Maybe some of you remember me from that cool interview with Sara Connolly a few months ago but for those who didn’t read it this is a little introduction.
My name is Nancy Arreola and I am from Monterrey Mexico. I am in love with cycling since I was little and I have been racing in my country for the last 7 years.
The biggest wish that I had since I was a kid was coming to race in Europe because women’s cycling is not that popular in Mexico. It was a hard decision because it is very far away from home and I also had to go to school. I got an invitation from Horizon Fitness Racing Team in December 2010, this was a huge opportunity for me! I still need to finish college as I am cursing my last semester now, but the good thing that I didn’t have before is that I can do it online and this is not an invitation you have every day so I definitely had to take it!
I am going to tell you a bit more of my first impressions of Europe:
I feel like a little kid trying to learn everything! All of this is so different of what I am used to. The first thing is the language, I speak Spanish (as everyone in Mexico!) and my English is good because I live close to USA but it is still hard to speak in a different language, I arrived in London a month ago and their accent is way too hard to understand for me!!!
Also having to ride in the other side of the roads is a problem, I did a ride with my teammate Annie Simpson and she was so worried that a car would hit me because I wanted to ride in the right side! Haha (nothing happened, I am still alive!) the roads are also very different, very small and flat! But it is a nice change.
Then I came to Holland, my boyfriend (Jetse Bol) lives here and I always wanted to come and visit because I love the passion this Country has for cycling, riding here is just amazing! You can see bikes everywhere and special roads for cyclists (fietspad) you will never see that in Mexico! I really love it here but at the same time it is very hard for me, some cobblestones and a lot of wind! I am a very small rider and staying on my bike is a bit too complicated with this wind! (you can see a funny video of that on my team’s website).
In general I am enjoying Europe so much; my team is great, they really look after me and all the other riders, I haven’t met all my teammates yet but they all seem pretty friendly. Stefan Wyman and Stuart MacLean are always looking on ways to help and they make sure all the riders have the best in order to perform well. They really make me feel like home already (but I do miss my family a lot!).
The hardest thing so far is being away from my family and trying to adapt to the cold weather but I am lucky that Prendas Ciclismo provided me with some amazing warm winter clothes so I don’t have to worry about being cold!
I am very motivated and can’t wait to start racing in the roads of Europe because I want to prove myself and see how far I can go! But first I have a training camp in Italy which I am really looking forward because I will get to know all my teammates for the first time and it will be the last hard training days before my first race in Belgium.
This is only getting started!