The Helen Wyman's Cyclo-Cross Diaries

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The Helen Wyman's Cyclo-Cross Diaries

Story posted October 19, 2009

Sleeping and a Bumpy landing
It’s been a short but busy time since my last update from America. We’ve been to England, Italy and Belgium in that time and squeezed in a couple of races!

After arriving back in England, I thought I had actually managed to escape with minimal jet leg, with no problems sleeping for the first three nights. On reflection I think I was just tired from going 48 hours with no sleep, because by the fourth night it hit me!

It’s the strangest thing to a person who loves sleep soooooo much to be wide awake doing sudukos at 4am in the haunted downstairs bedroom. Having spent two nights awake/asleep in there, I don’t believe what Ian says as I never experienced anything supernatural, apart from my amazing ability at puzzles at times of day I didn’t even know existed.

Anyway after the initial jet lag thing was over, I was off to Italy, on another plane, this time with less leg room and a slightly dodgy landing and take off both ways! Sven Nys was just ahead of us on the plane and boy did he grip the seat hard on our excessively bumpy landing, coward!

The weather was great in Italy and the racing was as expected, fast and dry! In the men's race it was difficult to pick out the riders through the cloud of dust surrounding the peloton! The results as I’m sure the World knows now were for me a good place to build from. Having had a different preparation phase to the season from previous years it was interesting to see where I am compared to other riders at world level.

One of the American women at the race was going to Venice with her husband for the day after the race. Having been there two years ago with Stef, I spent at least 10 minutes describing the amazing food and how Carpaccio of beef pizza was to die for from the little restaurants dotted around the side streets. Turns out they are both vegan, what a waste. We made up for it by having the most delicious meat and cheese covered pizzas for a whopping 5 euros each after the race.

After our slightly nerve racking descent back into Charleroi, it was back to business as usual for week. It rained from the minute we set foot in the country on the Monday morning 'til roughly Thursday morning, so pretty much normal Belgium! As much as I hate training in the rain, I was loving the fact that if the rain was heavy here, in Namur it would be hacking it down in preparation for Saturdays race. I was not disappointed!

Having listened to Neils and Sven talking about how the race was too hard and the descents too dangerous and not a great spectator’s course, I was a little concerned. That is until I actually rode it and loved it!! The descents were all straight and the hill rideable. Maybe the run was a little steep but with the right line still runable. It was a really nice course and I loved every minute of it. In the podium tent, the organiser asked us what we thought of the race. He was slightly shocked to hear us praise it after those pansy boys’ comments and asked us to tell everyone what we thought. So, it was brilliant, amazing fun everyone ride it next year!

Now I have a small training block before my next race Nacht Van Woerden in Holland next Tuesday. The race starts at 9.45pm, so should be good fun now I’m used to night time racing from my American trip! Will update again after then.

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Wyman Podiums on Citadel Hillside