Drenthe 8 Dwingeloo
Before I tell you about the race (and my first cobbles ever!), let me bring you up to speed on the other stuff.
We left the Energiewacht Tour house on Monday after an easy ride and some skills drills that Jackson decided were necessary given our accounts of the mayhem in the peleton.
An hour or so transfer brought us to Dwingeloo, Netherlands where we’d be spending the next few nights. Interesting fact: we are staying in the EXACT same hotel I stayed in with my family on our bike tour from Amsterdam to Copenhagen in 2000.
We’ve been living the good life here in Dwingeloo. I’m savoring it because I’ve heard the accommodations in the Czech Republic aren’t so nice. The town has that quaint, small-town feel with the cafes, the park in the center, and people on bikes EVERYWHERE. The food is delicious, and the people are friendly. We sit at breakfast in the mornings and watch the elementary school children bump shoulders and do perfect cyclocross mounts and dismounts on their way to school. Then we do some course scouting on our easy ride, shower back at the hotel, and eat a fresh spread of food our swanee, Andrew, picked up at the town markets. Massages are in the afternoon followed by a mouth-watering dinner in the restaurant across the way. Laundry is no problem since our team truck is equipped with its own washer and dryer.
O.K. time to wrap this up. The hotel computer is red-underlinging every word I type because it’s not Dutch and it’s making me insecure! The race. The first half was really frustrating because I could NOT get to the front. If I made progress forward, I’d soon get stuck behind a crash or forced the long way around a roundabout. However, if there was one thing I learned about positioning from the Energiewach Tour it was this: keep fighting! Of course, that’s easier said than done. Most of the crashes are happening mid-pack and they take a toll on your nerves.
Come 100k in, I began to get tunnel vision from focusing so hard for so long. With each kilometer we rode, I began to care less and less about whether or not I crashed or remained upright. Funny what lack of fear will do for you. Next thing I knew, I was at the front! I wasn’t there for a second before I attacked. The first thing on my mind was food. Finally I could take my hands off the bars and get a bite to eat! But then the motos started giving me increasing time gaps, and I began to dig harder. The people in the towns I rode through were all cheering and the motos had their cameras on me and were giving me time gaps on their dry erase boards. It was pretty cool.
Video found by my fans (parents). My attack’s about a minute and a half in.
My trophy is this huge wooden and glass lantern that’s way too big to take home to the States. It will probably end up at the team house in Izegem. I believe there’s some picture of it on cyclingnews, of me holding it up in the air and smiling awkwardly because I’m wondering what the hell contraption I’d just been handed.
My first World Cup is tomorrow!