Sunday, April 19, 2009

tour of flanders....ouch!

I can honestly say that the pave is one of the hardest things I have ever encountered on the bike.  And to top it off  I did not have such a fresh day on the bike today.  I got crashed out and was definitely not impressed when I got to the place where we were staying that night.  Apparently it is race tradition, to stay at the boarding school nearby the race.  There were a total of 10 teams staying there altogether.  Crazy eh? Just like in the showers after is all still happens! Let me walk you through this interesting stay in Belgium, help you make more sense of those pictures.  They might not make much sense at first but after a looooong painful day on the bike we find ways to entertain ourselves since we had no phones, computer, tv...thank goodness for i-pod! Everything here is communal.   That long hall with the colored curtains are the single bedrooms where each rider spent the night.  tiny winy bed, no pillow, and no privacy...after we settled in our bunks we started to wonder around and look for the bathroom and showers and what not.  Then we came across the "douches" ....that's when the goofing off DOUCHE YOU DOUCHE! You DOUCHE first! hahaha....did it sound like we were bored??or exausted maybe..or both? That was a rough night of sleep for me.  I was sore everywhere and not really looking forward to the next day at Dottignies...luckly I had bounced back and was able to finish this race only to get dropped out of the front group on the last lap due  to a rider flatting in the hardest section of the course rough road, cross wind....strung out....we could close the gap...and off they went ...its pretty amazing how hard it is to race the rollers and the flats over almost look forward to the short hard climbs than the flats thats where the hurting begins...FULL THROTTLE! geeez!!! 

Friday, April 3, 2009

no rest for the weary!

so  i finally was able to fall asleep at 4 am! and at 8:30 I hear this knock on my bedroom door.  It's Rosane telling me that she needed my passport and my italian immigration documents.  Apparently Brunello had  a dream that we were at the airport and unable to travel into Belgium. So he came by the house early to grab our documents and get to the immigration right away to make sure everything was ok for the 3 of us to travel, actually the 4 of us, Rosane needed to get her documents squared away as well. Needless to say I was completely out of it this morning and had no clue what the heck was going on....but all i knew is that we might now not be traveling to Belgium and Holland.  I gave my passport to Rosane and tried to fall back asleep but at that point my brain kept me awake wondering whether or not we were going to make it to this race or i got up stretched, and was in the middle of having breakfast when Rosane's cell phone rang and it didn't sound good.  She was kitted up ready to go for a ride and was told that we (all 4 of us) needed to be at the "questura" (aka immigration) at 11 am. By then it was already 9:45am.  There was nothing else to do but wait when then wait some more when we got there. Apparently we didn't have the permanent immigration papers only the temporary, and if you knew how the italians are efficient that would not come as a big surprise to could take months to get the simplest things done! Aware of the situation Brunello pulled a few strings and got our permanent paperwork ;o)  so now we are good to go! Belgium+Holland watch out here we come! 

Thursday, April 2, 2009

1 am blog!

Let me start from the begging, otherwise it won't make much sense at all.  I am pretty sure that you have a teammate like that yourself. She is italian, 33years old (she is holding the donkey in this picture)and honestly we don't quite get her, but somehow have to manage living with her ...go figure how that is a daily struggle.  Luckily we have other italian girls that come to the house that helps us handle her...I suppose it takes an italian to better "understand" or deal with another italian, anyhow she is a headcase! she had made our lives living hell at one point, maybe several.  But what can you do? She is just one very small problem in the big scheme of things.  Anyhow, i am the lucky girl who gets to share a room with her! yoo-hoo more like uh-oh! Thank you so much Sally for helping me through that period! i thought i was gonna loose it! Lol.  Funny thing was when she went home to Puglia for 10 days and our lives were so peaceful...i felt so boring there was no drama nothing new and extreme to tell Sally about.  I do have a point bear with me, i am almost getting to it.  The team massage therapist arrived this afternoon.  He is from the same region as that teammate of mine i was telling you about. He is here because tomorrow (today now) he is going to be taking the team bus(with all the bikes etc)to belgium (about 10-12hr drive)where they will be picking us up at the airport.  So he needs to get up at 4 am.  Guess who volunteered our room out for him to sleep in??Oh yeah...she did it! the problem is that HE SNORS SOOOOOOOOOO LOUD i can't fall asleep...i have been in bed since 10:45...I have tried everything...ear plugs, music(oh yeah and of course my nano was dead within 5 mins!) tossed and turned till 1 30 am.  She went to bed at the same time as him, actually she talked his head off then she passed out, before him, and now I probably won't be able to sleep til 4 am rolls around! HOLY CRAP! welcome to my world these days! maybe ...i am hoping i will get to sleep in tomorrow, I will leave a note out so they know what the heck i am sleeping in! 


