World Cup Riding

Today I raced the Kalmthout and Pont-Chateau World Cups… Okay, not really. But I watched the women’s race from each while riding the trainer in the basement. Normally I’m not interested in watching cyclo-cross or any other bike racing while riding the trainer – I suppose because we usually only have the men’s race to watch. But when it is the women’s race it is a different story.

The Kalmthout World Cup really is a super fun and challenging course. I’ve only ever raced it when it has been covered in snow and ice – as it was this year. It was pretty awesome to see Marianne Vos who started on the back row, ride her way through the field and into second place. Interesting enough, the podium from Kalmthout had the same women on it as did the World Championships podium…

After the Kalmthout race, I moved on to watching the Pont-Chateau World Cup. A totally different race in different conditions and with a smaller field. I’ve never raced at Pont-Chateau but from watching the women power over the climbs, it looks to be a very challenging course as well. This year it also looked very fast. I was super impressed with the start that Vos threw down – she had a big gap within a few meters on the pavement – which of course then settled down. Anyway, I haven’t finished watching this race so I can’t provide much further comment on it.

But I can tell you that watching these two races really got my blood flowing. I felt myself pedaling faster while watching these races than I did while watching the first show of the ride (Californication). I was paying attention to how the racers took the corners, how they lined up to keep their speed, if they kept pedaling, etc. Honestly, I found watching these women race to be inspiring. It reminded me of the unfinished business I have left on the cyclo-cross bike. I also made a vow to myself – I will get better – I don’t want to be at the back of these races anymore. This year I will race as I’ve always wanted to and believed that I can.

So thanks to Hanka, Marianne, Katie, Katerina, Sanne, Nikki, Nicole, Sanne, Helen, Gabby and all the other fast women of cyclo-cross for amping me up on this fine Wednesday morning. I’m stoked to get out and ride, push my body and hit that next level.

See you out there!