Had the second race for some of the team yesterday, in a nice little town about an hour away. Oud-Vossemeer was the town, right near the sea, we had four of the team racing, Sandra, Suzanne VV, Linda and Mirjam. The day was nice, no clouds, plenty of sun, a little bit of a cold wind blowing, thought I was seeing things when the cars dash was saying 7’c. Summer is on the way, I think, who knows what happens round here, I might have to look into it a bit more.
Suzanne VanVeen racing early on.
The race was a small circuit, almost 2km short, with a record field of 115 (max allowed on this course) things would be tight. In some places it was rather tight, chicanes, islands, dykes etc, and I was expecting the worse, hey it’s my job, and I love the stress. The race started on time, and the laps were short, 2.5 minutes or close to that, and wouldn’t you know it, three laps into the race, crash. Sandra pulled into the pits with a puncture on the front (you can have a lap out for a mechanical), well more like a huge split. We find out soon enough a cat ran out onto the course causing a few of the girls to go down, no damage to rider or bike, and things continued forward.
Sandra working hard.
The pits were just past the finish/start line, so we had a good view of all the sprints in the finish chute. About 30km into the 80km race, five of the girls made a good break, and managed to get a nice little lead of about 45 seconds. Then crash, a small kid had managed to squeeze through the barriers and proceeded to run across the road. The chasing peloton didn’t have a chance, and they hit him square on, bit like slow motion for me, as I see about five of the girls cartwheeling through the air. All the mechanics rushed to help, just in case any of our team members were hurt, lucky my girls were safe. Most of the others in the crash got up, the kid was not hurt to much, and was walking soon after ( a bit slower though). A couple of the other girls had to get taken for some x-rays, but otherwise the little midget was very lucky not to be worse off.
The officials had a few laps neutral, which gave the peloton time to gather the break group up, and they were all together. They decided to restart the race again after about 10 more laps, giving the five in the break the same gap they had before the accident. Kind of like greyhounds racing as they let the five off first (the rabits), racing their asses off, then the bunch was let off as well, to chase them down. 20 laps to go and the bunch didn’t manage to catch up, a sprint for the finish saw Mirjam miss out on the win (she had won it for the last two years) and ended up 3rd. Not bad really, considering the size of the field, and the dramas throughout the race.
Just as I was about to put the bikes on the car, and to get the hell out of there. I noticed a huge couple of cracks on the top tube of Sandra’s bike. It was amazing she didn’t notice for 70 or so km’s, as it was making a loud creaking noise just moving it slightly, so dangerous to be riding it for so long… photos coming later for this one, just got to talk to the manufacturer first.
Got the Team presentation on Tuesday, yay, more photos, then next weekend we are off to Italy for a new race. The Coppa dei Laghi will be run on the 25th. You can read a bit about it here, if your interested.
And a map here.
No idea where it is, but will be checking my map soon, and more about the map later.