Note from Gav: Here's a blog from Gabby Day of The Chainstay Renner about her adventures in snowy Belgium. Mud, cross, and snow! Enjoy!
After arriving back form a very snowy UK I was faced with more snow in the Belgium races.
After a busy weekend of racing the previous week I had a few areas that I needed to address to allow myself to be able to get myself a good race and result. Just recently I have been struggling to get a good start and have allowed people to push me out and so have ended up backing off. Part of my issue comes from my nasty crash at the start of the season at Namur. It is not related to the start of the race but I guess I was just worried about having another crash and sub consciously I have let it effect me. So, after discussing this ‘issue’ with a few people I knew that positive thoughts were all part of helping me to overcome this problem. I knew that I needed to nail my starts down and this was my plan for Zolder and Loenhout.
I spoke to Gregg and Rick before the start and we all agreed on the perfect line to take at the first set of corners for the World Cup, the plan worked great as I made up a whole load of places by simply riding around the outside on the first long sweeping curve.
During the week Shaun, Craig, Nikoline and I travelled to Zolder to check the course out so that we wouldn’t have to travel on Christmas Day to pre ride. It was very snowy and icy and a lot of it was tough to ride. There were lots of technical sections and steep descents. I came away pretty content with things but it was definitely going to be a dangerous course!
Unfortunately mid week I came down with a nasty cold and so had to have a few days of rest and sleep to try and help my body recover ready for Sundays world cup. I was feeling pretty rough and so was rather worried about how my Zolder race would go. I really wanted to ride well as I knew that anything was possible in snowy conditions. I finished 23rd, but the positives to take from it were that I got a great start and was well in the top 15 until my legs gave up on my me and my breathing became painful. I crossed the line rather frustrated. But my main priority was to keep warm and try and get better for Loenhout...one of my favourite races.
The next time I rode my bike was three days later at Loenhout. I always like this race, it is a circuit that is great in any conditions. So whatever the weather threw at it I was ready...well as ready as I could be considering I had not managed to shift my cold completely.
When warming up I didn’t feel that great but I stayed positive and focused on my days goal of getting another good start...which is exactly what I did! I got myself into the select lead group of six, with myself, Daphny, Sanne Cant, Sanne Van Passen, Hanka and Marianne. It was a great feeling to suddenly be up there where I know I can be. I stayed with the lead group for a lap and a half until Marianne attacked and I lost contact and combined with a slight mishap with a post that was the end of that. I stayed away on my own for another two laps but was struggling and the group of chasers behind me were getting closer. I eventually finished a satisfied 9th. With full health and a great start, a great result is definitely possible. I even got myself some TV time and the commentator was enjoying the novelty of announcing my name, with things like ‘It’s a great Day for Gabriella Day’ a nice play on words!!
I now have two more races (Petangue and Tevuren) before I travel back to the UK for the national championships in Derby.
Want more? Catch up with Gabby @Gabby_Day.