As usual, I’m trying to write this in arrears, but still it is the only way, scribbling some notes down when I manage to find time, believe me there is not much I’m currently writing in our team truck on the way to the World Champs in Madrid. We have just been racing for a week in Tuscany, Italy for the Tour of Toscana. This is the second day driving and we are about 1500km done with 105km to go, yeah ha. The middle of Spain is wicked, just been over a pass of 1260m, swapping the driving with one of our guys for the drive. Hope I make it there as his driving is shit, we have to wait for a couple of cars which are about 150km away, don’t know what the hurry is, rather be driving safe in air conditioning, than sitting on the side of the road for an hour in the sun, or dead.. I’ll tell him for the third time to chill..
Yeah the WC in Rotterdam was sweet, nothing fantastic for us, just a ride with a bunch sprint for the finish, pretty boring as the girls were pretty tired after the last six days racing. Both Susanne and Miriam are sitting in the top three in points for the overall World Cup, so every opportunity we can get to move into first we will. But not today, unfortunately it was not to be, maybe at the final, next week in Germany, with double points, who knows?
After the race, all the riders go their separate ways, three off to Germany, two back to Sweden and the rest stay in Holland. After dropping a couple of them off to the airport I take a well earned day off in Amsterdam, time for a ride. After spending the day on a Dutch bike, I almost felt like a local, the bottom bracket was loose as usual, the mudguard was making a great rattling noise, no paint on it at all, singlespeed of course.. I get pretty nervous with my road bike there, as it is a prime target for thieves and it stands out in a city where the newest bike there is 20 years old. Today I could relax today for a change, and relax I did, I was asleep in a park by about midday, man did I need it, caught up a little sleep from the last few days and it felt good. When I start tomorrow I will work for 28 days solid so I was already thinking about what I had to do for the next four days. Almost a day off, but close enough, the sun was up and had been for 10 days, up to 32’C, can’t say that I was missing those cold wet rides to and fro from work everyday, but I am missing the riding every day though.
We leave for Nurnburg at the bottom of Germany for the final of the
World Cup series, then to Italy for a week, then the team splits for the season, most of them ride in the World Championships in Madrid, the rest will be finishing for the season. I am working for Sweden for the Worlds, sorry NZ but I gave you guys a chance. I had met Sarah Ulmer and Meshy Holt in Germany about six weeks ago and they were desperate for a mechanic for the worlds as they had not found one yet. They almost died when the spotted me at the race working for the opposition, both their partners were there and also Amy Mosen, it was nice to talk a little Kiwi for a while. The NZ team was based in the middle of France and the mechanic was shit according to the girls (hope that he reads this) and by the state of the bikes they were riding I would defiantly agree. I offered my services as I was dropping the teams bikes and truck off and had a week to kill in Madrid (which is pretty dangerous for me really, lots of trouble to get into there). They jumped at the chance, I knew most of the team, and know bikes, spoke their language and knew most of the other mechanic on the circuit, perfect. But no, it was not to be, all the back handers and old boys network involved with Bike NZ hierarchy meant they were stuck with the same guy. In the mean time Sweden and a couple of others were asking. Sweden it is as they have our team champ, and two times world champ Susanne and Veronica, ahh Veronica…
Righto, back to the Tour of Toscana, in another gripping instalment to come…
While I’ve got 26km to go, a few more facts.
Most of the Pro Woman put all of the men who think they are pro in NZ to shame.. They amaze me how hard they are every day.. I thought I was hard till I met some of these girls..
All the girls I’ve seen so far clean their own bikes on a regular basis, and they enjoy it.
They get very grumpy if they can’t ride for some reason and Weill stay that way until they do.
They all ride in the drops all day, everyday, bar a few exceptions.
They don’t ride woman’s specific saddles or shorts.
They don’t really care what they ride most of the time, they get told what to ride and they do.
Some of the smallest most petit girly girls would kick my ass anytime anywhere and love to do it.
Don’t ever let on to them that you have a new bike magazine of fruity new bit as you will never see any of them ever again.
They don’t like shopping unless it’s a bike shop.
Some of the smallest girls can eat more than their body weight every meal during a big tour.
Sitting in a car looking at 160 Pro Women on bikes for a few hours during racing almost makes up for the long hours, shit food, no sleep, living out of a suitcase and getting paid nothing.