I got another victory today – one in which I have been waiting a while to get. After last week’s near victory I wanted so badly to make up for it.
Today’s race was the perfect one to seek revenge as I know all the roads like the back of my hand (it’s my training area). The race was 170km with two laps over the Kemmelberg. It was the same race as the Women’s World Cup event held there today, the only difference was we had five local laps and they only had two.
I started the race not feeling 100% so I though I would try taking the start easy for a change – well that lasted all of about the neutral zone. The flag went down and I began attacking.
When I was finally convinced the legs weren’t good I went and sat back in the peloton. Just as I did that, the break goes.
Our team missed the break so we had the duty of chasing, but the break wasn’t a very strong group so we weren’t too worried. The second time up the Kemmel we had pretty much caught the break and the legs were feeling a little better.
I thought it was time for another attack.
I hit the top of the climb hard and only six other guys could hold me. About 20km later we were joined by fifteen other riders, including two of my teammates. It was going to make the job a little easier coming into the finish.
We started the local laps and the attacks began, but 5x 9km is still a fair way to go.
Fortunately with the other two (Arthur and Jens) and myself were just taking turns at following or attacking ourselves so the work load wasn’t too great. However, my work load was doubled after the feed zone when I crashed.
I took a feed bag and as I was sorting it out a gust of wind caught my front wheel and turned me inside out before I knew what was going on. I ended up rolling the front tubular off. The wheel change took longer then it should have after the crash so I spent the next half to 3/4 of the lap chasing, but I got back on eventually.
On the last lap we were down to four riders, Arthur, myself and two others. We decided that I was the better sprinter so Arthur was on attack duty.
His final attack into the last corner with 600m to go forced the other two to chase, setting me up perfectly for the sprint.
I crossed the line with a solid lead over the second place getter. Just the win I needed to make up for last week’s shambles.
It couldn’t have turned out more perfect for me!