April 5, 2010

First European race: GP de Dottignies

I finished my first European road race today, the GP de Dottignies in Belgium! The field was huge with 165 girls. I have never before been in a race with that many riders! The race started out well, then got very split up on the only major climb about 25 km in. I was in a chase group with 5 other girls for awhile with the front group in site. I just couldn’t get my legs moving fast enough though after the effort on the climb. We were eventually joined by another huge chase group. The course was set up in a way where there was about a 55km stretch, followed by 7 laps of a circuit for a total of 120 km. Our group was directed the wrong way for a little while on the way to the circuit portion… that was sort of annoying. The race officials still let us complete 5 laps of the circuit before pulling the group out which was nice for some more racing experience. Everyone on the team stayed upright even though there were some close calls, another rider had an incident with one of the motor bikes which was really unfortunate, I hope that she is okay. Congrats to Denise who had the best race of the day, making the break and finishing in the front group! Overall I thought it went really well for the first race. I just need to work on better positioning in the peloton for the upcoming races. Next stop: The Netherlands!


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