Anyone who knows me, knows how much I love Christmas. If you don't know me then imagine a small child, who still believes in Santa, on Christmas eve, trying to get to sleep but cant because it's just too damn exciting. It has to be the best time of year with lots of sparkly things and twinkly lights and shininess. Now imagine that level of child's giddiness and that is exactly how excited I am to race the first EVER world cup in my own country in Milton Keynes. (Yes that's MK not London #justsaying)
Why so much excitement? That's easy. Every single living member of mine and Stef's family will be there cheering. I grant you that's the grand sum of 15 but still this has never happened before. For the first time since the European championships there will be more cheers for me than for the Belgium Sanne Cant. Every where I turn there will be British people talking British! I will be able to utilize the commentary without straining to work out if he said 35 seconds or 53 seconds. Finally I will take my part in showing every young person there that cross is amazing and the best sport ever that they all should be a part of now and in the future.
If that's not enough reason to be bouncing off the walls then how about the course? Looks amazing, muddy, twisty, ascents, descents, natural bowl for viewing. Maybe the promise of chips, beer and other exciting foods is a draw for you? Without doubt being able to see the very best cyclocross racers in the world fighting it out for glory in a British muddy park is going to be beyond stupendous. (Yes I am running low on superlatives sorry).
So simply come down/up/over and watch us cause it's a first and everyone remembers their first!
Moving swiftly on I've been busy up until now with racing and training. It can pretty much be summed up as; Koppenberg crashed, Zonhoven taken out, twisted back, fixed, European champs 4th boo, Ruddervoorde 2nd getting better, Niel 3rd I hate running, training camp in Spain, Koksijde still sandy, Spa francorchamps 2nd, felt brilliant. Next race Milton Keynes World cup, have I mentioned Milton Keynes yet??
Spain was awesome as ever. It's nice to be able to wake up every morning, flick back the curtain and see sunshine. To be fair to Belgium it hasn't actually rained that much this year, hence the lack of mud, much to my annoyance. However it's good to get away and refresh in a different environment. When I say we go to Spain I actually mean little Britain with heat!
We stay between Malaga and Marbella and genuinely it's the funniest place. The local hairdressers are called the English Cut. When walking around the supermarket you hear the most classic Essex accents you have ever heard and you get to play fun games. My favorites being 'spot the Brit' and 'spot the in date tax disc'. This year we took our friends Marge and Spraggles with us. Margeriet is Danish and she fully committed to the games, even bringing in a new element of 'which Scandinavian'. If you want Spanish culture you have to go inland, which is where I train and get to see everyday.
We also located a gym to try and keep the cross over of usual training. I took Stef, he was pretty good to be fair except when it came to the core stability bit. I did trick him a little as I turned into evil physiotherapist Helen. Any who has ever been unfortunate enough to visit an outpatient physio knows the one. If not it's a bit like being made to play twister on an uneven, constantly moving surface. He loved it really.
Back home in Belgium we have been out training hard. Fortunately the weather has been pretty kind with not much to report except one little motorpacing incident.
On the way out to Gent on the canal a couple of cows had escaped from their field and were on the path. They caused no problems. On the return leg they had gone. I was just spinning behind the moped cooling down, not paying any real attention to the road. Neither was Stef. Last second I look forward and the moped drives straight over the wettest, free flowing, cow patt you have ever seen; think the spreaders farmers use in the fields. At that exact point Stef looks in the mirror just in time to see the cold, wet, slimey poop spray off the back wheel right in my face. He was literally crying with laughter, having to lift the visor up on his helmet to prevent it steaming up. On removal of the cows stomach contents from my sunglasses I eventually saw the funny side.
So my next race is Milton Keynes World Cup, first ever in England, going to be amazing, have I mentioned this already?! I am beyond excited so hopefully it goes well for me and I can make the British fans proud. The following day is Hamme-Zogge Bpost bank troffee so it's only a flying visit to the UK unfortunately. I will definitely be stocking up on British tea bags though!!
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