amy alison dombroski

2009 Blogs

After an easy flight to Brussels, I met up with my handler for the next however many weeks, Joscelin.  We went out for a great spin, showing me some of the forests for cyclocross tracks, and following bike paths for the majority of the ride.  It showed how bike friendly Belgium is.  Whereas in the US there are pockets of bike friendly areas, but for the most part it is not.  

Vicki Thomas, Canuck also staying with Jos, and I drove to Antwerpen to recon the Scheldecross course, which we were due to race on Friday.  Snow blanketed Belgium, and it took us nearly 2 hours to drive the 40k from Westmeerbeek.  Surprisingly we were the only ones checking the course out – freshies! Made for tough conditions as there were a few inches of powder on top of all sorts of conditions – frozen mud ruts, ice, slick grass, frozen and slippery sand.  Conditions proved to be quite similar for our race the next day, as Scheldecross was only an Elite Women’s and Men’s race.  

The lag was still making me a bit looped and spacey, and with everything foreign, my timing was a bit off and scattered.  Scattered was the word of the day. When I left the car to head to start I had my tires dialed, but upon riding around a bit at the start decided to let a tad out – but a tad turned into too much and bouncing on the tires was hitting rim easy. I had a front row start, but when the start gun was fired it seemed to take a period of time for that to register.  Terrible start – front row to last in a flash!  I worked my way through 10 or so people before reaching the man-made hill.  Girls were agro there – grabbing my wheel, bars, and push push pushin.  The man-built-hill was similar to that of a flyover, a run-up, brief area to re-mount, and a descent.  But the sand was loose and slick and I superman-ed over the bars on this descent, again getting passed.  Right after this part was the first entrance to the pits, but too struck from crashing, entirely forgot about my 9psi tire situation.  So, slip-sliding away I did my best to stay upright until the 2nd entrance, and shouted to my pit-bosses, the famous Tim Harris and Vicki’s husband Mark for more air.  The 2nd bike wouldn’t shift for the next lap, which wasn’t a major problem because there wasn’t a great deal of shifting to be done!  

Going into this race I didn’t have a whole lot of expectation, as I couldn’t know how my legs would respond after the lack of sleep, travel, and lag.  So it started rough, but I picked my way throughout, eventually making it to 10th.

That night my throat felt a bit scratchy, which frequently happens, but usually after a good night’s sleep I am fine.  After my 11hrs of shut-eye, the sickies took the best of me.  So instead of openers for Kalmthout World Cup, I spent the day in bed with a hot water bottle and tea.  Sleeeeeeeeping the day away, I continued to feel worse, and decided to cross Kalmthout off the list.  A wicked pissah, because today certainly would have been exciting, as snow is pummeling Belgium right now!  But Zolder World Cup is on the 26th, and there is no shortage of racing to be done!

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