Wow, what a trip so far! I couldn’t believe it... as I crossed the line at Gent Wevelgem, I had just WON! I was so happy to represent myself, my trade team and my country with a win. I enjoyed the press tent, then drug testing, then podium. It was so much fun!!!!
We had a week in between Gent and Flanders races so we headed back to Sittard for the week. The weather was perfect, such a difference from last year is all I can keep thinking! We drove back to the Flanders course on Wednesday of that week to preview the course and take photos, we made a day trip out of it....
So Flanders wasn’t my best day, legs weren’t all there and then I had a mechanical before the final and last climb. I was flying(with the group) on the small roads, run over a rough patch and my chain manages to go around my crank arm. I tried back pedalling and shifting while staying as calm as possible. Then when all else fails, you put your hand in the air and stop on the side of the road. The neutral car was there promptly and he at first couldn’t get the chain loose, so he runs to the car and was about to get a bike off the rack and then he runs back and tries with the chain again(more aggressive this time) and manages to get it unhooked. He gives me a push and I’m on my way but by that point it was game over and I knew it..... argh! That’s racing though.....
So the VERY next day we had another race - Dottingnies. This race is a funny start, it goes from a two lane road to a BIKE PATH within the first 1.5k, so it’s very important to start near or on the front of the race or you risk the chance of missing the winning break 10k into a 116k race! Guess where we ended up??? Dead last in the group! haha! It’s comical now but at the time it really sucked. So once the gun sounded, here we go....it’s all hell to get to the front as soon as possible. Your legs are screaming at you because you go from zero to HARD instantly. Try this - walk out your front door and start sprinting down the street for 30min.... yeah, something like that:)
Anyway, Maura and I ended up being the only two riders from USAC to finish - bummer. The other girls pulled the plug and called it a day. Can you blame them? Flanders is one of the hardest races in the world - period.
So back to Sittard we drove for one night before driving to Energiewacht Tour. It started on Wednesday. This has been a roller coaster of a bike race, it always is and I knew this year wouldn’t be any different.
I’ve managed to do such a better job of positioning this year, I don’t know, I guess it comes with time? The peleton moves a bit different here than in the US and it takes a while to filter and see where you need to be. We look and feel like a school of fish swimming around. Day 2 was a bad day for the team, we lost 2 girls, one in the very beginning of the day and the other at the very end of the day. I’ll spare you the details, they both crashed, both ended up at the hospital.....
The four of us that are left are in good spirits and still laughing and cutting up. We are sticking together and making the most of our situation and it’s always funny, you always have interesting stories to tell once you go home. Never fails.
Our sleeping arrangements.... .thank goodness there are only 2 people in this room, middle bed is where you put your clothes:)
Ok, I’ll do my best to keep this updated next week:)!
Reading: Sum It Up, pat Summitt with Sally Jenkins - she is TOUGH!!! But I like her style a LOT!
Watching: the wheels in front, behind, beside me
Eating: tonight’s dinner - quinoa with kale, cheese and butter, sauteed chicken with red onions and garlic, topped with pineapple. Interesting mix but we do our best:)
Listening: Nickel Creek’s new CD I downloaded, check out Rest of My Life