Well we left for the Women’s race early, the last thing we needed to do was get stuck in traffic. They were starting at 9am, travelling through the streets we see most of the cafes full of people left over from the night before, ah in another life, that used to be me, how things have changed. One thing has remained though, my love of bikes, the one stable thing that has kept me going all these years, may it roll on. We had five women racing today, most of the other countries had six, so we had car number 22 in the caravan, guess we won’t be seeing much of the race today. After car number one or two for the last few months, it was interesting to see how the rest of the teams watch the racing. Lucky we had the race radio, because you had to have bionic eyesight to see any of the races from way back there.
Susanne was our hot favourite for the win, two previous World Champs wins were testament to that, the press bothering before the race also thought that she was the favourite as well. Well the race started with a bang, they were off and right away we hear Sweden to the back of the bunch, one of the girls had flatted already, doh! We race up through all the cars, which were still jostling for position, three abreast the course. Trying to look for our smallest rider through all the shit, plus race nerves for Klas who was driving, I was looking as hard as I could, but we managed to drive right past her, about 300m. Other team cars were yelling to us that we had passed her, to make it worse, it was right in front of all the boxes where all the countries were hanging out. They were telling us as well. I leapt out of the car, sprinted as fast as I can (longest run I’ve had all year), past all the other boxes to our girl, who had seen us scream past seconds before. All those years of changing wheels paid off as I made the fastest rear wheel change that was humanly possible, I even scared myself. And she was off, chasing the bunch, which had put the hammer down, must be all that built up tension of the World Champs as they had one hell of a speed up. We tried our best to pull Monica up to the bunch, but there is only so much motor pacing we can do before we get busted by the commissionaire. The lap finished, and it was fast, Monica was still hanging out the back of the caravan, we thought she was close to joining it, but the speed of lap one was too much for her, she was about to blow.
With all the nations present, we had to share cars with some of the countries with few or one riders. We had Ireland riding with us, they had one in the race, the mechanic introduced himself, he had just started with road racing. With the small talk before the race, he was telling us that he had done all the courses regarding racing, but this was his first race. I was laughing to myself, and a little out loud as well, thinking that he thought that I was the hardened professional, working for the worlds best Female Pro Team, with a two times world champ and multiple Olympians in my stable. With the driver, Klas, an ex pro driving and with most of our team was racing for their consecutive countries, we must have looked like the shit. I didn’t tell him that I was about to leave to work on $50 bikes from Foodtown, for people who try and screw you for a full rebuild on their piece of junk, for sake of saving $30 on a good machine. We kept on asking him, is his girl any good, all he could come up with was, ‘well she was national champ’, we were waiting for more info when the fist rider out of the race was his, halfway around the first lap. He decided to stay in the car for a few more laps, thinking he came this far, he may as well get his money’s worth. Maybe someone should tell him his job is to look after hid rider, we thought it was pretty funny all the same.
Well to cut a very long story short, Sweden sucked, all the team blew before the end, all of them except Susanne failed to finish. Susanne rocked as usual, getting seventh in the bunch sprint. A German won the sprint, helped by two of our new team mates, Madeline and Luise. Miriam was in the top 12 for Holland, Linda lead the bunch for two laps flying the flag for Denmark, Amber almost got away on the last climb for USA. All in all it was a pretty good race for team, but not so good for anyone particular.
The U23 had neutral service for the race so I was off the hook, after 13 laps for the women, another 20 or so did not seem too much like fun for the afternoon. I was on hand in the boxes in case of any major problems, more like time to sleep in the sun and skive off for 26 mins until they came through the pits and then look busy for a few minutes. I managed to find some wireless so I was happy catching up on mail. Both of our guys had a good race but were out of the running for a podium finish. Next up the pro men, 260km in 30’c, should be fun.