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First Race, First Crash, First Flu of the Year

They say that things come in threes, so there we go. I started my racing season for the Bricquebec Contentin In the Circuit des Plages Vendéennes. We rode four out of the six races in the series. The first race was Chantonnay, the hilliest of the series and one that I was aiming to do a good ride in. The race started flat out up a climb and having got a bad position on the start line it was all about fighting for position, which was not easy on the narrow roads, climbs and technical corners. After an hour and a half I was starting to feel my legs coming round when another rider switched across my front wheel taking me out. I did a bit of sliding along the floor and my team also admitted to me that he rode over my head, which would explain why that hurt a bit. The injuries were mainly to my shoulder, which had a very deep bruise, and tissue damage, it is still a yellow color, also some deep cuts on my hip and knee. Forced to quit the race, I was taken back to the team bus in the ambulance. My nice new bike was scrapped up and the shifter had snapped as well.

The next day I was strapped up by a masseur that was staying in the same accommodation as we were. Both shoulders were totally wrapped up and the top half of me resembled an Egyptian Mummy. Luckily we had a steady ride that day, as there was no racing to be done.

Our second race was La Chapelle Hermier, at the start the wind and rain was terrible and from the gun my legs just wouldn’t get going. Not to mention that the hip and shoulder were giving me all sorts of pain. I soon found myself in a small group who were having the same difficulties and we rode through and off for 4hrs to get some training km’s in.

Following the second race we had another 1hr30 spin on the bikes as a team. I then made the most of the afternoon to catch up on some Internet time in a bowling café. I also had another check over by the masseur. Our last two races would be over the weekend one after the other.

Before the start of Challans the commissure came up to our team manager and said that if I finished the race today I would be awarded the combativity prize, for continuing to race the series after having such a heavy crash. With a bit of added motivation we headed out at warp speed again though narrow streets and allot of roundabouts. The race had a small climb in it and Davide our Italian rider managed to win both KOM sprints and the KOM competition for the race, which was really good. I managed to follow a few moves and eventually finished in the main bunch. The shoulder and hip was still giving me a lot of pain, clearly the mix of high intensity racing and being away from home was not the ideal place to recover after a crash.

In the last race Saint Jean de Monts my body was in pieces and the race exploded within 20mins in the cross winds. I called it a day after an hour of chasing in the cars; clearly it was not my day. I needed to get back and recover.

The day after getting back I woke up with a bad cold and headache, sore throat, the whole works. My immune system had been working hard to get my damaged body better whilst racing and had forgotten to look after my upper respiratory tract that was now infected. I’ve spent the last few days getting in allot of vitamin c and resting up, and hopefully I’ll be able to shake it off within a few days before the next races at the weekend.

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