Monday, July 27, 2009
Race Report 6 Boezinge
16 x 6.8km = 108.8km
Race is part of a match calender so people are racing for points and jersey classifications. Kind of a big deal race with fallow vehicles and radio tour coverage.
Early morning to check out from the hotel and catch the train then another train and then a short 5k ride to the start. I'm a bit nervous legs feel heavy from all the walking around we did yesterday but i knew what i was doing to my self so i asked for it.
Go to reg and the organizer introduced himself to me, we had been emailing on FB he was excited to have an American attend his race. I wanted do well in representation of the US. I register pay my 3 euro entry fee and 5 euro for my number, he hands it over and i smile lucky number 8! Hope it's lucky for me to day i need all the help i can get with the way i am feeling.
Nerves are killing me, i get ready warm up as much as i can the long finishing stretch is all really rough cobbles. I make my way to the start and people from the side lines start to yell San Francisco, i look over and they say is that you? they are pointing at me and i nod my head and smile, they get supper excited and start asking me hundreds of questions about SF and my tattoos and why i am there to race and so on, it was kind of nice got my mind off how nervous i was and made me giggle a bit. I had people rooting for me.
We are off, over the cobbles in to a right hand turn in to the head wind. I am near the front and the attacks start right away i go with the first one, we get no where, sit up sit in and another attack, one solo girl goes no one dose any thing so i sit wait and a girl to the right of me attacks i go and go hard head down i look back and no one is going with us and we have a good gap, i come around and hammer to close the gap to the girl up the road it takes some time but we connect and now there is three of us and we are away, we take turns and i we come through the finish line for the first time with me leading we stay away for a second lap and i come through again and get a prime. Then we are caught by a group of 7 and they are flying by us we jump in and now we are a break of 10, we work and work to build the gap, I am suffering pretty hard after working most of the last two laps, and am having a hard time coming through on the rotations, one girl starts to slag me off and says if i should go back to the pack this makes me mad i pull my self together and start to be smarter with the rotations and conserve as much energy as i can eat and drink and keep it up we still have 12 out of the 16 laps to go.
The tempo never comes down, i am happy Sean is there i get two bottle feeds and a food feed from him. And still could have used more, it is warm and supper windy.
With 5 to go i really start to suffer and the cobble section starts to take its tole on me. the cobbles start and we have it lined out in the gutter every time until about 150m to go then the hay bails and guardrails start so you have to jump in to the cobbles and every time i start to go backwards so after the finish the cobbles continue until the left hand turn in to the head wind and i would have to chase on and then start back in to the pace line, and would get yelled at if i did not pull through i did the best i could and always managed to pull through but with 4 laps to go a group of us started to get gaped off when the speed picked up and the side wind was supper strong i was the last one and almost got dropped when they accelerated to get on, i was flailing for a bit and may even whimpered a bit, i could not get dropped out of the break with only a few laps to go, i dug so hard and turned my self inside out to get back on and continue to work through the line.
With two to go i sat in with about fore other girls one of which had been sitting in the back for the past 3 laps, i think she was in more pain then i was, so i thought if they don"t work why should i. I would pull through every other time but tried to conserve as much energy as humanly possible.
With one lap to go i knew i was ok. Drank the last of my water and energy flask and the attacks started, i started to gain confidence that i may actually be able to do something. We were all jockeying for position leading in to the cobble section half the group went up the right and the other on the left i went to the right for the first time, i think the wrong choice it was the slower of the trains then we hit the cobble section i am still with the pack but as we progress over the cobbles i start to go backwards again and manage to come in ahead of one girl for 9th.
Not the result i wanted but over all i was proud of my self for surviving and racing the hardest race of my career, i can honestly say i don't think i have ever suffered that much or worked that hard.
Lesson # 6 Never give up push though the pain and suffer a bit more to make it to the end with your head still up.
After the race my SF fans were supper happy with the way i raced and every one wanted to take pics with me, hahaha that made me smile.