Run by the same organization as the Holland Ladies Tour, this was the first time the race had been run. Covering the bottom of Holland, parts of Germany and Belgium, it was looking good. The start list was small, as the Holland tour had taken it’s toll on the teams, and they were wise not to start. From the high of 176 riders the previous week, to a start of about 75, the bunch looked small in comparison. It was a bit of a shame as the race was looking to be organised exceptionally well, four days, so not so demanding. Our main sponsors, Flexpoint, and Bombergier were sponsoring the race, so we were happy to race for them. It was not our strongest riders, as they were resting up, but a strong team in comparison to the level of riders racing.
Hanging out before the start.
Got to love the countryside
The weather had improved, and the summer was back again, I was very happy as it gave me a chance to dry the truck and equipment out properly. All the transfers were close, and we were not changing hotels every night, things were looking sweet. I have already forgot most of the first two days, there was some hills, think there was a TT, and we were chasing the USA National team as we were only 25 seconds behind. On the third day, Miriam crashed hard. You can read, or may have already read about it below, I don’t want to tell ya again. But I can update you with the news that she is recovering well. Her face is looking good, only a small scar under her chin where they fixed the jaw, the swelling has gone and she is smiling again. Another operation is happening as I write this, to remove a few pins that have been holding her pelvis together. And a small plate is going in to hold the bottom of her pelvis together. She is in good spirits, and is over lying around in bed already, a couple more weeks in hospital and then she is home.
Nice to see some downhills for a change. And the mist never lifted.
With the last stage to race, I got to be driver, mechanic and director, not the sort of entry into the job I would have liked. But with Jean-Paul hanging out at the hospital, he was better use there for Miriam, than racing with us. The team was in good spirits, even with having to see the accident scene as they rode past her. But cyclists are strong skinned, they took it in their stride and raced hard, almost taking the stage and almost gaining the time we needed for Loes to win. But my first win as director was not to be, a close chase down to the finish, and the Americans took good control of the race. Second place overall, and the green sprinters jersey, and the teams classification was enough. Home for another night, and then off to the Giro dela Toscana (Tour of Tuscany) in Italy for a week in the sun. But this will be no holiday as I will be mechanic, and director for the week. With a team of five, there will not be as much work as it could have been with eight, thank god.
The team on the podium again.
A few more pics to come, at a later date.