Bicycle Racing in Holland

Posted: April 4, 2009 in austin carroll

My first Pro Road Race: MEMORIAL ARNO WALLAARD In Holland. Vacansoleil Pro Cycling, Skil-Shimano, Rabobank Continental Team were a few of the teams racing. The windmills were on high today and the wind was going to be a big factor in the outcome of the race. I was not that far back form the front and this is where the learning starts up again for me. The split went early and caught me on my heals.   Barton and Justin made the split but Justin was not able to hang and came back to the second group . I stayed out of the gutter and road in the eschalon and fought to stay there. We had most of the Skil-Shimano guys in the second group and they were doing a lot of the work. As we started the second lap we were just 30 sec from the first group. There was one last effort from the group to bridge up. Kirk Carlson went off with 4 guys and they just rode away. The guys in the group slowly lost any motivation to race. I have been in this situation before and it’s always ended the same, not finishing the race. I was not going to unclip and put my foot down that easy. I went to the front and got some guys that were still motivated to work. I did some rotations in the eschalon and they were not working. I was not going to let that happen and rode away from them. I was by myself for a bit and bridged up to two riders and one jumped on to my wheel. I was feeling really good and we both took equal pulls on the front. I was lucky he was a big guy so I had an awesome draft. We had his team car behind us and they were giving me bars and bottles, that saved me. We made it to the local laps and did two laps before we finally caught the 4 guys.  It was a good feeling to get there. The lap was short, just 6 ks so the main break of two guys were close.  We got stopped at a random point and was told to wait. (well the hand gestures told me to wait) One of the cops spoke English and said we had to wait a minute for the peloton and caravan to pass and we were going to finish a lap early.  I was ok with that as long as I finished. The last 3 ks we rolled into the finish line. 43rd not great but what I learned will be with me forever…Never stop….

Dinner in Holland rocks!!! 5 stars.

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