Sunday, April 29, 2012

Omloop Van Schermer

So let me just begin this post by saying that at the end of the race they gave out bottles of perfume to all of us! hahaha...I snagged two - I think they were giving us a hint hahha.
Any who - there were 170ish starters I think today, and I ended up 27th.  I really wanted to make the break but alas - wasn't in the right spot at the right time.  I did however sprint for 2nd place in main peleton so I was really happy with that.

start!

on the dykes

Schermer was OMG insanely windy.  I guess thats why it is covered in Windmills hahaha.  Let me just say that the first hour of the race was spent listening to everyone yelling, screaming and cursing - getting pushed and slapped on the butt, riding in the mud and dirt and avoiding hitting the pavement.  I must have been in the middle of three crashes and I herd at least a handful more happen.  One of my teammates ended up in the hospital - so I hope shes ok!  Luckily I never went down :) But while I was catching up from a crash the break went...and alas my race was pretty much over. 



It was really hard and windy - but the 107km went by pretty fast - party because they kept changing the loops on us! I was so confused as to how long we had to go! I was just going by the time on my clock.  They had given us 3 hours to finish the race, so by hour two I knew it would be over soon.  Then we started passing the finish line and they had put up 2 laps to go.  I figured we must have done a smaller loop this time so I timed how long the second last loop of the race took so I would know where I would have to go to the front on the last lap.  It worked!  I was in perfect positioning going through the last corner.  The finish line was about a km or two from there, but I managed to hold my spot near the front and snag second place out of our group of about 50 or so.  I'm pretty happy with it seeing as my sprint have been anything but great so far. 
Next time, the break has my name on it!  Results here...not many finished hey!


Tomorrow is Queens day! So I will be spending the day dancing dressed in orange and watching fireworks :)  And Tuesday we all race in Belgium which will be really fun :)  And we ride straight through Brugge! Pumped!!!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Volendam, Zaandam and AMSTERDAM!

Yesterday was a verrrrrrrrry busy day - but also one of the best I have spent here!
I was pretty tired from the race the day before, but Rachel, Michelle, Jenny, Bill and I all packed up and spent the morning in Volendam.  Rach and I got dressed up in authentic clothing and had amazing cappuccinos on the water :) Very cute touristy town!
cheeeeeeese!


Then we drove over to the race of the day.  We had a 60 lap criterium in Zaandam.  It wasn't a very big race - about 70 riders, but I was getting a bit nervous because my legs were pretty dead from the day before.  Never the less - the sun came out and I got a Prime, a couple points in the 3 lap points competition and finished in 10th overall.  I still need to work on my finish because the last few laps I had trouble keeping my place when the pace slowed.  But it's always good to know what to work on!  When I went to go pick up my prizes I thought I had won 20 euros, with the number 10 written on both my envelopes.  Maybe it was because I was tired, but the number 10 was my race number, and I actually won over 60euros!  Amsterdam here I come!


So we got on a bus and a train and made out way to Amsterdam.  I actually loooooved it there.  Its a REALLY busy city - full of tourists of course, but soo nice none the less! There was a big fair in the middle of the city, haunted houses and madame tsusaudes!  After dinner on the main street we went to the red light district and oogled at the hookers in the windows and had some laughs in the sex shops.  I also went into a coffee shop - which is actually a place where you smoke weed - but don't worry...I only had a couple joints haha jk.

opening up the lungs!

Amsterdam!!!

I can't wait to go back there with the girls in a couple weeks.  Sex museum and rides are on the list!  And depending on the money situation I may have to rent out a window or two hahaha.

