Ah, back from a very good weekend of racing. Admittedly, the result from today’s race could have been better. But it is what it is. I still had an excellent weekend and had a positive race experience. I’ve written about the race over here. But suffice it to say, I finished 35th. Not as good as a result as my first World Cup. But still a decent result for me.
As you know from reading yesterday, I traveled to the race with Jos and we had a fine time last night with our super meal at the Flunch and then rather relaxed evening in the hotel. Today started off much the same and continued with the same happy attitude. Solid breakfast in the hotel. Have I mentioned how much I like France and how much I enjoy European hotel breakfasts? Well, I do like both very much. So great early breakfast of fine museli, warm soft bread and a bit of yogurt. Perfect way to start a race day.
We set off at around 9:30 with first item on the agenda being a bakery. We wanted to get some food for Jos for the day and some food for me for after the race. Well the first place we stopped was definitely out of our league. It was a rather posh chocolate type shop – too rich for our wallets and no bread to be seen. Just as well since three macaroons cost 50 euro! Anyway after having a laugh about this place we found a great little bakery. Full of scrumptious bread, cakes, chocolates, and snacky food. We left with two mini-quiche, two almond croissants, one mini pizza (tomato sauce and black olives), and a fine loaf of bread. We got by with my not-so-good Saskatchewan French… The poor ladies in the bakery were probably happy to see us go! Really they were super patient with us.
Suffice it to say, that was the best quiche I’d ever had. The pizza was also perfect – no cheese on it – just a shmear of tomato sauce and four perfect black olives. The almond croissant rounded things off just perfectly. So this was a welcome meal after the race. And can’t forget the smooth bottle of Cecemel I chugged down while walking to the race building (permanence) to get a shower and collect my start money. Yes, start money. I now earn start money at World Cup races. Sweet. Of course now I have to open a Belgian bank account so I can deposit the cheque…
After a quick shower and pack up of the car we were off. The drive home was completely painless. Went by very quickly as Jos and I simply gabbed the entire drive. One stop to get some drinks and stretch our legs and then we were home. Perfect ending to the weekend. Many many thanks to Jos for all her help this weekend. Made a massive difference to my race experience. Also thanks to Matt for helping me out and just being there to do anything that needed doing.
I’ve written in my race report how I am feeling about this race experience. Don’t worry I’m not upset or feeling down in the dumps. Rather I’m super motivated. I want to get on my bike right now and get practicing the skills I need to improve on. This race reinforced to me that even though I’ve done a lot of hard work to get where I am, there is still much more hard work to be done. So no time like the present. I’m super motivated to improve my technical skills – this includes mud riding, learning how to attack things such as off-cambers, to improve my running up steep climbs, work on mounting the bike faster, improving my starts and accelerations. Just all the little things that really do add up during the race and cost me time.
Monday is a new day and I’m looking forward to being a bike racer and getting out there and working hard. Sure, I would have liked a better result (but apart from the winner – who doesn’t?). The true riders and racers are proven by how they handle the not-so-great days. Well, I’m going to handle it by facing it head on and improving. So if you see me out there in the woods of Averbode or Blauberg – feel free to stop me and give me some pointers. Heck, if you want to hook up for a training ride – you know how to contact me.
I’m off for the night. Have a good one. Congrats to Marc for a fine racing this weekend in Northampton – 11th both days. Many thanks to coach Steve for hosting Marc this weekend. Thanks for reading. Also, thanks to all the people who were cheering me on out there today. It does help a lot to be racing and hear someone cheering for you. I don’t know who you were – but thanks so much – it is greatly appreciated. Kudos to Katie Compton for a fine ride today (also thanks for letting me barge in on you and Mark and ask you about how to handle this cheque business…).
Okay, going now. Tea is getting cold and it is kind of late. Big day tomorrow. Next race is on Wednesday in Niel.