After 12 years of racing I finally managed to check off my first race over in Europe, the centre of the cycling universe. It was a humdinger as 500 + riders set out to tackle a 69 km, 2900 M vertical course in the Austrian Alps. The x-factor today was the weather which served up snow, sleet and rain. All the makings for a memorable day on the bike. The neutral start was a gongshow as sport riders from the back of the field swarmed the front, riding up sidewalks, through fields and anywhere rideable to try and gain a few spots. I dropped from the last call up in the elite field (#74) to around 200th position when the road all of a sudden narrowed and the start gun went off. *Note to self, treat the next start like a playoff hockey game and bring the elbows out to play. More here.