It has to be said, that was a massive relief. It’s not been the start to the season I’d planned for, or worked so hard putting in the training KM’s for, but hopefully I can put any disappointments behind me now. The past 3 weeks have been really tough as I searched for answers to my AWOL form. Thanks to too many experts to name, I now feel more like my normal self.
That said, after a week cruising around the UK, lab tests and basically too much time in the car, I felt pretty average, but if a win is the result, I hope I feel average more often. I like the course in Hamme; 80% of it is good for me, technical ish, power, mud, power and pedally corners (Yes Pedally is a word). Then there is the BMX track, which has to be said is very fun, but as my coach always tells me, fun isn’t for the race. Sanne was going to have an advantage on me in there, so I needed to keep hitting it with a gap.
The two young Americans jumped away at the start like hot rods, but that worked to my advantage as I got away quite well and got a ride on their heels to the first mud section. I’d spent some time in pre-ride getting the adverse camber section as correct as I could, so I knew I wanted to get in there first. It worked, and with consistency I managed to keep the pressure on those behind me. Sanne was the fastest rider out there, no questions there, she could eat into my lead at will but a few too many little errors and a bike issue ended her chances.
Still, I am really happy, I’m back on the podium, on my favourite step. I’m really thankful for all my sponsors for keeping the faith. It’s my first win since Nationals in January. That seems like a lifetime ago when you’re not riding as well in races as you are in training. Now I can look forward to January with a little sprinkle of positivity I’d been searching for.
On to Essen.
1. WYMAN Helen – KONA FACTORY RACING TEAM
2. CANT Sanne – Enertherm-BKCP – TEAM CICLISMO MUNDIAL
3. HARRIS Nikki – YOUNG TELENET FIDEA
4. HAVLIKOVA Pavla – MRM AVALON PRO CYCLING
5. VAN LOY Ellen – YOUNG TELENET FIDEA
6. DE BOER Sophie – KALAS-NNOF
7. VERSCHUEREN Jolien – YOUNG TELENET FIDEA
8. SELS Loes – YOUNG TELENET FIDEA
9. KAPTHEIJNS Maud – AA-DRINK/B.R.I.S.
10. VANDERBEKEN Joyce