Monday, December 24, 2007

Down time. 

Today is rest day. I made a list of priorities: DONT GET SICK. Sleep. Water. Stretch. Laundry. Massage. Groceries. Bike wash and tune up. Inventory of the damage. 

The damage.
Three races in 3 days. One too many?? We shall see soon enough. If a cold takes hold then the answer will be yes. But I am drinking enough Vitamin C to kill a small donkey, sucking on cepacol's like they are candy canes, washing my hands raw, dik bleeking (bleaching) the hell out of the kitchen,  and wearing so many Helly Hansen thermal layers that I am starting to sweat. Barb spent 40euros on herbal remedies. Cross your fingers for us.

I almost had a heart attack when I saw a long skinny line on my Queen Ann (brand new frame after my simms2 frame was dented in transit on the way to Toronto). On closer inspection it looks like its just the paint that is cracked. Maybe because it was so frickin' cold  it froze?? 

Huijbergen CX
Day 2 of racing was outside of Antwerpen. After my slip on the ice at Schedecross yesterday my hip was pretty sore. We were in general, less giddy and  more sore and tired. But the course was super fun so you couldn't help but perk up after a preride. Lots of twisty trails through the woods, a sand run up, a steep run up (that some men could ride) and a couple uphills that most girls could ride. Oh yeah, and this horrible frozen cow pasture that you hit SO hard after a sand descent. I added 4psi more than normal to my tires so I wouldnt bottom out but you just had to hold on for dear life and pray not to crack a wheel for the 15sec you were crossing frozen divet, after divet, after divet. The Riverside girls had made it to europe so there were a few more familiar faces preriding.

I also met the new euro Kona CX rider, Saskia, just before the start and gave her a couple of skinsuits. I got called up to the start right beside her. She has been having a great season, closing in on Daphne. But I am pretty sure her friend was making fun of my long sox on the start line....

I had a great start and went into the dirt second, staring at the very same orange skinsuit I had just given Saskia...hmm. What do I do? I can't really chase down my new teammate, but we didn't talk about any strategy. I held back a little bit to see if she would try to go for it off the front. Eventually Daphne took second wheel, and the others swarmed so I ended up at the back of the lead group of 5. They race so aggresssively here you have to fight to hold your position, not just fight to move forward. I stayed with the group for the first half of the race but I was working hard catching up on the open sections. Daphne eventually went off the front and I popped out of my pedal on a frozen bumpy section and got dropped. I chased, just a few seconds off the group for the rest of the race but could not close the gap. 5th place.

GP Montferland, Zeddam
Zeddam was the site of the 2005 World Championships so it felt like we were going somewhere familiar when we left for our 3 hour drive at 7:30am. We were all pretty tired and sore after 2 days of racing. But I vowed to have a good warm up and race hard to make it 3 for 3. The course was pretty open and fast with a big stair run-up. I jumped on course after the junior race and happened to be riding behind wee Daphne van den Brand. She told me the run-up was 100steps, then turned to look at me and saw how tall I was and said "for you, 50 steps." FINALLY a course that requires some running. I have done more running this year and have been feeling pretty strong on foot but I haven't had much chance to pull it out of my bag of tricks.

I had another good start and went into the dirt 2nd. But I was swarmed right away and went through the pits with the lead group of 6-8. Reza H-R ( also known as "raging hormones" by some) went off the front right away and her teammate Daphne kept us at bay. We got to the steps and our chase group pulled away from the masses. Barb said there was an actual FIGHT on the steps behind us as 3 girls stopped dead and started going at it.  That maaaaay have contributed to us getting away.  

Brit Helen Wyman led the chase group for most of the race with Daphne second wheel. I got around Saskia after the steps and I battled with a tall skinny agro girl. She would chop me at a corner then I would snake in for third wheel after the figure 8 up and over monstrosity. Daphne attacked a few times and eventually got away and I was left with Helen pulling me around. Perfect. i was planning my sprint finale with 1/4 lap to go when I found myself in front after she screwed up a corner. Uh-oh. Change of plans. I couldnt lead out the long sprint so I decided to try to drop her on the twisty section. It was going well until I slipped out on a thawing corner and Helen passed me and then Saskia passed me. Dammit! I could have been on a european podium but lost my chance....instead, another 5th place and a dirty skinsuit.

-3 races and NO barriers. Interesting.....
-I got my picture taken with world champion Erwin Vervecken! Barb knew him from the New York race and was chatting with him before I punched her in the back and said innocently "who is your friend??"
-Poor Nathan broke a bone in his hand after some dude crashed right in front of him and he went down
-Jeremy Powers was LEADING the mens race at one point!
-Ryan Trebon's is still be having back problems after his spectacular Nationals crash....
-The North Americans chiquitas are taking euro cross by storm, 5 girls in the top 15 at Zeddam
-The local TV station interviewed me after the race! Barb, Natasha and I were running around ringing our cowbells so we were pretty obvious....
-A few Xmas tunes on the radio yesterday but we have not been BOMBARDED with Xmas like we usually are at home


Nathan said...

Would that cowbell happen to be bright pink? Looking forward to seeing you on a Euro podium soon.

Wendy Simms said...

Why WAS a bright pink bell!! I figured it deserved to come to europe to see the show!