So today was the Superprestige in Middlekerke. This is a series of races that historically have been the pinnacle of non-world cup events. However for the women the BPost is the only series that offer an end classification for women. So the womens race at a Superprestige is pretty strange to be honest. I dont get a start contract for many of them to be honest, but when I do I go and give my best. I appreciate every contract I get and I respect every race and give it 100%.
Ive had the chance to start 4 Superprestige races this season. I only received the chance to do this one (Which Im extremely grateful for) after finishing 3rd in the World Champs a couple of weeks back. Ive won 3 out of the 4 Ive done, and finished 2nd in the other one. Not a bad return. We tend to ride very early in the morning, before any serious crowds form, and weve normally left before the men start. With out going any further, Id say its a very odd environment. The crowds that are there are excellent. They want to see women race and they are playing a huge part in taking out sport forward. I have to say sat at home watching a super muddy race last Sunday that I wasn’t contracted to do was a little bit like torture.
All we can do as riders is put on a good show when we have the chance. Myself and Sanne Cant put on a good presentation out front today. Behind us there was a great battle for 3rd, with three Fidea riders taking on Jolien Verschueren who’d go on to take 3rd. Sanne and I both want to win; we are locked in battle for the right to finish 3rd in the World Ranking at the end of the season, and we both want to progress our sport. There are others that can help us though, for example the finish line of todays race was a little thin on press, as you can see from this picture by Balint Hamvas (Stood next to Kristof Ramon).
Of course there were some really great press guys (and girls) around the course taking pictures and finding us for words after the race. There are more and more good photographers coming to the events and helping to raise the standards of our presentation to the outside world. It doesnt help that our race finished 3 or 4 hours before the men started. Anyway, to the race: Ok start, took the lead on a bridge, got a gap, Sanne caught me, I attacked, soloed. Nearly crashed taking my hands of the bars to celebrate. Then I did my usual trick of trying to make Sanne laugh on the podium as you can see here:
So it was a good day at the office and I hope to have another one tomorrow in Heerlen, Holland. I really like the race and Im sure its going to be a good one even with a few riders coming to the race with fresh legs.
Next week we have the final BPost and then Im off to Florida. A little break is needed before I try to build for the potential of a start in the Womens Tour of Britain on the road.
Thank you to everyone that took the time to come out in foul weather to support us riders and our sport.
1. Helen Wyman – Kona
2. Sanne Cant – BKCP
3. Jolien Verschueren
4. Pavla Havlikova
5. Loes Sels