Well...I never thought I would see this day! Not that this is my type of race, but I am soo excited to be doing the Belgium and Holland Spring Classics! Hole mole! PAVE here I come..oh boy oh boy prepare your bums and neck and palm of your hands....and hang on cowboy! I am praying for good weather..well it is hard to see a sunny day in belgium so I hear, but as long as there is NO RAIN it will be fine! we fly sat morning race sunday. and then it is on: we race the 5th and 6th, 10th and 11th and 13th and maybe the La Fleche Wallone on the 22nd! wow! oh yeah and then back to Italy for another race on the 25th.  I will keep you updated!! Wish me luck!! Keep on sending all the positive "E" (energy) to the little one over here! ;o) catch you soon....

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

it was a rainy cold one!

Iam finally finding energy to process all that happened this past weekend.  Aside from the fact that it was my VERY FIRST WORLD CUP race it was pissing down rain ...and i mean cold rain (the race was in Varese, pretty far north close to Switzerland.) We arrived in the rain and cold at the hotel and hopped on the rollers right away...well maybe not so much right away i was the last  not happy about one...a whole other story for another blog post! Then we had team presentation: each one of the girls from each team received a Lindt easter egg! We were all called up on the this podium thing where we were introduced to the crowd. It is a big deal. Holy cow! The rest of the evening was uneventful we just had a nice dinner and went to bed.  Race day: was bananas... i was soo worried about the conditions and wanted to make sure that i rode in the front to avoid crashes.  well that alone is hard to do in a good day let alone in the rain, but I managed ;o) i was pretty happy about that my biggest mistake was to race in my leg warmers ( if i had known that then...) well they kept my legs as cold as ice as they were completely drenched with cold all the heating oil did absolutely nothing for my legs.  when we hit the first climb i saw myself in the tail end of the first group and my legs were just not responding.  I felt as if i had no legs! it was awful..they were in a steady state of contraction.  I was in a world of pain when i heard my teammate rosane ask me "come on little one bridge me over"  i dug in and took her to the front group and had nothing left for me....the front group kept going and i found myself in the chase group ...I was disappointed, learned a hard lesson, but felt good that i was able to help a teammate out since specially when you know you are not having a good day , we chased for 90 km on the last lap we got pulled! now that was the most frustrating thing ! after racing 90km of 120km , just one more short lap to go ....we were soaked and cold ...i could barely reach for food in my jersey pocket or grab my water bottle out of the bottle cage...the best was the "shower" at this chancy little soccer stadium...NO HOT water! OMG! i stood under this hot dryer i couldn't move or feel my toes i was red from head to toe and shivering uncontrollably! it was not fun! then we get in the team car after rosane who finished 34th got in and hit the road it was about 7pm when we stopped a gas station and asked our DS whether or not we were going to stop for food...and he said: "you are not worthy of food" because only rosane finished the race and he was soo disappointed..pissed off ...or maybe both.  WE WENT BANANAS!! there were tears of disappointment and anger and sadness and homesickness....gosh and you thought it wouldnt get any worse eh?