Saturday, my old college teammate(Elke) and I met up for lunch and a visit. What a small world!!! She is from Ghent, went to MSU to play soccer(not quite sure how she got to MS!), graduated, moved back and is working and living there. So when I came to town, we made it a point to see each other and catch up! It was so nice!!!! She hasn't changed a bit and we caught up on other teammates and what they were doing now.
Saturday night was a bit more stressful. It involved being locked out of our room for 3 1/2 hrs and the only person who could fix it was on vacation. The guy(which was also the restaurant's chef) next in line to fix it had to call the other one on vacation for directions. Plus, they weren't very friendly about the whole ordeal.
NOW ON TO THE GOOD STUFF! RACING!
Sunday morning was brisk but sunny - fine by me. With good positioning from the start, you could hear the craziness behind - cursing, yelling, brakes squealing, tangling of bikes. I'm sure I hooked bars at least 3 times in the race with other girls - by accident of course! I even got a kudos on the race radio from one of my teammates that noticed when a girl slammed into me and I kept it up. It's kind of funny when you look back at it but at the time, it's a bit stressful. The fans lined the roads and the cobbled sections and the Paterberg(last big cobbled climb) was insane! Fans were yelling, clapping, singing, drinking(obviously, who wouldn't?) and the one thing I noticed most of all was smoking - I could smell the cigars and cigarettes - yuck!
My legs and lower back were burning so bad they felt cold and you were going so slow, one bad pedal stroke and you would be the unlucky sole running up the hill - I did see one girl running - I navigated it successfully.
We didn't win or podium but I'm proud to say I raced my bike, bridged to breaks, covered attacks and did my job. After me was Amanda, she made the break of 3 before the Paterberg but was caught and that was when the winning break attacked. That's bike racing! Megan was our top finisher, she was in the second group behind the break and Sam and I were in the 3rd group. Here are some pictures from Saturday and Sunday.....
Next race starts Wednesday - Energiewacht Tour
Another take on yesterday's race from an old pro....Clara Hughes
Elke and I....
Elke bought me 2 beer....Ename was one of the towns we raced through....
The square where the race started. When we finished it was full of all the men's pro team buses and fan everywhere wanting water bottles and pictures!!
I think this is the top of the Paterberg, from the looks of things in the background....
My teammate, Megan on the left and I'm behind on the right....
Reading: Cyclingnews.com for the men's racing reports
Listening: coffee pot brewing goodness
Watching: my teammates on their computers
Feeling: relaxed, not thinking about the next race just yet:)