Omloop van Borsele

I know I havn't posted in a while but I may have taken a short break visiting my family over in England last weekend - so no racing for me!  It was really relaxing and fun...but now back to racing!
Saturday I raced a UCI race - Omloop van Borsele in Holland.  It was my first race with my new club team Boretti Ulysses and my team mate from Canada- Rachel Canning- also joined us!  I was really happy to see the Canadian team and some old friends and to have really good support from Frits and everyone from Boretti.
on the dykes

the sunny dry start

There were about 200 starters including many world champions - ex Giorgia Bronzini - all the top teams - Specialized, AA drink etc - and top track racers including Dani King (GB team pursuiter) who was racing on the same team as me!  The race was 5 laps of 24km, so about 120km in total.
Of course the first corner there was a crash right at the front, but I managed to get around all the early crashes no problem and was pretty pumped with how I started.  But somehow I started to get bogged down and followed a wrong wheel out of the last dyke and before I knew it I was out the back and on my own watching the group get further and further away from me!  The follow cars started to pass me, but I was so tired from trying to get back on I could hardly make it to the back of a car and ended up latching on behind Team Canada's follow car - they were in 4th spot.  I tried to move up but it was so windy that when I went to sprint past the car to the next I was barely going any faster then the car.  Finally I managed to hook onto the back of the group - but knowing my luck, as soon as I did they all sprinted away and I was so dead from getting to them in the first place I got popped...again...I scrambled to get onto the commisaires car, but ended up cursing, freewheeling and giving up.  UNTIL the Canadian car passed me.  The womens coach yelled at me a few times and I sucked it up and by the middle of the second lap I made it back to the pack, exhausted...but back.  And thats where I stayed..at the back, for the whole race.  I think I was just tired and angry (it hailed and rained the rest of the race), but was among good company.  I spent most of the race staring at Bronzinis butt and admiring Claras red braid haha.

oh hey hey

best I get is in the background haha


For the finish I decided to follow Bronzini to the front, but with about 2km to go I realized she was just there for a chill day out - and definitely not sprinting!  So I haggled my way past as many people in the last 500m and managed to grab 42nd place.  I was pretty happy with it, considering I thought my race was over in the first lap.  And I was definitely super inspired seeing some idols riding next to me.
results can be found here!
Tomorrow - smaller criterium in Zaandam!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Breda and Waddinxveen

This long weekend I was lucky enough to race Sunday and Monday.  Sunday the girls and I raced a localish race in Breda with the women and 50 plus men.  Don't let their age fool you, that was probably one of the fastest races I can remember.  There ended up being one other girl in the final bunch with me, and coming through the last lap I again botched it up and rolled in behind her.  It was a really good race though and I'm determined to be first girl there so I can get flowers for Jenny! 

Breda - sunny! but cold :( - wind burn is my only source of tanning these day!

Today it was a field of about 100 in a criterium in Waddinxveen. It was rainy, cold, and very very dirty - not looking forward to cleaning the Stevens. I was really hoping to make the split because I have been finding out how awful my bunch sprint is, but alas I missed it by being at the back.
The start at Waddinxveen - 60km crit

My cheering section! Bill, Jessica and Haleigh :)

Thank you Anita for being my personal photographer :)


So I slapped myself on the cheek (the face one and figuratively haha) and got myself to the front and stayed there the rest of the race.  It was a little frustrating because no teams wanted to work because they all had someone up the road ( a group of 8?), so only a few of us did any work.  I threw a bunch of F bombs that did the trick, and managed to get 6th in the bunch sprint, along with 2 primes that I honestly had no clue I got.  Bill explained how the primes work to me before the race - but when it came down to it, i mixed "twee" (2) up with "three" in my head, and I think there is something about 2 consecutive laps that count for a prime...I still don't even know!

Add caption

the girl behind me is a really good  sprinter

the finish!

Any who I finished 14th and came home with 21 Euros.  I'm movin' up in the world and starting to get the hang of racing over here, and I am also starting to really like it.
This is a good choice if you want something stuck in your head during the race :) Ahhhh Kylie :)

Friday, April 6, 2012

Cookies before a race :)

Yesterday Jay and Yuki picked me up to go racing in Dottignes on the Belgium and French border.  Finally I was able to communicate with the race officials and local bakers - I knew French would come in handy! haha.  Before the race Jay and I found a baker in the small market set up outside the bike club hall (in the church tower) who gave us quite a few samples before Jay ended up buying a box full - for only an euro! 
The race was 100km or so and 12 laps with about 80 starters.  My goal was to be at the front of the race, because lately I hide in the middle of the bunch.  And I did it! I spent most of the race in the top 10 which was a really good feeling.  It also allowed me to get in a few short breaks, help pull back the main break and do a couple attacks.  Nothing I was in sticked, but I was just happy to be in the race, and not just pack fill.

