Race Report: Daags na de Tour

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Holy Smokes! I got to line up with some of the best in the world, and today I get to do it again. This has been crazy fun. Monday we raced the "Day after the Tour" crit. A big party where they invite a bunch of Tour de France participants for a crowd pleasing adventure. It was really cool to see all of the excited fans young and old crowding around for autographs and selfies. Even I got to sign some little boy's t-shirt. I'll know I've made it when someone asks me to sign their baby (yup that's a thing)... The day might come? No?

Either way. 

Breakfast:

  • Porridge w/ yogurt, jam, walnuts, & goji berries.
  • Toast with appelstroop
  • A hardboiled egg.

Lunch:

  • Rice w/ red beans

The race.

Everything was super confusing, but I just shuffled along and followed the others. I figured the dutch girls knew what was up, so I would stick close. Before the race there was a Meet & Greet. Confusion with the times caused us to have a less than favorable warmup. We sort of lingered near the stage and did what we could going back and forth on a short strip of road. I can't wait until i'm so fit that these races seem menial. But for now, a good warmup is so necessary. 

The meet and greet was super cool. They called everyone towards the stay (i assume so, it was in dutch, they rushed, I rushed). They announced the pros and let them speak to the audience, and one by one everyone signed in on a big board with numbers on it. I was very careful not to fall of the ramp. lol. That would've been great.

We shuffled towards the start line, 3rd row again. Not terrible. Due to some shuffling here and there I found myself right behind Anna Van Der Breggen. No big deal, but also HELL YES! Lot's of pictures were being taken and suddenly it sounded like a countdown was happening. Then the gun! We were off!

It was fast and it was technical. Super aggressive. I've never been cut off so many times in such  short period of time. I need to multiply my aggression level, I was in awe. We approached a round about. Some girls went around it, some just bunny hopped right over the middle part. I thought to myself, I have GOT to try that at least once during this race. I was too scared to try it just yet tho, I went around. 

My brain wasn't processing things fast enough, I was slipping further and further to the back of the pack a chase group formed. We all seemed pretty evenly matched, so we did what we could to work together. There were attacks here and there, some folks went off the front. I didn't try anything this race. I seriously feel like I spent most of that race having a mind explosion. 

Eventually Anna van der Breggen lapped us. One of the dutch women jumped on her wheel. We all followed. It was incredible to see her go go go. She jumped over the round about. I did too. IT WAS SO FUN! Eventually the officials made it clear that we shouldn't be there. One of the dutch women decided to take a flyer and yell at me in english as she zoomed by. " Your race is over"... But she was with us, so wasn't her race over too? Yup. Maybe she was being helpful? Who knows. We exited the course and became spectators to our own race.

Everyone who was pulled received a DNF. It was so worth the adventure. 

Today's "Acht van Chaam" probably won't be as cray, the course is longer and less technical, but our best friends Anna van de Breggen and Marriane Vos are going to be there again, so we're sure to have another incredibly challenging race. 

I THINK MY SINUS COLD IS FINALLY GONE! Praise Black Jesus. Racing sick is less than ideal, but thankfully I've been eating well, and attacking my cold with Vitamin C and Lemon, Ginger tea.

What did I learn: 

  • Don't think, just go: I was too cautious in the beginning, and it cost me my position immediately. I need to process the aggression of the race faster, and match it immediately.
  • If you're confused, just do whatever the locals are doing. 

Goals for Today:

  • Be super crazy aggressive. The camp directors say I should yell more. I'm gonna try it.
  • Relax, Not let my anxiety compromise my race smarts. I think today's race will come as less of a shock? Maybe?

 

Ayesha McGowanComment