We're on our last few hours here in Tielt-Winge as this weekend we'll be checking off the third part of the BeNeLux triplet with a UCI 1.1 Saturday and UCI 1.2 Sunday in Luxembourg. It should be fun racing with some actual climbing!
Last weekend's racing had its ups and downs. Saturday's race ended up being essentially 10km long before there was a crash, which most of Columbia (and our team) was behind, meaning Cervelo took to opportunity to hit the front with full force and gutter the entire pack on the narrow NED roads. With a fracturing pack and our sprinter behind the split we had a few full out efforts to get her back up the road. I don't know if it was some residual tiredness from Wednesday, just the effort of bridging with the pack trucking along at 50kph or both but me and one of the other girl's completely blew just after the first lap and our day was pretty much done. Another two laps before getting pulled and then some sideline viewing. Unfortunately, a break of 14 managed to hold off the pack 'til the finish despite the gap coming down to something like 20 seconds.
On to Sunday, we were back racing in Belgium at GP de Roeselare. A course change for this year meant we hit the infamous Kemmelberg (of the Pro Tour race Ghent Wevelgem) twice about half way through the race before racing back into town onto a technical finishing circuit. Not so sure I like climbing on cobbles that much...but that may have partially been the addition of the rain, and never having climbed cobbles before. Thankfully the descent was the paved version as the cobbled version has been put out of commission... for a good reason. Overall, it was a good team effort throughout the race. I didn't have my best race over the course of the day but managed to pull it together for the most part for the finish for 19th in the field sprint. Still learning to position myself in these European sprints.
The past week has been fairly relaxing here. A few easy coffee spins, a bit of actual training, a trip to Leuven for Jo's birthday and some super fun adventuring rides. Sometimes it's good to know where you are going on rides but I'm personally a turn when you feel like it kind of rider and we found some pretty cool roads (along with some dirt and gravel trails...) this week just riding around. And somehow in Europe you always end up back at home or close enough anyhow.
Off to the races and then back to Canada on Monday! Until Thursday that is. Have an exam to write Wednesday and then down to Mexico for four days back to tackle the courses from 2007 Junior Worlds again (sans broken arm this time!). I think that's touching down in 6 countries (Belgium, Luxembourg, Britain, Canada, US and Mexico) in less than a week.
...& we made videos of the house in Tielt at the beginning of the trip
Women's House (not sure what I was wearing...)