Finally a rest day…Or is dragging a bike bag, computer, and a suitcase on wheels on and off trains really a rest day? After 8 days of racing in 10 days, I think I at least deserve a real rest day off my bike. But that real rest day is going to have to wait for the minute. If I was to summarise the last 10 day it would be pre-race pasta, CNP product overload, bike washing, showering, travelling, doing my part-time job, surfing the web and sleeping. Needless to say as a result of this period of intense racing, the house needs a good clean, and poor Ronny- my boyfriend, needs some more cuddles.
I have had interesting experiences- the most memorable being the look on the face of my sports director for the Horizon Fitness-British Columbia mixed team when we arrived at our race hotel in Holland. It was in the main square of the Dutch town of Goes with a stage, dancers, lots of girls in mini-skirts, men in suits with trendy sunglasses, copious amounts of champagne and music blasting. I got out of the minibus feeling ridiculously out of place in my time trial skin suit, messy hair, no makeup and headed towards the entrance of the bar/hotel , wishing I could have joined in. Life as a bike rider can be hard…
Thankfully for us, the party ended at midnight and the rooms were all perfect. That is except for the room for the soigneur, mechanic and DS. It had 1 double bed for 3 not too happy men! So off they set to borrow (steal) a bed from the cellar fortunately escaping the eye of the manager who was more interested in the beautiful blonde, long-legged Dutch girls than the 3 musketeers. They then got their beauty sleep needed to deal with 6 women the next day.
Stage races are about resting but with no internet access and Dutch TV channels we had to figure out what to do with our time. A trip to the library around the corner was decided upon! Of course, we had an ulterior motive – internet access. They even had coffee for 30 cents which encouraged us to hog their PC’s for even longer. After our daily ration of internet and our mid-afternoon pre-race meal, we once again focussed on we had ahead of us that day- a 105km evening road stage. I rode this stage and the next stage with the words of my boyfriend in my head- “You can never ride well with all the wind in Holland” and then headed back to Belgium with a 32nd on GC placing out of more than 180 riders. He has eaten his words..
I was glad that the next day was a rest day so headed out to some friends to catch up on a bit of normality away from racing. So after a glass of red wine I was ready for bed and looking forward to my rest day. We woke up at 9 – I had a yoghourt and a coffee and Ronny the Belgian breakfast of bread and jam. As the morning went on, we turned our attention to our laptops. Yet- 1 hour later, I standing at the start line of a race, having eaten no lunch, drunk no water and a with a sand filled chain. Morgan Blue products were hastily brushed over the chain/cassette and then abracadabra we had a chain that would pass for cleanish and of course not forgetting a really fresh pair of legs after 7 days of racing in 9 days… I was a women possessed in the start- I attacked from the gun, took 2 riders with me and then disposed of them and then 2 more riders latch onto me. I went deep, won but was 2nd in the classification with only being the holder of a day licence. But it gave me more of a confidence boost for the next race- our National Championships on Sunday.