Gooik-Geraardsbergen-Gooik (BEL), UCI 1.2, 26.05.13

Gooik-Geraardsbergen-Gooik (BEL), UCI 1.2, 26.05.13

No Kapelmuur for us this time...

But we did do many of the climbs that they do in the Ronde van Vlaandern, which was really nice. There had been some problems, so we had to race as a mixed team with the girls from Rene Groots team, which was actually quite cool. I came to this race to enjoy being admidst all these amazing riders like legendary Marianne Vos (which is just a huge honor) ...

 

... and share this experience with my mother. So my goal was to stay in the bunch until the first uphill, which was supposed to be the mythic Muur or Mur de Grammont, an epic climb, 600m of cobblestones with a steep section up to 20%. But, unfortunately, it was taken out and replaced with a nasty uphill (not in the slightest as steep or epic or anything really, just really boring) and a round-about which managed to split the bunch into many tiny groups. I did however stay in the front part of the bunch all the way to Geraardsbergen (Grammont), to km 31. Then came this stupid round-about we had been told about by our DS. They wanted every rider to pass it on the right side, saying that any rider cutting through on the left side would be disqualified. This did not happen however. My mom and I were still in the first third of the bunch at that moment, but a lot of riders passed on the left side, and by the time we got there, the people blocked us and we had to break down completely and pass on the other side. So the head of the bunch was already a 100m further away when we got out of the round-about and only the strongest of us managed to get back. I was dropped there, my legs hurt like hell from the effort. I wanted to get back to my mothers group but I couldn't catch up. After that, the Bosberg, a 500m cobblestone rather steep uphill, was waiting for me. And weirdly enough, I loved every second of it. This was the real thing, the BOSBERG, there was something about it I can't even begin to explain. Then I almost got run over by some idiot in a teamcar, but well, what can you do? Following the Bosberg were the Congoberg and the Bergstraat, and a 1,8km cobblestone section. All of which I surprisingly liked. I caught up with some girls, then they all dropped after the cobblestone section and the climb that followed it, eventually three of them came back and we finished the big lap of 60km together. We were however taken out on the finish-line, as were many riders including my mom and most of our team-mates of the day. Only 59 riders out of 137 finished the race which was won by swedish champion Emma Johansson. The weather conditions were quite hard, heavy wind and cold, but luckily it stayed dry. All in all it was just an incredible experience and I'm so grateful to have been a part of it. This is the reason I started cycling, to be a tiny part of this big thing.