Merry Christmas Everyone! I spent my Christmas pre-riding one of the most ridiculously hard courses I have ever ridden. Not for the normal reasons. More because of the huge amount of snow on the course. But I like riding in the snow. I knew racing in it would prove a bit more difficult, and oh boy was I right.
The course opened at noon on race day, so I thought I had better go check it out again. 24 hours was going to change the course a lot. And it did. It was even more difficult to keep the bike straight and ride. I rode the descent in warm up, but didn't quite make it 100% to the bottom, so made some decisions of where to run, etc. I had a plan. The plan I hadn't had was for the uber chaos at the first turn. I had a great start down the pavement. It was safe thus far. Then we entered the snow. It was people flying everywhere. Running into people, over people, shoving, pushing only to get back up and be shoved back down or have someone crash in front of you. Over and over again. It was survival of the meanest. Those lucky few that made it before the first person down were golden. But it wasn't as though they didn't crash too. Everyone crashed. It was just a matter of when and how quickly they could recover and get around or out from under the next person. After surviving that chaos, it was time to make up time. It didn't go so well. It was either me crashing, someone crashing in front of or into me or not being able to clip into pedals due to the build up of ice from running, mounting, dismounting, etc. Lap 4 I finally got it together and got moving. 3 laps to late. But I moved up. Passed others that had their luck run out and survived for a 19th place finish. I wasn't exactly 'happy' with the outcome, but the fact I finished with just a few scrapes and bruises, I figured it was good. Nothing broken and my season could continue. Whew! It was over. Here is a quick re-cap of womens race. I see that I am about 10th from last after the first corners of crashes. Wrong place, wrong time. And I thought I was having a good start, totally relaxed and in good position. Things change fast. check out some of the great crashes!
Monday I woke up sore. Really sore. Everywhere. Especially my left butt cheek where I took my hardest fall. I did my spin on the trainer, and then Ryan and I ventured into Brussels for a little tourist action. I had been, but Ryan had never been to Brussels. We got crazy and didn't use the GPS. An adventure. (I'm a little addicted to my Garmin Nuvi) I did, however, mark a way point where we were parked and after our little visit to the Grote Maarkt and Manneke Pis and a stop for coffee/food, it was kind of good that I did. I was lost. Ryan probably would have found it without my help, but for a moment, we had no idea where we parked. That could have been one good adventure. We watched Diegem on the internet instead of venturing there. (Ryan has raced it before and I have been twice to watch), so we stayed warm, picked up some frites and wine and pretended to be there. Ahhh. Life is so hard. One more race and then homeward bound.