I have had 2 really nice off weeks, I really needed it! I have been on the bike a few times but not for training, only for guiding and riding with a boy,who I help with training. I can feel how the energy is starting to come back and I feel like riding my bike again!
So to kick-start the training (which starts this week) I decided to do the Stellenbosch Cycle Tour yesterday. It is the previous Die Burger cycle tour and from the start it was held in Durbanville and moved to Stellenbosch in 2007, I think (if my memory is not completely failing) I did my first Die Burger in 2005 and have done it every year since then, not missed one… So it is a special race for me and since it is so close that I can ride to the start I decided to do it even if I was not “prepared”. When the alarm went off at 04.30 I must admit that I had some second thoughts…
The start was at 06.04 for us girls, we started with around 150 men who are seeded in the first bunch after the (probably) 200 elite riders. I felt surprisingly good from the start and up Hellshoogte, which we start climbing within the first minute of the race. I sat close to the front of the bunch the whole race and went on a lot of attacks and I was well aware that I did not ride a tactically clever race, I do not like just sitting in the bunch and I also wanted to stay out of crashes so I rather spent some extra energy to sit close to the front. I did not see any of the other girls until closer to the end. So since I felt strong during the race I am of course a bit disappointed with the finish. A guy attacked with 1km to go and I went with him but he faded and it was too early for me to sprint, when Anriette came passed with a few other guys my reaction was too slow and as I started my sprint a guy came on the side of me and I had nowhere to go and had to restart the sprint, there was no way, too late and I finished in second place a few bike lengths behind Anriette. I am still happy with how I felt during the race and a second place is also not too badJ I am glad I did the race and stayed out of crashes!
I am definitely done with racing for this year and the training for next year is starting now. I am looking forward to this time and also to next years racing. My 2016 will look pretty much the same as 2015, I will race for Team Ascendis Health here in South Africa together with Robyn and while in Sweden I will race for ÅBRO/CBC. The race program will also look a lot the same with only a few minor changes.
I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has been involved in my cycling this year and made it such a great year! It is only possible to do this with the support I have from everyone around and the list can be made long! Thank you mom, dad and my brother, Craig, Åsa, Robyn, Team Ascendis Health and everyone behind the team and the sponsor, everyone at CBC and ÅBRO, Scott South Africa, Nike Vision South Africa, Squirt lube, Grip Grab, Lauf forks, Stages power South Africa, ICA Maxi Falun, Fysiocenter Falun!! Thank you everyone! I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!! See you all in 2016!