We arrived on Friday, flew from the US on Thursday morning which didn’t leave a lot of room for recovery before THE biggest race or ONE of the biggest races of my year - Flanders(Sunday) but that’s ok, go with the flow and see what happens, you never know.
We drove from the airport to the Holiday Inn Gent Expo, got in a ride, lunch, dinner and just general figuring out where I am and what time it was. Saturday we rode in the am and recon’d part of the Flanders course, I forgot about some of those cobbles;) hhaha.
Sunday was the big show, lots of excitement and nerves and back in the Euro peleton which was a small shock but once you relax and take what is given to you, you just deal with things better. I almost ate shit 2x’s, heard lots of crashing, hauled butt down the sidewalk on a descent, then figured how to bunny hop back into the group - the usual over here. I had poor position going into the Molenburg which meant running a bit of it. Try that, cobbles, cleats = slipping a lot and loosing precious wheels and time and that about did it for me for the day. I made connection with a small group and held on as long as I could, which was when we hit the last climb with about 20k to go. I lost contact and it was just myself and Edita(Pasta Zara, we raced together on Colavita in 2011) till the finish. A real shock to the system but that’s ok, it’s Flanders! And even though we had a touch of snow, cold temps and I felt like I could’ve fallen asleep while putting out 350watts - it was FUN!!!!
Janel and Kmac had a great race(in my mind), they finished in the front group and worked together - from what I could hear on the radio in my ear. Emily and Ruth were right behind me in a group.
The good thing, there is lots of racing in this block - 6 races! And one was the very next day after Flanders. We stayed at the hotel Sunday night and drove to the race on Monday - Dottingnies, Belgium(1hr south). We arrived to sunshine and hella crosswinds - oh boy! We previewed the first ‘climb’ and the last 1k of the finish just for an idea and after seeing the start, we knew that the first 5k would make or break the entire 115k race due to narrow roads, climb and crosswinds. Sure enough, that’s what happened, I made it across to the break and lasted till the last lap and missed the attack from that break - game over. I’m still searching for my Euro peleton balls;) to put it very impolitely:) but I will find them, I’m confident.
Ruth crashed unfortunately, Kmac pulled the plug and it was just Emily and I that finished. Hey guess what, one day off, then we do it all over again:)!!! Today is Tuesday, we are in Sittard, Netherlands at Fitland - USAC home base but we leave in an hour to drive 3hrs to the Energiewacht Tour bungalows for racing starting tomorrow till Sunday.
Headed to LAX to start the trip *note the time*
Race bible and number....
Listening: The Allman Brothers Band, Soulshine
Reading: Silver Linings Playbook
Eating: WAFFLES! When in Belgium right?
Watching: The wind blow and tulips grow;)
Website: google maps of Sittard