It has been that time a year again. The time to find out who’s turn it is to wear the national jerseys in Individual Time Trial (ITT) and road race (RR).
Last year was very disappointing for me in both the time trial and the road race. The last one being a DNF (did not finish).
So, I was super motivated to step up my game this year and I was looking forward to both races even though I knew that my time trialing abilities are not the best and the course for the road race had a tricky technical part which can also be a disadvantage for me.
Individual Time Trial
Thursday, it was riders against the clock and the women had a course of 24 flat kilometers with lots of corners and chance of wind from every side. But, it was a hot day without much wind. My start was at 17:22 and I will take you through my day from arriving at the “crime scene”.
I arrived 1,5 hours before the start. I unpacked my bike, changed clothes and picked up my race number. I started my warm up on the home trainer 45 minutes before the start and sat on it for 25 minutes.
I had to be at the start with 10 minutes to spare, but suddenly I remembered that I didn’t check in my chip or had my bike checked for legal position. I rushed to the start and checked in, but when the commissioners put my bike in the ‘thing’ for measuring it didn’t go through.
The saddle had to be put back at least five centimeters. I only had four minutes to my start and I didn’t think I would be able to put the saddle back in that time, but someone near had a tool set and the commissioners helped me.
Inside I was freaking out and I didn’t understand, because last time I had my bike checked the position was approved. Well, the bike was finally cleared, and I could start on time, a bit more stressed than I wanted to be, but it was my own fault.
I’m still trying to find out how to do a time trial and how I can do a good one. This day was another big learning. I might have started a bit too hard, because it only took me nine kilometers to reach my limit and from there my numbers kept falling.
Next time, I will start out a bit easier and try to hold the pace stable throughout the race. Pedaling a bit easier in tailwind as well as downhill and a bit harder in headwind or uphill. The only thing that was stable that day was my very high pulse.
I was overtaken by one rider and I overtook one myself, but I was still placed in the bottom being number 21 out of 22 riders.
The most frustrating thing is that I can push much harder on my road bike, so I think I need to find a better position on the TT bike and work on being more flexible. I’m also in search of a saddle that doesn’t make me move every two second because it feels horrible to sit on.
If there are any volunteers good at TT riding who wants to help me, please let me know! 😉
Saturday, it was time for the women’s road race. Starting with 19 kilometers from Sakskøbing to Nysted, where we had to do eight laps of 12,5 kilometers with a very technical 1,9 kilometers through town including 11 corners and a steep hill.
The beginning of the race was very slow and relaxed. One rider tried her luck with a solo breakaway, but everyone else seemed just to enjoy the ride.
I knew – like everyone else – that it was important to be in the front for the technical part, so there was a bit of a fight for positions. Suddenly a rider on my right swayed her handlebar very close to me and, unfortunately, I reacted with fear and let go of my position in front.
Instead, I ended behind riders not cornering too well and the gap to the front grew. After the technical section, we entered a main road with headwind and me and some other riders had to close a big gap to reach the peloton again. A waste of energy!
The rest of the lap nothing really happened, and the pace was nice and easy. But every time we hit the technical part I was too far in the back, struggling to follow, and having to close the gap in the headwind – on EVERY lap! This was until 74 kilometers where I had a flat tire.
I had a new back wheel and my service car was ready to get me safely back to the peloton, but we were not agreeing on how to do pacing. Every time I was close to the car, it speeded up and I lost the “wheel”, so I also wasted a lot of energy on being paced behind the car.
Finally, I reached the back of the caravan and then I had to do the rest myself. The pace in the peloton was off course increasing while I was chasing, and didn’t get much help jumping from car to car.
After approximately 20 kilometers I managed to get back in the bunch, but it was only a few hundred meters before the technical part, so I didn’t have a lot of time to recover before it was closing gaps one more time. Damn it!
I did close the gap again, but meanwhile the bunch was split into three groups and I had nothing left in the tank. I finished with the last group and number 21 was once again my rank on the finish line.
The solo breakaway didn’t hold and the winner was to be found in a reduced bunch, where my former club mate, Amalie Dideriksen, took home the red/white jersey.
Next week I’m off for two weeks in Spain getting ready for the last part of the season. I’m looking forward to ride in the mountains again and to see my Spanish friends 😀