Ronde van Drenthe
The World Cup was cold. Very cold. The sign in building was near the start finish so we stayed inside until the last minute, myself, my team, and the whole peleton, eyeing each other’s clothing choices and, in my case, second-guessing ourselves. I had a bundle of clothes on under my rain jacket, bibs, legwarmers, and three (3) shoe covers. Legwarmers AND three shoe covers? I wasn’t sure it was necessary, but sometimes warm and heavy beats hypothermic and light. Vos was wearing legwarmers anyway, so were the Belgians, both good signs. People were starting to move toward the door. I had to push those thoughts out of my mind and go.
Team presentation and sign in room:
In this World Cup, the course profile literally looks like this:
Don’t believe me? Photo coming soon…
Each of those hills is actually the same hill, Trash Hill, that we go over it three times. It gets its name because, you guessed it, it’s a hill of trash with sheep grazing on top.
The race would not be decided on the hills, however. It would be decided on the three cobble sections between the first and second GPM’s, and on positioning out of the third GPM. That’s why I was SO excited to be in the front group coming out of the third cobble section. Half the field was gone. I had made it, but I was gassed. I yelled to Jade who had caught on after a crash, and we moved up together before the second GPM. I must have spaced for a minute at the wrong time because all of a sudden we were turning into Trash Hill, I hadn’t seen it coming, and I was near the back.
I made it over the hill, but got popped on the crosswind section immediately following. The course takes you into the finish before it goes back out for one final small loop to Trash Hill for the 3rd GPM. I rode through the finish and was almost back to Trash Hill when they pulled me and the girl I was riding with. We had to ride back anyway! I wish they’d just let us finish. I ended up riding only 10k less than the total race distance.
We got lost on the way back, and ended up having to stop to ask directions which was very bad. My feet were frozen even with the three shoe covers. We were soaked to the bone and disgusting. It was 34 degrees out. Here’s Jade post-race.
The next morning we awoke to more snow. That’s our hotel on the left.
Around 8:30am, Jack was sitting at the breakfast table with us when he got the call from the Novilon race promoters informing us the race was cancelled. All the directors were called, and immediately people were coming to the table with smiles on their faces saying, “Ave you eard da news?” You could hear and see the collective sigh of relief. People began laughing and talking to people who weren’t their teammates. Kirsten Wild said to Janel in the buffet line, “I guess I should not eat breakfast now.” Then after a pause, “Eh, no I eat anyway,” grabbing some bread and loading her plate.
There wasn’t time to relax though. We were in the car headed back to Sittard less than an hour later to get ready for the next adventure, 2013 Worlds Recon camp in Italy. Worlds is in Florence this year, and we’re going to be ready.
Just couldn’t leave this guy out:
Foreshadowing my next post. Pushing team vehicle.