Sorry for disappearing for the last days. I have been working hard to battle a flu. Bad timing considering i was in the middle of a mini-overload training period to get the fitness back up to a decent level. That will have to wait for the moment. On a side note, my guess is that the flu is awarded to dumbasses who drive 32 hours in 9 days while racing and training hard.
But luckily (or rather unluckily in some cases) the worst of the flu fell on weekdays, leaving me with deluded ambitions of racing well on the weekends.
Two weeks ago, i raced in Germany - Magstadt and Lorsch.
The first race was a rather unpleasant experience. It would have felt worse if i were fully awake for it. To get to the race on time, we had to leave at 4am for the 6-hour trek. I spent most of the drive in and out of consciousness, possibly not the best way to start a race. When i keep this in mind, i am thankful for my 8th place finish!
Afterwards, we drove 1.5 hours directly to our hotel in Lorsch. After two hours of washing the mud out of all my clothes, shoes, helmet, orifices, the rest of the evening was focused completely on recovery. I rested, ate, drank, ate, rested, rode the trainer, stretched, rested, drank and slept.
The next morning was spent doing exactly the same. I was determined to make something of the weekend.
As I waited patiently for my callup to the starting line, I realized that I would have no idea when i am called. They do it by numbers, not names. So if it doesnt sound like english, dutch (not deutsch), french, or spanish I am screwed. And screwed i almost was if it wasnt for a couple of gals next to me who nudged me forward after my number was called. Good thing "one minute" sounds similar to dutch so i knew how much time before the gun. This was especially important considering there was no gun fire. The guy tried two times but couldnt get it to pop.
He finally gave us the nod to go without him and off i went. Down the extended false flat straightaway I went, with the whole field in tow. Yep, i got the whole shot - oops, that too thanks to Ahrens. The lead lasted only a few minutes since i didnt know the course. Every time i tried to pre-ride the course, the course patrol kicked me off. By the second lap I was pushed back to 6th position. But once i knew the course, i picked up the pace and got back to 3rd position. I wish i had a camera to capture the look on Jonas' face when i turned the corner into his sight in 3rd. He was surprised. Heck, i was surprised. By the last lap, I had put about 40 seconds on 4th place and even got within ten seconds to 2nd place.
After the race, one of the girls asked me "What happened to you today?" That was a good feeling since it was only a day ago that many of these same girls kicked my butt and now they are minutes behind. I guess it is true that (most) anything can happen in a day. Even though the race was not a high profile one, it felt good to be on the podium again.
By Sunday night, the flu fully kicked in. The next days until Saturday were spent exclusively on the couch and in the bed. On saturday, we drove up to Pijnacker, Holland to pre-ride the World Cup course. I was feeling slightly better saturday I figured I'd give it a go. At least I'd be fully rested. The course was slightly muddy which was good for me since the flu usually sucks power right out of your legs. The next morning was a completely different situation. It went from slightly muddy to slightly dry.
My callup was right next to Katie Compton. When the gun sounded, she moved forward while I moved back and out of the field. Last place. It was even worse in the muddy, grassy sections where I was only strong enough to push a "nieuwelingen" (newbie or AKA granny) gear, making the gaps bigger and bigger. I only managed to pass a few racers before the finish.
Now i am back on the couch. I will be turning in an update to CXmagazine.com shortly so keep an eye out for it if you want to read hopefully a more entertaining version of my travels. There will also be an interview of Helen Wyman up there shortly.
Thanks for reading!