By Ina-Yoko Teutenberg
The last month of racing is about to start. I have been home for two weeks and that was a shock to the body. Been a busy year but good busy so that makes it easier to live out of the suitcase.
The apartment I used during the last six seasons is packed up. It took me longer then I thought…guess I was not aware of me collecting so much stuff over the past years. Back in the “Hotel MAMA” which beats any other one we stop over during the season.
Our three weeks of racing in Holland will start tomorrow. I do love going to Holland but three weeks is for sure a test. In comparison to most of my team mates I love going to Holland and try to enjoy the craziness over there. It helps that those races are mainly flat and that suits me but there is a lot more to it to be good at them. I remember a former team mate of mine coming over there and being pretty full of herself as those races were all flat and seeing some of her opponents made her think she has it all covered. It was really enjoyable seeing her mountain butt being kicked so badly and her coming home crying and not finishing the Tour. I think she changed her mind about the “easiness” of the flat races and decided to not be part of them anymore.
We will be starting Tour of Holland with the six girls who are meant to do the TTT in Valkenburg in two weeks time. The TTT on the second day will be another test for us to see what we still need to work on. The other stages will be the normal “craziness” Dutch races bring. Hopefully it will be really windy as it means the races are safer and way more fun as it is always a challenge to make the first echelon. The last stage is ridden on the Worlds Road Race course and that is another nice test for all the girls riding the course during a race and not just in training.
We will be staying in the area after the Tour to train bit more as a team and to make really sure we will be having enough of each other before the end of the season ;)! Guess that will be happening now every year with the TTT being an event at Worlds now. Think the event is really exciting and all of us are stoked it is on now. It is one of the most painful events but always really rewarding. You never win a race without the help of your team but they can never come on the podium with you so that makes winning a TTT really special as everyone gets to be up there. I think the event will be pretty close with about three to four teams in the running for the win and it will be good advertising for women cycling.
After the TTT we will be all off to join our National Teams for the last week of the Dutch Holiday. I remember going to Valkenburg in ’98 to watch Worlds and I know there will be a cycling party going on all week. The crowds will be huge and the races will be exciting as the course is just made for that. Looking forward to it!!!