Wow! What a ride!
It's safe to say that my European championships had a lot of ups and down, mentally and one particular sore physical one!! The week started as I thought it would, once in Apeldoorn there was a lot of.....nothing. When I say nothing I mean there's very little to do other than easy cycling, eating and resting. I suppose it's needed considering the kicking I was about to give myself.
Finally the day was here and I was really looking forward to it. In my eyes it was a completely different ball game this year, I knew what was coming this time and trained with that in mind. First up was the flying lap and an event which I was pretty consistent at. Looking back this is the only event that I could have improved on. I did my usual lead in but when it was time to kick there was nothing there. I'm far from a supply on the bike and I know there was a tenth or 2 to be had with a bigger gear. All in all 8th place was a decent start.
Next up was the most painful race on the track, the points race, pure torture!! Yet again I knew what was coming so instead of sh*tin myself I was looking forward to the outcome. I was determined to be as cute as possible and I was pretty confident that I could do a decent ride. To be really honest it's all a bit of a blur, there is so much happening in a race like that and the only things I can recall are using my head and making the most of every opportunity. I won 2 sprints and picked up a couple of minor placing, I think. 8th place when the dust settled and another solid ride.
3 of 3 on the first day, the elimination race!! As Ed Clancy put it to me, "are you ready for the race of doom!" That says it all! It has a rep for being a complete lottery. Not a total luck of the draw as there is a way to ride it but anything could happen and as it turns out, did! This was my 6th ever elimination race and I've try every way possible of riding it with no great affect. I'm not fast enough to beat the sprinter and not yet strong enough to beat the strong men. As it turns out tactics were the least of my worries, peeling myself of the floor was! It's a bit of a blur but I certainly won't forget 2 parts of the race. Firstly, being ejected from my bike at 50kph and secondly sliding on my back at 40kph!! Not recommend! It all happened so fast that I don't know who I hit or what caused the spill but one things for sure, it hurt like hell and still does as I type this, it did make the race interesting though. Once I came to a halt I was for rolling over and giving up but as soon as I could get my breathe the realization that everything I trained for relied on me picking my ass of the floor and getting on with it. With plenty of adrenalin pumping I rejoined the race where I left off but I'm not sure what hurt the most, the lactate in my legs or the new holes I'd made in them! My right quad looks like a colour chart for Dulux paint and my hip it twice the size it should be. Yet again when the dust had settled and the blood and sweat had dried in I did a good enough race, actually my best elimination race. Another 8th place.
My day didn't quite finish how I wanted it to though. I was so looking forward to chilling out that night but under doctors order I spent it in the hospital. X-ray, Ultrasound, poked, prodded and a pint of blood less I left there on the wrong side of midnight and sleep was gonna be hard to get. I couldn't help but missed the blood they took, I needed every drop for the next day!!
I'll leave it there for now and fill you in on day 2 tomorrow, the best is yet to come!
Where the damage was done.