Friday, August 24, 2007

A week close to home

I managed to survive the tour in France....all in all it was a good tour. We had some long days toward the end, a double stage day on the Wednesday in the rain and then 155km stage the next day. We finished the tour in the mountains on the eastern border of France, a really beautiful place that I would love to go back to and explore. The last two days we finished and then started in a place called La Bresse which is a ski-resort in the winter. There was, of course, no snow to be seen, just lots of very green, picturesque hills and cute little mountain houses....aaahhh.
It was good to get home after the racing and travelling around the countryside which definitely takes its toll. I have had a quite week since. Some recovery days off the bike early in the week, some catching up with uni and not straying too far from home. The furthest afield I went was to Jena (50km away) to visit CJ in hospital. I baked her some scones (she is from England) and had a nice afternoon chatting to her and examining photos of the amazing pins she now has holding her leg together. She is back to Australia tomorrow which is great news and a relief for her, I think she had had enough of the German style hospital food.
I am at home for the weekend which is a rare treat in the racing season. I can do some rides with the bunch, which always has its comic moments (lets just say its no Coluzzi) and I think a bbq is in store as the weather has been quite good, still sunshine prevailing.
Next Thursday I am off to Plouay, in Brittany in France for the second last World Cup of the season. It is tough race, definitely a race of attrition on the hilly lap and after the 1500km drive there I am hoping to have good legs. From there I will head down to Novellara in Italy for a week of training with Liv Gollan and to see some good friends, Baby and Massimo...can't wait for the coffee, pizza and gelati (not sure in which order).

Monday, August 13, 2007

Route de France

I am in Beauvais in France having completed the prologue and the first two stages of Route de France. We began on Saturday in a lovely coastal village called Fecamp in Normandy and we are working out way south-west to finish in the Vogesen region (much hiller than where we began). So far the racing as been pretty fast (thanks to the tailwind for much of the last 250km of racing)…it is a little shock to the legs after some slower, hillier tours but good nonetheless. I have still not mastered the bunch sprint (and after many years being a cyclist I am pretty sure that I never will) but I have been having a go and enjoying racing in the sunshine in such a pretty area.
Tomorrow we race to Argenteuil, very close to Paris and I think after that the racing will get a bit nastier…a double stage day with 95km in the morning and a 22km time trial in the afternoon is Wednesday’s treat and then 150km in the hills on Thursday.
The team is racing well, our young one Steffi Pohl has the Under 21 white jersey and we have to make sure the likes of Peta Mullens (fellow Aussie) keeps her hands off it! The Aussies have a development team here and they are getting amongst it and racing really well. I will report more when I have some internet access (not so easy in France)…

Friday, August 03, 2007