Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Quick update on Germany and Pijnacker

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!


GCDavid said...

Good thing you didn't get in Katie's way.

I managed to watch the men's race today since cycling.tv now can broadcast UCI races. Looked like a soul-sucking muck in high winds. My new hero is Niels Albert, who was getting repeatedly kicked around by Boom but hung in there. Unless of course you say he is not hero-worthy, and then I'll move onto my next new hero.

4:00am? That's when I typically get up to do my workouts. Not much sympathy from me.

I would ask about the orifices, but you are now married, and that wouldn't be proper.

Rickie Rainwater said...

Not a good time to test that Vegan theory on the flu. I hope you really do recover extremely quickly like you said in one of your interviews. I'm glad you took the time to let us know how you are. I was beginning to go into Peanut withdrawl. Nemo was even getting squirrely. Eighth place and third place is pretty "Friggen" good! I guess pushing hard can play havoc on the immune system. Be gentle with yourself! My brother had a Liver Transplant last tuesday, and appears to be doing well, so I have been a little more philisophical these last few days. Thanks for the update.
Your biggest fan,

Anonymous said...

Damn Flu!
Hope you recover soon :) What a time to get sick? that'll teach you to travel to the Czech Republic!

Sounds as though the trip to Germany was a sucess though! Great results especially given all the driving.

The week running up to Pijnacker was hardly ideal prep either, but you gave it ago and hopefully gained some more fitness out of it!

Get Well Soon :)

Anonymous said...


Best wishes to you brother.

PEANUT said...

gcdavid: Niels albert is a good hero to have. he is a bit young but surely talented. He definitely has that power-to-weight ratio down!
Why do you get up at 4am to work out? I assume you then go back to sleep?
Orifices like eyes, ears, mouth, and a little on the butt cheeks but not farther than that.
So sorry to hear about your brother. That sucks. I hope he now ok.
Thanks CHR. I did motorpace today to see if my body is healed enough to start training hard again and signs are optimistic. I still have one more hard training workout today so hopefully that will go well too. Fingers and toes crossed.

Rickie Rainwater said...

I hope you are feeling better each day. This is a cool article about riding cyclo cross in Belgium.


GCDavid said...

Why 4:00am? 2 kids. Marriage. Work. Trying to fit in swimming, biking, running, etc., etc. Not enough hours in the day. Plus, it gets dark here at around 4:30pm now. Yikes!

As far as Niels, the kid has got some gumption! (Translate THAT). Would not die. Kept on Lars until the end. That showed a lot. Wasn't intimidated by the jersey. It is hard to teach character.

Good thoughts to Rickie's bro.

GCDavid said...

PS. Gewilli is giving me advice on my starts. How pathetic am I?

PEANUT said...

hey gc:
Even those who can't do, teach! haha. Actually i cant remember how gewilli's starts are. I dont think i can ever get up at 4am naturally every day. Thankfully the closest thing i will come to a kid is a cat. I do admire your dedication though.
Thanks rickie for your positive words! My health, both physical AND mental, has taken a sharp turn upwards so i feel like i am firmly back on track. Yippee. it surely feels good. hope your brother is recovering speedily. I did read the barry wicks article. Too bad he wont be back in belgium this season. It was fun to cheer for him. He is a really good guy.

Anonymous said...

Exactly -- those who can't, teach.

PEANUT said...

There are exceptions to the rule, although i cannot think of any at the moment - teehee!