That was the exact moment when my Omloop Het Volk attempt was over. The race got underway at 13:30 yesterday. After almost two hours of hard racing, I hit a wall. That wall slowed my speed down by 20kph! I'm sure i bonked this hard in some past races but i can't remember. As you know, us cyclists have an innate ability to forget pain. There are legitimate excuses for bonking. Unfortunately mine is not one of them.
I was guest riding for Movingladies Team out of Nederlands - GREAT bunch of gals!! They gave me two jersey options - small or smaller. I chose small. I didn't pre-ride in it for fear of getting it wet, so i waited until just before the start to put it on. Thirty minutes into the race, when i reached for one of the ten bars and gels i stuffed in the pockets, i was quite perplexed. No pockets. Upon further inspection, i realized the pockets had migrated up my back, too high to reach and cinched closed from my broad upper body (OK, well too broad for this tiny-tot jersey!)
I must have attempted to get food out of those pockets at least a dozen times. No luck. Reverting back to cyclo-cross experience, I decided that food is overrated. The oatmeal and pasta I ate earlier that day would suffice. My body did not agree with this sentiment.
After one hour, i started to feel a little low in energy. No worries, this too shall pass. Yeah, it passed alright, as it morphed into full blown hunger a half hour later. The bonus interval training I got in after being caught behind three crashes surely didn't help the situation (a very nervous race indeed!) Oh and the speed of the race was not in my low-energy favor either - i glanced down at the iBike on a random climb to see that we were climbing at 48kph, jumping up to 52 just as we were nearing the top.
By 1 hr 45min, i was dangling off the back until the fireworks hit. The rumors are true. There really are fireworks. And the cheers of the crowd do go into slow motion mode. "Koooooommmmmm oooooooonnnnnnnn" "Aaaaaaaalllllllleeeeeeeezzzzzzzzz uuuuuuuuuup".
The rest of my race was relegated to riding with the cars, then riding with various chase groups until finally riding solo, giving me some time to think about the dumb-ass flub i just committed.
This week it's off to France for a French Cup in Cholet. You bet I'll NOT repeat that mistake again. Let's hope these are not famous last words...
Thanks again to the Moving Ladies squad for letting me race with them. It was a really fun, memorable experience!!
Thanks for reading.