Monday, April 15, 2013

Ronde van Gelderland Ride report..

It was finally time to get this Euro season underway and meet some of the rest of the team! Flying in to Amsterdam and meeting the other girls was great.. Scoring myself a mega sized mug thanks to Penny, and then off to 'Rabbit Hill' holiday park which we would be calling home for the next few days.

Lucky we met Esther along the way and she could take us on a nice ride instead of us heading in to town and getting lost!

Pre race roll through some nice Dutch countryside. Tailwind home was a ripper!

Once Julie arrived Saturday lunch time, we went for a spin around the area and managed to run into Esther our old team mate who took us on a really pretty ride. The sun even came out and made us all happy and smiling! This wasn't at all what we were expecting coming to Holland given the previous few races had been next to freezing.

Race day - So I'm calling this a ride report, because I can't really say I raced today. I was there, it was a race, but I was just 'rolling' around at the back of the bunch trying to stay upright and hold the wheel in front..

Team Presentation - Photo thanks to Anton Vos
Me, Ann, Laura, Jane, Julie, Penny

As my first race of the season in Europe, it was a decent sized one.. 170 starters, racing over 139kms plus 7kms of nerve wracking neutralization. Mostly flat, although thankfully there were a few small hills early on in the race to keep me happy. I even managed to get up the front of the bunch for a brief period of time, only to shit myself as I got swarmed from all directions with girls going everywhere and 'nekkminit' I was at the back again..

Controversial sock choice it seems.. They were either loved, or hated. Of course I loved them!
The bunch split on the hills, and whilst I had no trouble with them, being at the back meant I ended up 3rd bunch. I rode across to the 2nd bunch on the bigger hill, but 2 and 3 came together by the end of the hills and then worked to bring back the leaders.

We went through lots of narrow twisty roads, lots of corners, constantly coming to close to a standstill to get around them. There were at least 3-4 crashes, all just right in front of me which I was thankfully be able to avoid, but still had to get around the carnage on the road to get back to the bunch. Thankfully my Bianchi was rock solid throughout and that was one thing I didn't have to even think about!

Coming in to the last local lap there was a group of maybe 90 or so left with Shara Gillow from Orica away solo. The chase began properly with about 10k to go, and a few kms later I looked up to see someone up the road had dropped the wheel and there was a gap. Completely my fault for being where I was, but knowing that and doing something about it are two completely different things. Much the same as someone standing on the side of a crit telling you to move up.. Everyone knows they have to, it's just hard to do it sometimes! It was a little frustrating feeling quite strong and being able to ride in the wind/the gutter for almost the entire 3.5 hours, yet not having the balls to be up the front being a part of the race. At least I know my weakness and can work on it over the coming races!
Move up? Where......?
Photo from the Gallery by Bart Hazen at Peloton Cafe

Julie rode awesome and was in the front bunch all day. She came top 30 and is hoping to improve on that next weekend at Borsele and Westhoek. So my goal is to stay near Julie!
For now the 2 of us are staying with a lovely Dutch family not far out of Amsterdam, so we're planning on trying to fit in a day trip at some point for maybe a little bit of shopping and sightseeing :-) Then the rest of the team arrive back on Friday for us to race at Omloop van Borsele in Holland Saturday followed by Dwars door de Westhoek in Belgium on Sunday!

No comments: