Friday, September 14, 2007

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Racing in Holland

It has been awhile since my last blog, I have made the rounds around western Europe and packed in quite a few racing days. I was meant to head to Italy for a week of training and catching up with some Italian friends, however my plans were changed as our team was down one rider due to injury and so I headed to Holland for 6 days of racing. I raced in Holland for the last two seasons with a Dutch team, but 2007 has seem me stay well away from the windy craziness that is Dutch racing.
The weeks away racing began with the journey to the far western point of France, Plouay in Brittany. It was the penultimate world cup of the season, and with 3 climbs every lap, it always makes for a tough race. I started rather nervously amongst the 165 other women who had pinned the race numbers on for the day, the biggest field I'd raced in for awhile. The race began quickly and the field gradually began to diminish....I hung on for dear life on the climbs and was happy to finish in the front group. Noemi Cantele, an Italian who rides for Bigla, powered away from the break on the final climb to take an impressive victory.
We headed north from France to the south of Holland to begin the Holland Ladies Tour in the hills around Valkenburg. Day 1 of racing in Holland and after raining all morning, we were lucky to race mainly on dry roads. I had my first race crash in a long time when I came down in a bit of a pile up, I hurt my left pointer finger (no laughing!) and broke my derailleur hanger but apart from that was unscathed. The rest of the week was a bit of a blur of rain, wind, cobbles but luckily not too much craziness. We didn't have too much success as a team however the racing was good to get some speed and power in the legs.
I got home late on Saturday night and on Sunday went to Leipzig to pick up little sister and bring her back here for the week. We have done a few rides under grey, cloudy skies this week but sunshine is predicted for the next days which will be nice. I have only 4 or 5 training days left in the season....the last World Cup of the season is in Nuernberg on Sunday and then we head straight to Tuscany for the Tour of Tuscany which runs from Tuesday to Sunday.
The end of season has come about quickly, but I am looking forward to wrapping it up on a good note and hopefully I can pull out some strong resultss in the next week or so.