Filed under: KingsBridge Train | Tags: Aigle, cyclo-cross, cyclo-cross training, Czech Republic, Ottawa Cross, Plzen, ulcerative colitis, vicki thomas, world championships, World Cup
Vicki here updating you with my recent racing trip….
I’ve just returned from a 12 day trip to Europe that saw me racing my bike in Aigle, Switzerland and Plzen, Czech Republic. These two races were the opening World Cup races of the 2010 – 2011 cyclo-cross season. The World Cup races feature the top racers from each country – with everyone racing for the top step on the podium and the coveted UCI points.
I had my dad along for this racing trip and this really was one of the highlights for me. My dad got to experience and truly understand why I love the sport of cyclo-cross. He got to see first hand how friendly and supportive the cyclo-cross community is – with friends of mine helping out in the pits, showing how to properly clean bikes, and just generally making him feel welcome. To top it off, he got to see me race with the fastest women in the World.
We traveled around Germany, France, Switzerland, and the Czech Republic in our trusty rental RV. The RV is really part of the cyclo-cross culture in Europe. All of the top racers travel to races in RVs – each one trying to have a bigger and flashier one than their counterpart. Ours was a medium-sized RV that gave us everything we needed – a portable home on the road. We found some excellent campsites and even parked up in a public parking lot one night. Thankfully my dad was in charge of all things RV – driving, maintaining and parking. I was merely the co-pilot, managing the GPS system and ensuring that we had tasty food to eat. A good traveling team!
The racing was okay. I learned a lot of lessons about myself – both on and off the bike. My fitness is not quite where I’d like it – due to some complications from my ulcerative colitis… I’ve been battling a pretty severe bout of anemia and fatigue. Which makes training and racing a challenge. But my goal for this trip was to earn some UCI points that would help me earn my spot on the Canadian National Team for the World Cyclo-Cross Championships in St. Wendel, Germany. Mission accomplished. And now I’m ranked 55th in the World. Not too shabby.
Next up for me is the Canadian National Cyclo-Cross Championships in Toronto, Ontario on Nov. 6. Then to make my life extra busy – I’m hopping a plane to Belgium on Nov. 8 and will race my first race on Nov. 11 in Niel, Belgium. I’ll be in Belgium until Feb. 7. Really looking forward to the season of racing and training in Belgium.