3 July 2022
Today, I had a Kermesse race in Beveren-Waas; Belgium. I rode to and from the event giving me a total of 150km for the day and a good base for kms with some intensity to prepare for the upcoming UCI races.
We had three IBCT girls represent in the race that took place over a 4km loop, 20 times. Unfortunately, Ditte got a flat in the first 10km and with no neutral service cars, she was forced to abandon. There were many attacks and prime sprints on offer, which Georgie was able to pick up.
4 July 2022
After going out early for a ride, I decided it was time to climb Saint Rumbold's Cathedral Tower in Mechelen that I have rode past multiple times. I caught the train there, then climed the 514 steps to the top. The views were insane!
10 July 2022
Districtenpijl-Ekeren-Deurne UCI 1.1 started off rather stressful for me. Before the race even started, enroute to Team Presentation, our Team and multiple others found themselves lost and 3km away from the camper van! Then, I had a flat tyre in the little back streets; mind you we are still not fully in our race kit! No helmets, no cycling shoes and 30 minutes before the start!
As I started walking back, an older lady came out of her house and I asked her if she could give me a lift back to the camper. So, there I am, sitting on the back of her e-bike holding my bike as she rode along. It was so lovely of her to help me out.
I quickly got ready as the mechanic fixed my bike and once again headed to the Presentation, which ended up being in the middle of a market. I managed to make it to the start line with 3 minutes to spare!
Anyways, now for the actual race. My positioning was the best it has ever been in my European racing journey and the whole team rode really well together. Fien got into a breakaway with 30km; so, we marked teams and covered moves. Unfortunately, she cramped coming into the finish and ended up placing 4th. I sprinted to 41st/137 in the bunch sprint.
13-17 July 2022
Baloise UCI Ladies Tour; my second stage race with the IBCT Team.
Prologue: As we arrived, we saw the Trek Segafredo World Champion bike of Ellen VAN DIJK. This got our nerves going! Luckily for me, the Team had set me up on a TT bike the week before, which was an advantage on the long straights. I felt strong and up 59th only 40 seconds down on the World Champion.
Stage 1: A very fast paced stage! Today, was set out to be a sprinters stage, so, we worked to keep Fien in a good position and she sprinted to 10th and took the Black Jersey of the First Belgium Rider.
Stage 2: 114km through a hilly course, which I had previously done a recon of. A breakaway formed on the final circuit of the race and gained three minutes on the bunch. Unfortunately, we couldn't close it down.
Stage 3a / Stage 4: Both were sprint stages, allowing us to work on our lead outs against the DSM lead out train, which is the best in the world. Mia and Alice both placed top 10 on each stage.
Stage 3b: A 15km TT through the fields along the canal. In the beginning, I felt good here, having done stage 3a in the morning. The road along the canal was pretty bumpy from tree roots and not being 100% confident on the new bike and position, I struggled to hold speed along here and the last 3km into the finish. However, I am really happy with my positioning progress and glad I could play a key role in helping my team mates. In the end, I finished 61st on GC.
This week, I had four days of the bike as I reset heading into my remianing two months in Europe. So, I deceided it was the perfect opportunity to explore Europe off the bike and booked flights to Italy!
First stop on my back packing journey was Venice, where I did a Gondola ride and a walking tour of Saint Mark's Basilica and Doge's Palace. Next stop, Florence, where I met a friend and explored the beautiful city by foot. We took a walk down the beautiful Jewelry Bridge and enjoyed the street entertainers. My last stop, was Rome, where I did a lot of walking to visit all the sites. I did a walking tour of the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill; then visited the Trevi Fountain and threw in some coins, finishing at the Spanish Steps. I had so much fun in Italy, even though time was short! It was lovely to refresh the mind and body for upcoming races.
Next up, is a lot of Kermesse races and a few UCI races. In September, I will race the RAS in Ireland before coming home to Australia to prepare for Nationals. Thanks again to everyone for your support and following my journey. Stay safe until next month!