Final Worldcuprace 2014 Nommay (FRA) January 26th 2014

Final Worldcuprace 2014 Nommay (FRA) January 26th 2014

The day before the race while pre-riding the lap, I felt quite confident; I managed to get through the mud smootly and it boosted my optimism to make a good result.

Unfortunately, things never go the way you want them to.

Sunday started with the discovery of my cracked helmet (the plastic thing that keeps it  snug on your head was broken) and it had to be fate, because it was the only time I didn’t bring my second helmet with me. Luckily Jonathan Page was kind enough to lend me his second helmet (complete with the american stars and stripes!).

The lap had become more difficult as well, but I still managed to get through it ok, I just had to run up the hills. The weather was ok, and so I was still very confident about making a good result.

However, this feeling proved to be false, and was quickly replaced with despair. After a mediocre start and a big hectic battle in the stairs, two girls crashed right in front of me in the first downhill. I tried to avoid them, but the mud was so deep that my front wheel slipped and I went down as well. My knee smashed into my handlebars, which did hurt quite a lot but wasn’t so bad as I thought it would be (left a blue spot). When I finally managed to get back up when everyone had passed, I saw that my right gear-shifter and the breakes were completely broken and that my chain was stuck on the biggest gears. I couldn’t break down (which was annoying but the mud slowed down enough) but worse: I couldn’t shift gears. So I had to run almost all the way to the pits and by that time, all the other riders were long gone and my confidence had dropped below zero. If it hadn’t been for the UCI points, I would’ve stopped there, because when I finally switched bikes, I was already three minutes behind the leader Marianne Vos. After that, the legs and the head weren’t really in the race anymore and I just kept pedaling without fighting. I was kind of relieved when the commissioners took me out after three laps…

Thank you to all the people who kept encouraging me along the lap even when my situation had become hopeless. As always (but more than ever) big thank you to my husband and mechanic Marc for everything he does for me, thank you to Lori for the Massage, to Trixy for lending me her beloved bike, to Johnny for lending me his helmet and to all my photograph friends who have send me their nice pictures!

I sincerely hope that the bad luck on that day was enough and that the last races in Belgium will go smootly so that I can make some decent results to end the season on a positive note!