The last 8 days have been crazy. 3 Nations Cups and a kermis have meant that I am coming off of 5 race days (6 races) in 3 different countries. This European spring project is starting to get busy! I am currently in Alkmaar, Netherlands for a track camp and a bit of a debrief as I can just finally start to look back on the racing done the past week. With so many positives coming out of the racing there is always things I can take into consideration to work on for racing to come.
Cote Picardi Nations Cup (Wednesday)
Not to much to say about this race other than it was crazy! After Saturday’s race on the Belgian cobbles in Flanders it was a nice change to see only asphalt for 180km! The ride to the finishing circuit (which we did twice) was a hectic one; I crashed twice but ended up on my feet without a scratch both times. The team rode super well and we entered the circuits with all 6 of us in the still very big peloton. The front group went on the second lap and myself and teammate Ben Perry found ourselves among the front 45 riders. Coming into the final km things were looking good, Ben was in a great position to get ready to take on the best in the bunch kick as I hung on for dear life very far from the front of the group. Unfortunately with around 200m to go there was a crash on the right (where Ben was) and I rolled in for 38th. I was a bit frustrated with where I finished in the front group but I was pleased just to be there.
ZLM Nations Cup (Firday-Saturday)
This race was absolutely nuts, a two day 3 stage race with two road races and a Team Time Trial. Stage one, wind. Team Time Trial, wind. Stage 2, wind. We were warned about racing in Holland and how if you are caught in the wrong position when you hit a crosswind section your day is over. This was very true and I spent the weekend living this. Sometimes I would get caught out and our group would make it back to the front and other times we did not come close. The final stage I got caught out on a bridge when the race was guttered (teams ride at the front on the very edge of the road so that no riders can get a draft from the crosswind) and after 100km my race was over. I got to the feed zone and it was into the car for me. Although I was disappointed in not finishing I gave it my all and will be back at that race with a vengeance.
After a bit of a shorter day than planned on Saturday during the final stage of ZLM I decided I would go and try to have some fun at a local race in Belgium. I am not sure if I was having much fun during the race but it was nice to race my bike as opposed to just suffering all day as I had at the ZLM tour in the wind. I was active for the first hour floating in and out of the many early breaks that go before the winning one finally sticks. After over an hour of following failed moves I gave up and moved back a few positions as I was thinking the race deciding move would not go for a while. I was wrong, and paid for it the rest of the day as I spent the remainder of the race chasing after the winning break. I rolled in 11th with one other behind the break but ahead of the peloton. It was a nice little reminder of why I race my bike after a frustrating weekend at ZLM.
I’m in a magazine!
Earlier this week a copy of Men’s Fashion Magazine arrived at my house and I am in it! A month and a bit ago I did a photo shoot with them at the Velodrome for their spring issue! I am not sure if I would recommend trying to ride on the velodrome in the clothes I did but it was pretty fun!
Other than that I am just getting over being sick (why it has taken so long to post this) and am hopefully going to be back training tomorrow.