So me and my mum set off on Thursday to get the ferry from Hull, this bit all went smoothly, the issues started when we got off the ferry in Belgium to get lost almost immediately. The Belgian road signs made things more difficult than they should've been but after a few detours and a tour of a town we didn't need to do we final made it into Holland. The drive seemed much easier after this and we made it to the place we were staying. Just as we were arriving a team car with RWC Ahoy written on it pulled up and I got my first chance to meet the girls I would be riding with for the weekend. They all seemed very nice and invited me to stay in their room with them. This was quite an experience, 6 of us in quite a small room with bunk beds, safe to say there wasn't much floor space.
Once we'd unpacked a bit and had lunch we headed down to the time trial course for a ride round it. It was pan flat, with a good tail wind section but then, obviously, a hard head wind section and some good corners. I was happy with how my bike felt and settled nicely into my tt bars. We rode back to the place we were staying and changed before getting in the van and heading to the start of the TT. I pretty much went straight to warm up because I only had half an hour till my start time. I headed to the start and soon I was at the top of the start ramp ready to go. I had the count down in dutch (vaguely understood) and I was off and immediately being battered by the cross winds, I tried to get the bike into as big a gear I could manage and just hold it. Soon I made the turn into the tail wind section and a quick glance at my garmin showed I was going at nearly 50 km/h, at the top of my junior gears, and I could see the team car behind the girl in front. I found a nice rhythm and held it down the turn before I was into the head wind and just trying to keep a high enough gear turning over. My legs were seriously hurting by now but I could still see the girl in front so I kept pushing. I didn't quite manage to catch her but I finished in a time of 21.02.22, which was 2.24.16 down on the winner who was Nicky Zijlaard, whose team I was on! Nicky was over the moon with her win and it gave me a purpose on the team, I had to help keep the red jersey.
|Think this gives some idea of the size of the bunch|
|4th in line with Eline from my team at the front|
I ended up in 47th place overall but it didn't really matter, I'd learnt a lot and had a really good time with all the girls on the team. Really wish I could go back every weekend!
|The team at the end of the last stage|
On Tuesday I was straight back into the racing at the first ERC Ingliston crit, a 3rd place was all I could manage with my tired legs but I hope they have recovered by Sunday when I've got the next round of the British Series down in Cheshire.
Some more photos from the weekend..