Scheldecross at Antwerpen (BEL) UCI cat1 Saturday 7th and Druivencross at Overijse (BEL) UCI cat1. Sunday 8th 2013

Scheldecross at Antwerpen (BEL) UCI cat1 Saturday 7th and Druivencross at Overijse (BEL) UCI cat1. Sunday 8th 2013

I really enjoyed the lap in Saturday in Antwerpen, except for the long sandy run parts on the beach and the run over the artificial « heuvel » which made me lose lots of positions and plenty of time. (Have to do some running sessions during the next weeks even if I hate it !)

On the dry and sandy ground semi-slick tubes were the best (thank you Marc for bringing mine) and the mechanics didn’t have much to do. I had a very good start, entering the first sand part around 15th position, but after the three run-parts, I had dropped back around 30th position. On the parts you could ride I gained back some positions, but every time I had to run, I lost precious time and was taken out of race by the 80 percent rule just before entering the last lap and finished 25th ( my start number) out of 37 riders on start.

On our way back to Luxemburg, we stopped in Overijse to see the lap there (last time I had done this race, was about 7 years ago) and I decided to do a second race this weekend, mainly to make up for the fact that I had done only 4 laps in Antwerpen.

Getting up at 6 :30 in the morning on Sunday was very hard and early on in the race I was reminded that tbe way you recover at 51 years isn’t the same as at 15… This time I didn’t even think about using other tubes than Rhinos and even with those some of the downhills were just a slippery skaterink..

Same start number as the day before, quite good start, but some problems in the first steep uphill (felt every meter of running in the sand from yesterday in my legs). I then found myself blocked behind some slower riders and lost precious seconds on the main group. Furthermore, I had started with too much pressure in the tires (it was kind of difficult to find a good compromise between very low pressure for the muddy parts and a bit more pressure for the road parts), but my husband-mechanic had reacted immediately and I changed bike in the pits after the first lap. The grip in the mud was better, but I almost crashed into the barreers on the road and passed that place nearly in slow motion during the next laps. I still enjoyed every second of the ride and I’m proud to say that I had to get off the bike only at one steep hill whereas many of the girls got off at another place on the lap. Thanks to all people cheering me on during the race and also to all those who sent me nice pictures. This time I managed to finish without being taken out. Better even, I did my last lap with no one behind me except for the men elite beginning their training. Great feeling to have Sven Nijs in your wheel when he isn’t allowed to pass you! I admit that I did take my time to enjoy that feeling (lost a lot of time during that lap) and I even managed to crash in front of the world champion when I turned to fast on the slippery ground.

I’m feeling really tired today, but I’m happy that I did those two races this weekend!

See you all in Kalmthout!