The Hitec Products women had an early wake-up call last Saturday morning even if cycling has made me an early bird. Breakfast was a bit more quiet than usual and so was the car ride on our way to Oudenaarde.
It's the day that many have prepared so well for. It's the day for Ronde van Vlaanderen. And it's my first RVV ever! I have been looking forward to this day since the race was put on my race schedule back in January. I was super exited and more nervous than usual. People say that every bike race is just a bike race. But this is not, this is Ronde van Vlaanderen. One of Belgium's biggest, if not the biggest, cycling event.
We were arriving in a quiet Oudenaarde. The unusual spring weather we're dealing with these days didn't seem to have an impact on the RVV party, and it didn't take long before the city wakes up and changes into a real RVV party. The Ronde van Vlaanderen is the biggest spring classic for the women. Because of the course and the whole history behind the RVV I think it's really a prestigious to win the race. With the challenging and hard course the winner is the strongest rider. She has to be strong both physically and mentally, and also good technically.
Personally it was a hard race for me. After two weeks at home with a small concussion it was hard to start up again. Despite my bad day, my teammates did a good job for our captain Elisa who showed this race how strong she really is. It is nice to have a talented rider as her in the team, to look up to and learn from.
Ronde van Vlaanderen is surely an incredibly hard race, and to do it for my first time, I would prefer to have a better preparation than I had.
But to be a part of the Hitec Products team and Elisa's strong 4th place in the big RVV, was a nice feeling. I hope someday, that I can have an equally strong ride like that, in the RVV.