Buitenpoort-Flexpoint rider Linda Serup recently finished fourth in the time trial at the European under 23 championships in Moscow. Although she missed out on a podium placing, she says that she is still very content with how things went.
"About a week ago the Europeans U23 was held in Moscow. On the 7th July we had the TT and then on the 9th the road race. We raced on the track from the 1980 Olympic games, and I am very proud of it," she wrote in her diary at www.feltet.dk/lindaserup.
"The lap for the TT was 11km long and our race was 22km, 2 laps. I have never raced on any roads like this in Moscow and I really loved it. The whole track was made just for the Olympics and some of the curves were lifted; we got the track-effect in the fastest ones...
"During warm up for the TT I was feeling really good and ready, and maybe hoping a little to make the podium, I tried to really focus, having the music way up high, but occasionally I glanced at the names on the start list and felt the nerves...some say nerves is a good thing, sometimes it just doesn't feel so good.
"In the first lap I lost the communication to the national coach. I didn't have time to think of how and why, I just went on as fast as possible. Even though I had a couple of very bad turns, I finished in the third best time, but I knew the Italian rider (Tatiana Guderzo), who started after me, is very strong. Like I thought, she did beat me and I ended 4. I am not disappointed but it still would have been nice to take a medal home."
Linda turned her attention to the road race, which ran in the opposite direction and used most of the same route. Each lap worked out at 13.6 kilometres. For her, it was a perfect course. "Again, I really loved it and hope that one day I will ride there again. We did 9 laps and the small very steep hills made it a very hard race."
"I was the only Dane in the race, and knew I had to stay up front. A couple of times I came too far back, the peloton got stretched out and I had to use a lot of energy. I believe I had a pretty good race, but once more I had nothing in the sprint, and felt like the whole bunch passed me right before the line. I finished 24th."
"Altogether, I am very happy that I had the chance to go do these races. Perhaps I had too high expectations of myself, but then for sure I did learn a lot from it all."
Linda followed up the championships with a few days relaxation in Denmark. Then it was back to the grind, knuckling down for what she hopes will be a strong remainder to the season.