So as usual I will begin by apologising for my lack of blogs over Christmas and will employ the usual excuse of just being 'too busy'. However so you don’t feel like you have missed anything I will quickly update until the Christmas block in one short paragraph.
So raced Koppenberg, won, got an even bigger cobble, good times. Drove to England that night, raced the European championships 2 days later, won, got a new blue jersey with stars, even better times. Flew to America the next morning, despite best efforts didn’t get upgraded on my flight. Raced Louisville the following weekend, got 4th both days, felt like death, brought back to earth. Raced Jingle Rock cross 3 days the following weekend, equal prize money, great race promoter, kids raced sponsored by build a bear workshop, won all 3, great host house, awesome times. Flew home, raced Koksijde World Cup, suffered to 5th, drove to the north of Holland. Raced Gieten the next morning, won, beat Marianne Vos (lets throw a hash tag in for good measure) #winning. Roubaix world cup the following weekend, went running, silly idea, 13th. Next day flew to Spain, sunshine, warmth.
Right, so every one up to date?
For the last couple of years we have tried to squeeze in a solid block of training in a warm climate at the beginning of December and this years choice was the Costa Del Sol in Spain/county of England. I love living in Belgium, however sometimes it’s just nice to wake up to sunshine, every single morning. It seems to make the world a very colourful, happy place. It seems I’m not alone in this as our first day out training we saw at least 5 pro women roadies and a cross rider.
This year my training partner was to be Hugo Robinson, last year's junior national cross champion. Great, an opportunity to give a 17 year old a good pasting. Unfortunately it didn’t work out that way and all I got was talked at for two entire weeks! As I know, of my 6 followers at least 2 are American I will provide you with some great English sayings to highlight his talkativeness. He most definitely had more rabbit than Sainsbury’s' and 'could talk the hind leg of a donkey' even when riding up hill. But he was happy to watch 'strictly come dancing', never once flinched at my TV choice and can follow a recipe to perfection, so a great house guest really.
Fortunately this year I didn’t end up riding on a golf course or getting chased by dogs so it was just great training ready to race over Christmas. Hugo turned 18 on our final day in Spain so we got him drunk and left him on his own to find his way home, after all we were no longer his responsible adults. He is still there.
So moving on, we came back to race again this time in Essen and then the World Cup in Namen. I usually book all the hotels for our races and spend a lot of time finding nice places that are a reasonable price. Usually above Formula 1 (we prefer not having to negotiate drunken truck drivers fornicating with young ladies in the corridor when trying to find the toilets late at night) and just below Holiday Inn level.
This year for the first time EVER I totally messed up and booked our World Cup hotel for the wrong month. So me and Hugo dropped Stef at the managers’ meeting and headed on up the hill to then frantically search the internet for something available and within 20km of Namen for that night.
I genuinely believe on this occasion my mess up was actually our gain as the last minute (we arrived 12 minutes after booking) apartment was the nicest place I have ever stayed in, in my short but varied life. It was the highest of 5 star accommodation complete with, sitting room, snug, 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, dressing gowns and the worlds best shoe drying invention. There was a beautiful ornate cast iron cupboard above the antique (well old at least) huge bar radiator that heated the entire apartment, made just for me to dry my race shoes from their race bath. Unfortunately I will be requiring a very successful pro tour man's salary in order to stay in such luxury for every race or just take the risk of booking while stood outside!
We spent Christmas in another apartment at Zolder. Christmas isn’t entirely Christmas for us as when you race the next day it just becomes another day, same as new year but as I am like a child at Christmas I have arranged for a Wyman Christmas in February and the tree will not be taken down until then.
It's quite fortunate as our drainage system had a hissy fit over Christmas and blocked itself meaning we couldn’t drain any water, anywhere in the house. Luckily we have a lot of friends in Oudenaarde and the local bakery does a great breakfast! As I write this the pavement and street outside our house are being dug up to find the root of the problem, thus endearing us to our neighbours I’m sure.
I raced, Loenhout, Baal and Surhuisterveen then flew to Rome for the world cup last weekend. My darling, lovely husband drove from the north of Holland to Rome and then onto Monaco, where we stayed for the week before he drives on home to England. Most women want their husbands to buy them flowers or chocolates to show their love. I make mine drive around Europe in the Kona van. He has rocked up 4000km so far this week, that’s true love right?!
This weekend is the national championships across the world. Ours is in Bradford in the north of England (Because Stef hasn’t driven enough) and I’m really looking forward to it. It’s the first time I get to race my star covered jersey in the UK so I’m excited. After that it’s the final World Cup, followed by Cincinnati race and Worlds. So quite an important month then!
Words can not describe exactly how much I am looking forward to going back to la lalalalalala 'merica. It has to be my favourite place to race a bike right now and I already know where the Whole foods market is #winning. I promise I will write again before worlds maybe even put a few videos out of the course even, so keep an eye on my website.