Throughout my childhood I sustained a knack for rebelling. Refusing point blank to go in the pool at my first swimming lesson, tick. Refusing to join scouts after cubs. Telling the parent coaches at our village junior football club where they could stick their team, shamefully, yes me again. Refusing to go to the secondary school my two older brothers had gone to. Getting brought home in a Police van.. The list could go on and on. You could put it down to being the youngest of three brothers, but I don't know. All I know is my mother can and quite rightly does every so often remind me of said (and other) episodes with a wry smile.
Later in life this rebellious nature has been dampened though I can still rail at authority figures on occasion and hate being told rather than asked to do something..
So when the video of the false start of the recent U23 Belgian National Cyclocross Champs popped up I watched in awe as Wout Van Aert, the race favorite, disqualified for a false start and standing (fuming) next to the race officials at the side of the course as the gun fires, gives them the slip and takes off after the field down the start straight!
What an amazing act of defiance! What spirit! Van Aert then proceeds to ride back to and scythe through the field to 4th place in just 1 lap. A masterful display of determination, power, talent and skill. Incredible.
The next day Van Aert channels the DQ frustration into his pedals to win the Elite race at Otegem. To back up his current form he then wins the Nommay World Cup round last Sunday beating arch U23 rival Mathieu Van Der Poel.
Although i'll be glued to my laptop for the Elite mens World Champs race on Sunday (3pm CET), the race i'm most looking forward to is the U23s (11am CET) . Can Van Aert beat the Dutch wunderkind again to win the World Champs? I bloody hope so!