My season started Saturday the 27th: cobbles, hills and cold as birthday presents!
I was waiting to pick up the number on my shirt for too long. Starting with the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, also called “little Ronde van Vlaanderen”, hasn’t been easy, but the important thing was to restart!!
Unfortunately the first two races in Spain had been cancelled so I had to begin the season in Belgium with cobbles and hills. As I had a lot of track trainings during this winter, I knew my condition wasn’t perfect for the road races and I would have preferred to start with a few more easy competitions to set my legs and get some rhythm, but due the COVID-19 emergency I learned that you always have to be ready to change your plans.
Despite that I’m really happy with my 19th place, it means that I’m working good and that I’m on the right way. Also the level of riders on the start list was high (our sportiv director said it was like a little world championship).
The first part of the race was quiet, despite of a funny fact… after 50km we found a closed rail crossing so we had a “bathroom stop”, unfortunately in Belgium rail crossings stay closed for less than one minute, so when the rest of the group kept going, I was still putting my shirt on and had to chaise them for a few minutes!! When I reached the group the first cobble sector started and the speed increased a lot. On the Molenberg, a tiny cobbled hill, the group broke up and I managed to stay in the lead of the race until the Geraardsbergen, one of the more famous and hardest hill of Belgium, which was at 15km to the finish. I tried, with some other girls, to give my best in the last part of the race, hoping that we could reach the first group, which, in turn, was chasing the world champion Anna van der Breggen, who at the end won the race.
Also for this 2021 the ice has been broken…and the first number picked up!!
Saturday I’ll take place at Strade Bianche, don’t miss it, it will be live on Eurosport!!
Anton Vos and Peter de Ville’s pictures.
It was very nice to see you racing again and to see you winning the sprint of the second group!