Despite the positive vibes in the house due to the Olympics, I wasn’t all that excited on Saturday morning about an 18-hour return trip to racing in Holland. Another 5am departure meant that we would miss the viewing of the Men’s Olympic Road Race and would have to survive on ‘live’ updates from Josie via text message, who had already arrived at race accommodation after 5 days in Spain. That was until the prospect of a podium saw us stop off at the next possible servo. After running inside in the hope of finding a TV, to then discover there was only 3kms to race, I ran back out to get the crew, bowling over a 2-year old on my way. Turns out those 7 extra Aussie viewers didn’t help Mick Rogers on his way to a medal, but sixth in the world is still impressive!
I was rooming with Carlee, and once again, throat infected Josie. The accommodation exceeded expectation, with breakfast a buffet that I could have spent hours discovering, and a large television with four Olympic channels hard to pull away from. So when we woke to rain on Sunday morning, breakfast in bed in front of the big screen, cheering on the Aussie girls during the Olympic Road Race, started to sound like a pleasant option. Instead, upon Olympic race finish, we departed for our own race start. After some problems with the GPS, and a few thoughts that we were overdue for a shopping spree this year, Josie, Rochelle and I lined up on a narrow street, behind 150 motivated girls… and let’s just say it was a VERY long way to the front!
Aside from a neutral section before kilometer zero, the race was fast. Positioning was paramount through muddy single track laneways, which led me to believe that I had chosen a bad day for a serious case of CBF! It was lined out over the first of 14 steep, sharp, climbs, and it wasn’t long before Tiff was up the road in an early break of six. As the terrain got tougher, two girls succumbed, and she managed to finish a credible fourth. Rochelle and Josie abandoned, and after chasing 11 times, I certainly thought about it! The bunch remained together until the final 20kms, where it then split into 3 groups, which split again on the hill top finish. I was in the third bunch and for the record…extremely proud of my effort! So as Josie, Tiff and I (pictured top prior to race start) were passing by the chocolate machine, I didn’t feel guilty in buying a Kit Kat and shaking the machine to score extra free chocolates! =)
Results: Holland Hills Classic, Valkenburg, Netherlands, 100kms