Wednesday, April 29, 2009

First Crit of the Year

A break from the big races and a chance to get some results. I as well as some of my team headed north for the first crit of the season. After another long journey we finally arrived in Zuidbroek, translated in English as South Trousers! Signing on is a breeze in this country compared to the UK and you don’t even have to pay for the race! I already knew this but still find it difficult to believe, I must pay £12 to do a similar race back home!

I did a few laps of the circuit and it looked and felt good. The corners were not too bad although some of them would have you if you took them fast! There was also a bit of a narrow road but only on one section of the course. The gridding system here really makes me laugh. They do it in number order, and surprise, surprise I was one of the last numbers so started at the back of the race. The only advantage I had was that I was able to hang onto the fence while waiting for the start. After a brief interview, which I’m sure not many people understood, the race started. I had a feeling that a crash was going to happen at some point during the race. People seemed very nervous, on the brakes and moving across onto other riders. Any time a rider went away the field would chase and then just stop. This was causing countless problems, especially for me who was trying to move through the field of 60 riders. I seemed to move fairly quickly, and had an early dig off the front. I attacked way too near a corner and very nearly took myself out! A touch of the front break was all that was needed but it was pretty scary heading towards a curb! Then disaster struck! I was in pretty good position, in the middle of the bunch near the front, a touch of wheels and someone was on the floor. When you have nowhere to go but down it’s a nightmare! Luckily I landed on a bunch of riders, I was fairly lucky as I had no cuts but my right knee took a nasty whack, I’m guessing against the top tube of my bike.

I quickly jumped up as I knew I had a lap in which to get myself sorted, and see what had happened to the bike. Luckily nothing much had happened to the bike. Back wheel had popped out, brake out of ailment, scuffed bar tape and a front mech which at the time I hadn’t a clue what had happened! It was soon in good working order and I was back on the bike, riding round with the rest of the field. The race had to be neutralised as the crash was quite serious, many people were taking to hospital, including a team mate who had to have internal and external stitches. She is now doing fine.

After the restart I think people used their heads as it was fast from the off. It was lined out and in way there was never a hairy moment after the crash. I wasn’t in a great position and was moving up slowly. I watched a break of five riders go down the road and kept thinking to myself I can get across to that but I have to go pretty soon. I knew exactly where I was going to go. I put my head down as we were going down the home straight, and went round the corner, the worst on the course, at some speed! I think this was what got me away, when I looked round the field were not on me and I was in pursuit of the breakaway! I felt as if I was never going to catch them, I thought I was either going to be out there in the middle for a long time or the peleton would catch me. Within a lap I was on the back of the lead group! I had to sit on the back for a few laps but did eventually start to help out. In the sprint I again run wide and lost the wheel so ended up sprinting to fourth place. I am still happy with the result but a podium would have been better! I do however feel a podium position is on its way!

I was due to race at Waddixeen on the Monday but had a mechanical with my brakes and was unable to start!

Report from Moving Ladies Website
Last Saturday, 11th April, the Moving Ladies team headed north to compete in the Ronde Van Zuidbroek, translated as South Trousers! This was the first criterium of the year for the team and the riders that were competing were Linda Ringlever, Emma Trott and Sarah Cramoyson.

Sarah and Emma crashed early in the race. The crash was serious, for a few riders, including Sarah, the race was stopped for ambulances. Emma however came through lightly, just needing some assistance in correcting a mechanical on her bike. Sarah however had to go to hospital with a wound that would need both inner and outer stitches! Emma rejoined the race, where 10 laps were neutralised in order for the crash victims to be treated.

After the restart the riders didn’t hesitate and a group of five quickly formed off the front of the group. Emma saw the danger and in a lap was on the back of the group. By doing this she was able to sprint to a beautiful fourth place. Linda finished with the group in a position of 16th.

I am now preparing for a few more big races. Races are coming thick and fast now. I am racing during the week and then doubling up at the weekend.

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