Im home again after the first block of races in 2015. We had an awesome launch in Stoke on Trent, interviews, photos, talk to lots of people and met a bunch of great sponsors. It was a great day. After that we started our trip to Belgium by taking the car train, first time for me! We stayed in France during the night and than we headed to Oudenaarde to get ready for first race of the season the day efter.
Omloop het Nieuwsblad kicked off the season and I have to say I felt good, I was calm and happy at the startline and to compare from last year there were a huge difference for me in many ways and to see and feel that is amazing. Can't say it felt like more than 5 months since I sat in a bunch the last time!
The race started up pretty easy and the speed kicked up more and more the closer to the hills and cobbles we got. There was a couple of small uphill and cobbles on the road before we arrived to the first real one, Kluisberg. It was probably a bit of a chock for most bodies in the peloton since there was a lot of girls falling back and after the hill there it was just all one line. Everyone was going on the left side of the road in the side wind and it was fast. But than the girl infront of me suddenly moved to the right and just missed a road island. I had no chance of seeing it so I went straight in to it, and so did 2-3 girls behind me as well. No crash (how was that avoided?!) but a puncture 200m after was the end of my race. Since Lucy was one of the other girls hitting the island and got a puncture straight away, both of us had no chance getting back in the race. A long wait and maaany groups pasing before a new wheel could arrive. That was it and Lucy and I did a training ride to finish it of instead. Disapointning but not much to do really.
The next race was Le Samyn and also this race ended in a not so great way. From my first pedal stroke I felt something was not right. My body was not at all with me in the same way as it was 4 days earlier in Nieuwsblad and I really had to fight hard to keep my position and not fall back cuz it was too hard to get back up there if I did. A bit more than half way in I was just not strong enough to stay in the front part of the peloton and it split a few places infront of me. I had no power and did not feel well so i went straight in to the camper to lay down. And so the evening offered me fever and I was bed bound for 3 days after that. I was supposed to do Hageland but the race pretty much came one day to early for me so I got a DNS. Yesterday I got back home to Sweden and now Im looking forward to some good days of training before I head off again.
Not the start you want but there are plenty of races to do before it's winter again and I do still feel calm and relaxed. Had a great time with the team and we're getting better together during races as we get to know each other more and more. Can't wait for Cholet now, which is my next race. Better luck that I hope! ;)
Launch pictures from Huw Williams!
Omloop het Nieuwsblad pictures from Ladies on wheels (on facebook)