New year, new season and for me, that also meant a new team!
I was very excited going away for the first team gathering, our training camp in Nice in January. The team had rented a holiday villa big enough to fit the eleven girls. Our awesome staff did not fit in this house, (maybe tactically planned?) but came around all the light hours of the day to look after us and make sure the house was still there.
Because being far away from the usual hotel service and all what comes with that, this meant we were left to look after everything and ourselves entirely.
Making breakfast, cleaning up, doing dishes, cooking dinner, dishes again and not to forget all the bike clothes assembled from training in below 10 degrees needing to get washed every day.
What a genius idea by the management! Can't imagine a better way to get to know all your new teammates, and having a house with a living room meant everyone didn't just leave to their rooms after dinner!
Knowing this camp setup I had friends in general, and men in particular asking me curiously throughout the week if it was chaos in the house yet. But not even on the last day I could say yes. It was such a great week, lots of laughing and it brought us very close as a group!
Imagine doing the same setup with a men's team....
Lots has happened since this camp, the season has started up in Qatar, as Chloe wrote about. And now we've had two weeks at our homes, preparing for the next busy period of spring races coming up!
Both me and Chloe are based in Girona in northern Spain, and it's great being able to train with each other. This past week we took it up another level, when we both had motor-pacing on our programs and decided to help each other out with that.
Since I'm more or less an all-year resident here I got myself a scooter to be able to get around town this winter, and it came in very handy now obviously.
I know Chloe has been doing motor-pacing before, and also has a motorbike license. But me on the other hand, I had 4 people randomly stopping up on the sidewalk watching me when I picked up the scooter from the shop, attempting to drive it off. Which, thinking a little bit closer, actually was just 5 days ago. And before that I've driven a scooter once.
So time was come, and I felt all good riding behind Chloe on the scooter on the Tuesday. Honking and indicating nicely before turns and roundabouts. Speeding up, not as nicely, more and more the longer into the session we got. It was even worse than having Elisa and Rosella at the front on an uphill at camp.
I was very pleased afterwards, even though I had to sit on the kitchen chair for at least half an hour before I could potentially make it in to the shower..
Then I started to get nervous, more on behalf of Chloe, but she knew what she gotten herself in to, and off we went on the Wednesday.
I wish I had a fun episode to tell from this, but I think we're both sitting on some hidden motor-pacing talent and it all went surprisingly well. Apart from the parking ticket, broken key and shaved off numberplate.
Throwing yourself on a bike 5mm from the rear wheel of a scooter maneuvered by a second time-driver, this was a great practice of building trust for a teammate.
I also think getting to know all the different pain-faces caught in the rear-view mirror will come in handy for upcoming race situations as well.
Now on to Belgium and the classics!