Tuesday, 14 August 2007


After avoiding the Futuroscope DS at our magnificent buffet breakfast this morning I couldn't help but think back to yesterday when I had eaten with a smiling Bel, optimistic about racing and in high spirits after being in contact with Craig and family. I didn't say much in last night's report as I was quite distraught about the whole incident. I had gone back after finishing and seen her lying on the ground, head swollen, covered in blood. They had began to cut her clothes off and wouldn't allow Ath to travel with her in the ambulance. As I stood on the roadside crying I tried to predict the damage. Rochelle has bruised her hip and suffered multiple contusions in her shoulder. Bel has broken her clavicle and scapula, stitches now holding the left side of her face together. She is to fly home with us next week, no operations.

Many things ran through my mind as we raced. We no longer had our sprinter, or our swanny, or a full team of 'Perform Group' girls. Dazza has now been nicknamed our 'manny', a play on words with mechanic-swanny and man-nanny, after giving pre-race rubs. It seemed the local population of children under 12 had been placed on bikes to escort us for our 10km neutral section out of town, before we were faced with strong 'facial air currents' (cross winds) making any appearance near the front difficult. Persistence on Menkini's behalf saw Rasmussen (Menikini) and Ugolini (Chirio) obtain a gap late in the race. A 40second bonus dwindled to 7 when a steep QOM 4kms from the finish upset the field. Although moving to 13th after stealing 7th in the stage as first young rider, by no means does it indicate that my legs had a better day. Another transfer sees me now with Tiff, our sleeping quarters upstairs and bathroom downstairs within our room, that may hurt the legs!

Results: La Route De France Feminine, Stage 3, Beauvais - Argenteuil, 101.1 kms