Race Report #4
71 starters 42 finishers
Maarkedal was about a 2 hour drive from home,i got a ride from Jos since she was taking Hanna and Jade to the race already. I hit the snooze alarm a few to many times that morning,this did not give me a ton of time to ride to Jos's house 10k away. Oh hell. Quick cup of coffee because you know i have my priority's straight, a way too small breakfast of two race cakes with cream cheese and a waffle and banana for the road. We really need to go grocery shopping.
I'm on the bike, back pack on and trying to avoid the puddles and stay dry. It absolutely stormed last night, the rain was coming down so hard it woke me up and i had to take a look at it for a minute it was coming down so hard. The roads are still wet. I make it to Jos' in record time, only a minute late. That really hurt, i hope my legs don't feel that bad during the race. I'm introduced to Jade she looks at me and thinks we may have met already but we have not maybe just saw each other out at the races. Later in the car i take of my hoody off and she yells out "oh my god your that girl!" She saw the tattoos and recognized me, she went on about how mean and tough i look on the bike. hahahahahha.
We make the drive i eat my snacks and try to ignore that im still hungry.
We arrive get our numbers and i take a lap of the course.
Long very narrow country roads a few power climbs and wind, lots of wind, there will be no place to hide. Almost dropped myself on the warm up lap going up the second climb that is longer then the first and straight in to the head wind. All i could think is this is going to hurt.
They line us up on a side street starting on cobble. I start off near the front and we head on to the course through the start finish a slight down hill in to sweeping right hand turn in to the narrow corn field roads, the attacks start off right away so the pace is fast until its not and at some points we are going so slow and the winds are so strong girls are practically falling over, but the attacks start again and we are strung out single file.
In previous race reports i have been able to give detailed course descriptions but there are so many corners, sweeping turns and long straight stretches i know ill mess it up so ill give you the important bits.
The first climb is not super steep or too too long but it is fast. The second one is right after a sharp left hand turn that looks like your going to ride straight in to a corn field and goes up up and up and straight in to the wind, for me this hurt like hell on some laps and not so bad on others just depends on how hard it was leading up to it if there was burn already in the legs then you can bet there would be pain in the legs once we hit the hill, but despite the burn/pain this was always the best place to move up for me. From here it was a bumpy down hill section with a sharp right hand turn then some sweeping turns in to a fast straight section that dropped you off on to the main road that would take you in to the finish.
Several times during this part the pack would fall apart and on more than one occasion i had to come around a few girls and close the gap, one of these times i made it across but the rest of the field did not, i think this is where the numbers started to fall off. I was glad i dug as hard as i did to stay in the main field and felt pretty strong and confident when doing so.
They finish us one lap early because there has been a break up the road pretty much from the gun. And when i say break i mean a solo rider who put 5 + min in to us, there were two girls chasing about 2min back from her and another 2 and a solo one that came off from our group.
In the finishing lap i again move up on the hill and get my self in half way descent position, i am a bit further back than i would like to be in normal sprinting conditions, but with how the sprint played out last time this may work in my favor? The sprint starts super early and i go with it, not going 100% yet just jumping from wheel to wheel im thinking this just might work i have a nice hole in front of me and i start to wind it up, im going good then all of a sudden a girl to my left blows up and swerves right in to me nearly pushing me in to the barriers and i have to lean hard on her to stay out of them. Next thing i know im rolling across the line 37th. Bummed.
We all clear out of the way because the leaders still have to finish, when the solo rider comes across the line i did not feel so bad when i learn it is Emma Johansson Swedish Olympic silver medalist.
I noticed i am having a hard time getting my head where it should be, not sure if im not trusting in my self enough because i seem to be more focused on staying in the race then racing aggressively and not really trying to be the rider i know i am.
I'm not sure if it's because the style of racing here is so much different, and unpredictable and this is stopping me from listening to my instincts as i normally do and this makes me more cautious
Maybe its that the level of racing is a lot harder and i am holding back because im afraid to take the risks that it takes and risk blowing my self out of the race and then dealing with my self after.
So the lesson comes down to stop listening to my head so much and more to my instincts.