Racing through the farm land in Dottignes
  Coming into the sprint I was sitting 5th.  It was a long uphill drag to the finish, where the road goes from a meter wide to a pot-holey 4 lane road. I figured I would just get on someone wheel and hope for the best.  However, as soon as the road opened up it was complete mayhem.  And before my brain woke up I had missed everything and sprinted in for 25th spot. (the results say 26th but after the race they went through the finish photos and got me to sign and pick up the money for 25th...so I'll stick with that :)).

I wasn't quick enough to take the picture!!

hahahaha...although now I think I want some!

Prize money!

On the drive home Jay, Yuki and I stopped at an Ikea-esk truck stop and got dinner which was actually pretty good!!  I am so appreciative of Yuki for driving, Jay for her entertaining eating habits - rice pudding with pineapple because you don't have to chew haha - and for Harry for lending us the car :)
Next race is a local race in Breda with the girls and some men on Sunday, and Monday I have my first race with my new team!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

New Team!

Thanks to Willem, yesterday I was accepted to race for Boretti-Ulysses Womens Cycling Team based out of Amsterdam.  I am so excited to finally have some team mates and friendly faces in the races over here.  Racing with them also allows me to do some bigger races which I am super stoked about.  So thank you Willem and Frits!

Spent my rest day in Dordrecht

Watching World Track Championships today - don't feel so bad about sitting on my butt!!! And tomorrow - long and hilly race in Dottignes with Jay and Yuki which I am really looking forward to!

Spring flower - think my mum would like these!

Boretti - Ulysses is also on facebook if you are too!

Monday, April 2, 2012

FRIKandellens

Back home I am a pretty big foodie.  I love baking and making supper for my dad and I.  I love trying new food and sometimes even spitting it out haha.  So coming over to the Netherlands I was excited to eat the way the people over here do.  It's not so new to me because my mom always cooked authentic German food for us, however a few things are still a little surprising.

the makings of energieballs!

energiiiiiiiiiie...they fall apart pretty bad in my back pocket mind you:(

 Sprinkles for example. Sprinkles on sandwiches. Licorice out the nose! Now I know why JehLeh is hooked - although I still cant stand it. Frikandellens - fried meaty goodness that looks like its already been digested a couple times:) Yoghourt in cartons - its a lot more sour then our yoghourt but I'd say better!  Oatmeal also comes in cartons too.  And  me being a big fan of oatmeal thought it would be a great pre-race-bring-along....until I opened it up and found slop...more of a slop then normal oatmeal.  I tried to improve it by adding peanut butter - as peanut butter normally makes everything taste better - but it honestly only made me dump it in the garbage quicker.  Might actually be OK for baking with now that I think about it!


see what i mean...

Jenny makes unbelievable dinners though, so I know I can always look forward to those.  And we always visit with the rest of the Dolams for dinner and coffee so that automatically makes meals nicer :)
The girls had this song - Umbrella by the Baseballs - on in the car the other day and I really liked it! They sing covers of pop songs but somehow they are happier and more fun :)

English!!!

Today I got to hang out with a girl who speaks ENGLISH!!!! Well Scottish but I'll still count it hahaha.  I rode to meet Harrie who picked me up to drive me to Wielerronde Van Oploo.  And he brought with him Jay from Scotland and Yuki from Japan! She is here until November - I am so impressed!

Junior mens race

Jay me and Yuki!

start/ finish straight

The race was supposed to be 100 minutes on a 3km course with 100 starters.  There were prime laps and money for the first person across the line every lap.  I must admit I didn't really participate in the primes, so that's definitely a goal for next time. 
About half way through the race was stooped because of a horrific crash and they had to bring an ambulance on course to scoop up the fallen rider.  We had to stand at the start for a good 15 minutes and then we were given 5 laps to finish the race.  I rode more in the dirt and grass on the last lap then the road but managed to elbow my way up to make 16 Euros for 26th spot.

ballin'! haha

Thursday the girls are picking me up and we are taking a road trip to Dottignes Belgium to do a race.  I am pretty excited about a small adventure :)
Tonight is another race at the Mol in Dordrecht!