Italy and Belgium
After Spain I traveled to Italy and spent the week training, visiting family and getting ready for traveling/racing in Belgium. On Sunday the 19th was Trofeo Binda. A Women’s World Tour race, and just 10km from my house. It was a top race and I saw the top women in the world riding on my home roads. I was disappointed to not be able to race it, but because my team did not come and was not listed for the race then I couldn’t either. Once a race is classified as UCI (international), it has to follow a whole other set of rules and thus becomes much more strict on who is able to race.
The day after the race I traveled to France and my team director picked me up to go to our house for the week. We are staying just on the France side and less than 5km to the Belgium border. Everyday we have ridden to Belgium and on the race course for the race this coming Sunday.
Wednesday was the first race here and a UCI race also, but not World Tour. On the levels of race status the top is World Tour, then UCI, then Continental/National.
I felt good and was excited to see what I could do in my first big Belgium spring classics race. The first part went very well, but on the first cobble stone climb, and also most important, I got pushed while going around someone and then blocked by another girl. So I found myself less than halfway up standing like a chicken on the chopping block. I got back on as fast as I could and pushed myself all the way up as hard as I could. But at that point the front of the race was so far ahead and not possible to jump across. So I was stuck behind with a slower group and not happy about my finish.
But as my director said, it’s my first experience and learning how Belgium racing works. It’s technical and tough. Not just about pushing up the climb, but being in front at the start of it and riding in the right spot too.
I am looking forward to Sunday and know I can do well.