Last Thursday, Serge and I headed out for the 4-hour drive to
That night, we walked through downtown
The next morning we awoke to rain, rain and more rain. Cold day. We parked in the
As I made my way over to the start line, I heard the announcers on the loudspeaker – oh my God, it’s Hans and Franz from Saturday Night Live! The accent was over the top! At that point, I realized I had never really spent any time in
The start of the race was fast – we were unleashed onto the descending pavement that connected to an even steeper fireroad descent. Then the fun started – technical mountain bike singletrack – lots of it! I was in 5th going into this section. I passed one gal in the woods and then a miracle occurred. I bridged to the gals in 2nd and 3rd on a long muddy runup and passed them both easily on a long deep mud section – two types of riding I thought I was inept at. Maybe it was always in my mind – quite possible. Anyway, one gal eventually caught me and I traded spots with her until just before we hit the muddy runup that leads into the long stretch of mud. I figured I’d try my luck to see if I truly got better at this stuff. Wow, I held her off to finish 2nd behind Reza Hormes-Ravenstein.
After making it through the whole race relatively without incident, I smacked my knee on a “bush” made of thick immovable branches. The spot immediately swelled up to the size of a walnut! Otherwise, it felt really good to be on a podium again – especially a euro one!
As we were leaving
After the race, we drove directly to Suzie and Marc’s house in
I was flattered and embarrassed when the race organizers announced that I was in the crowd – like I’m some sort of celebrity! Haha. The real celebrity of the event was Suzie – their sole top World ranked rider!
Happy new year.
I planned to wake up for the race at 8am so I could do all my rituals and set up all my unctions like Beljum Budder, sunscreen, etc. Someone once told me – I think it was Geoff Williams from
Again, rain, rain and more rain but it was a little warmer than yesterday. The hail pellets begged to differ. We warmed up in the garage of the last – and possibly only –
After I completed my pre-race rituals, I put the skinsuit on. It was all white but with black side panels on the shorts. It had some german words in red across the boobs which we duct taped over so it was just a simple white skinsuit. I did plan to wear the Organic Athlete skinsuit for this race but unexpectedly went direct to
Oh, by the way – great news! This was my first official day racing for my new UCI Trade Team – Pruneaux D’Agen. They are based in the SW region of
The course was set up like a typical Norba National Course – straight up, then straight down. The uphill was a combination of pavement and dirt while the downhill was completely mountain bike singletrack – roots, rocks, mud, trees, and more mud. Many people bit it hard on the descent. I walked away with two front tire flats. Note to self: 14psi is not enough when tackling roots and stumps at high speeds.
I hit the first mud patch in about 6th or 7th, got passed by a couple of folks, passed some back and finally settled into 7th only to pass one more girl for a final placing of 6th. Maryline Salvetat won while Marianne Vos won the sprint with Daphny Van den Brand for 2nd. Reza finished 4th while Birgit Hollman was 5th. It’s a good feeling when you recognize all the girls in front of you – and even better when you recognize some behind you too!
I am still working on “feeling the pain” when I race, but these two races felt as though I am once again heading in the right direction.
As I showered, picking pockets of mud out of my orifices, Serge pitted for Jonathan Page who had only his pregnant wife, Cory, to help him! If I were rich, I’d give him (and me) the support he deserves for paving the way for American Cyco-Cross racers to race in
While watching the tail end of the mens race with Marianne Vos’ brother Anton, I told him that Franz wants to have a date with his sister. Franz came over to us just as Anton confirmed that he will set it up! I have never seen Franz so candy red as he was when he figured out what transpired. Hahahahahaha! Later that day, he got me back. Anton walked up to me and shook my hand as he said it’s a done deal. According to Franz, I now have a date with Anton! Hahahaha! I told Franz we will double-date.
That’s all for now. I have a lot of gluing of
Thanks for reading.