In another installment of our coverage of the Baum Babici 24h Team we find out how they, as well as their Experience Team, got on at this weekend’s 12 hours of Zolder. After a 2nd place at the track’s other event, the 24h of Zolder, the boys went into the race with high hopes and we are proud to say that they won! The 4 man team won the day with a strong sprint finish and the Experience Team came in a very impressive 10th and won best in class. These results earned them them best team at the Belgium Endurance Cycling Series 2014. Thanks must go to Experience Team member Arjan for the race report.
The lead team consisted of Gerald, Reinhard, Rolf and Tino - Tino, a very good finisher won the sprint with no other rider on the finish picture. Alongside them was the Experience Team of Johannes, Patrick, myself and our first non-Dutch rider, Matthias. Johannes and Patrick joined the team for a second time and I was glad to be back racing after surgery in July.
With Gerald and myself on the front row the 12 hour race started from behind the safety car and after an opening stint of an hour and a half Reinhard and Johannes took over. After consolidating the pace in the front group Rolf and Matthias took over before Tino and Patrick rode a fourth stint limiting the group to only small breakaways of a max two riders.
After six hours there were two riders in a fast breakaway with a growing gap - Gerald did his best to bring them back and I positioned myself directly behind the two escapees and although in doing so sacrificed a lap, ensured that none of the other teams would help them. This, along with a strong stint from Gerald, allowed us to close the gap.
The Baum Babici Team stayed at the front with the Experience Team still in the top 10. When Rolf took over from Reinhard in the main team he didn’t get any help in closing a gap after the changeover. Mattias had been riding between the gaps so waited for Rolf and helped him close the gap - this then allowed Rolf to keep a strong pace and make sure the other teams had a difficult race.
For the final stint Tino and Patrick took over and they controlled the race to make sure Tino was ready for the sprint. Showing his power, Tino hit the front early of the final sprint and no other rider could come close to him on the final uphill sprint.
The Baum Babici Cycling Team was first overall and first in class. The Baum Babici Experience Team was 10th overall and first in class. These results were a real dream for us!
It’s been a fantastic season with great results and perhaps more importantly an extremely good atmosphere with everyone involved in the team, from the riders to the service team who prepare the guys for the races.