couple hours outside each day which was a nice break from the rest of the day spent inside.”

“After the week of icy coffee rides we got into the heart of the trip which for me was Zolder, Deigem, and Loenhout (sp? for the last two). Personally I was suffering a little from lack of motivation for these races but after I got to the start line and out racing on the course I was able to find a zone and at least have some good fun on the bike skating around in the snow. Loenhout provided the best potential for me as the snow was finally thawing a little and creating some mud. Naturally, all of the races had their drawbacks (how often do you really get that perfect race where nothing goes wrong) but I’m very satisfied with the trip as it provided a definite goal for the next couple of years as I finish out my last years in the U23 field.”

“Now, since I’ve been presented with this question/topic a handful of times now I will enlighten those interested as to what my January is looking like. After returning home from Europe I spent a solid five days off the bike doing pretty much nothing. Recharged, it’s now time for a solid two and a half weeks of training before I head back over to Europe for the final World Cup in Hoogerhiede and Worlds in Germany.”

“What will that training consist of? That is a great question that I don’t really have an answer too. Right now we are looking at my races from the past couple of weeks and picking what we can work on and improve over the next two weeks and what we will leave alone. Most likely there will be a handful of speed work thrown in with some power intervals for good measure. Most importantly though is the Send a Kid to Europe fundraiser that is happening this weekend so that I can in fact get back over to Europe to finish out my season.”

Photos: Tom Robertson