Race Report: RaboRonde Heerlen

What a fanfare. This race was the biggest spectacle I'd been a part of yet. The racers were rockstars, and the crowd was really excited about it. I lined up smack dab in the middle. The announcer asked me if I'd heard of Annemiek van Vleuten. I said "Of course!" Then he asked me what race had she won. Me being me, I thought this was some fancy trick question. Then the women around me started whispering "La Course". lol. Guess it wasn't a trick after all. Btw... if you don't know about how this woman beasted the Col D'Izoard, you better ask somebody! 

The pleasantries ended and they fired the gun. This course was super dope. It had a double hill cobble section, a brick section with a funky off camber turn, and a fun switchback-y asphalt section leading to the finishing straight. The best part of being over here in the Netherlands are the courses. These courses are amazing, and diverse, and did I mention amazing?

Right. So my momma and grandma showed up for this, so I was pumped. We all rushed into the first turn and as per usual, I found myself getting spit out of the back... WTF. Lo and behold here was McGowan hanging onto the lead pack again for dear life. I swear to Black Jesus, one day I am going to get it right. I'll keep showing up until I do. Either way, I fought for it, and moved up in the pack. The pace slowed. 

Someone took a flyer. No one was going after them, so I did. It was fun. The announcer said my name! I hope my mom and grandma heard! The pack came back together. Eventually VanVleuten, Chantal Blaak and co went up the road. I missed it. I stayed with the chase group. No one was actually interested in chasing, I took the opportunity to work on my positioning. Stay toward the front. 

Eventually we lost a few women off the back of our pack. We were nearing the end. There were four left in our group. I started my sprint too late and in the fourth position. I passed one girl. 9th place. I'll take it! 

Ayesha McGowan1 Comment