Race Report: EPO - Tour d'Oospel
As we waited at the start line, we looked up at the clouds. To the east of us, blue skies, to the west, north, and south, blue skies. Above us... clouds, clouds, and more clouds. They fired the gun.
It wasn't a super technical course in comparison to the other courses we'd done. I had a much better start than usual. I never slipped too far back, but I did have to do some work to get into a good spot. I moved up and when the time felt right, I went for it. It wasn't the best timed attack, and everyone jumped on my wheel pretty much immediately. I've been trying to be more aggressive, try more things, and not be afraid of failing at them. Failure is a part of the process, and i'll never get it right if I don't keep trying. I tucked back into the group. Another girl launched off the front, and then it happened.
The skies opened up and it began to pour. Then it began to hail. It was bad enough it was raining, but wtf was up with the little ice balls? It wasn't even cold. HOW DOES WEATHER WORK? We slowed, but the women off the front kept going. She was on her own so taking corners was a lot less dicey. Meanwhile, in the pack, brakes were a joke. We took it as fast as we could while keeping it safe. A few more women decided to chase. One by one they'd launch of the front. I think one actually made it, but we'd eventually catch all the rest. This meant the race was for third.
The rain slowed and we picked up the pace. I guess I got a little to comfortable in the turns because in the final turn and cut in on the inside and my tires slipped from beneath me. The ground was still wet and I went down and took quite a few folks with me. What a bummer. I was in a great spot, set for another top ten finish, but it wasn't my day.
Crashing is never a good time, and it's always worse when it's your fault and other folks go down too. That doesn't grant anyone permission to slap you, but somehow I got slapped on the arm again. It was a mess, but I stood my ground, demanded respect, and cleared it up. It's bike racing, things happen, but we're all adults and should respect each other as such. Everyone who went down, got up and crossed the finish line. 17th.