Wow, well that was an experience. It is pretty cool that the women’s peloton now get to experience racing in the centre of Paris with the finale of the Tour de France with the whole world watching live. However it’s also so crazy how much a little rain can affect the experience.
Rain is something we are used to racing in, some people even prefer it, as it adds another dimension to the racing, personally I don’t mind it as it’s the same for everyone but this afternoon in the centre of Paris was a whole new experience.
Team Hitec Products presented in Paris before La Course.
My race was pretty similar to most of the peloton, I had a rear puncture on the second lap, I got service from neutral as our car was too far back, the wheel I got was terrible but I was happy to be back rolling and rejoined the race after 1.5 laps chasing. Then after seeing teammates coming out the back I made my way back to the front, on the next lap, Kirsten, our sprinter crashed so I slowed to wait for her to help chase back on. We rejoined about mid race.
I was feeling pretty good and was trying to keep an eye everything while literally sliding around each corner, braking wasn’t an option, if you touched the brakes you would slide out as the wet cobbled roads now had become like glass with oil and reside from the cars surfacing with the rain.
With just over 3 laps to go I went down, hard. One girl hit the brakes in front on a straight piece of road and I had no where to go when she slide out. I jumped up quick but as soon as I tried to through my leg over the bike, I knew it wasn’t going to happen. I persisted and tried to pedal but I couldn’t put any weight through my left leg without a lot of pain, I then panicked, I wasn’t going to get back on to the bunch at this stage in the final 20k so with a lot of pain I decided unfortunately to call it a day.
I spent a little bit of time in the ambulance but in the end I was relieved to be able to ‘walk’ out without too much wrong.
To be honest I can’t say I enjoyed the experience, it was seriously dangerous and scary to race like this and for the men’s race to be neutralized tells you the extreme nature of the course. I’m now heading back to holland where I will have a full check tomorrow to confirm everything is ok.
Next up is a World cup in Germany next weekend and I would like to be fit and fighting for the team by then, until then.