Friday we begin the Dutch centric portion of our trip with Omloop Door Middag-Humsterland on Saturday and then the 5-day Holland Ladies Tour starting next Tuesday. Looking forward to some fun 3-4 hours of motor pacing per day, avoiding crashes and trying not to get stuck behind splits. Shall be good training, and hopefully have some good finishes for the team. Besides that Holland is pretty cool.
But back pedaling back to France...
We crushed through the 10 hour drive down to France on Thursday, and thankfully hit no crazy traffic this time. Leaving at 6am, I managed to get comfy in the back seat of the "bus" and sleep away most of the trip. The outlook on France improved slightly as we stayed at a cozy family run bed and breakfast that served up pretty decent food.
* pictures lifted off of Dave Drumm
Friday we got out on the course for a pre-ride. It was crazy to see the number of campers already parked up at the top. Besides our GP de Plouay WC on Saturday there was also a Pro Tour race Sunday, a France Elite race before ours on Saturday and a bunch of cyclosportif and mtb races on Friday. Lots and lots of cycling fans. The course definitely was a toughie with 3 significant climbs per lap, but seemed like it should make for a good race.
Saturday we started at 1:45 (to make sure we finished within the television schedule) after a series of team presentations and whatnot. The race was ON from the gun. I'd managed to get a pretty decent start line position and ended up in pretty comfortable positioning for the first couple laps, managing to flow with the group pretty well. Covered a few attacks on the second lap, but things really weren't going to get serious until later on, on the climbs. The race went downhill for me half way through or so. Felt like I had good legs, then didn't have such a happy stomach, then didn't have such good legs and went back. Managed to roll the next couple laps but finished HD. Seemed to have picked up a bit of a virus or something as the past couple days I've been pretty glassy eyed and slightly fever-ish. Back up and running now though. Maybe not such a bad time to have a bit of a forced break. Back to the race: it ended up finishing up pretty well for the team. Wish I could have been a bit more of a help later on but Joelle put in a good effort for Erinne, who wound up 8th, and also Anne sprinted to 18th to get in the WC points.
Time to hit saddle!