First race of the season and it was hot! I think it was close to 40 degrees as we were climbing the last climb and I was suffering.
I woke up last night at 2 am and felt like I would be ready to get up. Still not completely used to the time difference here. I fell asleep again and was awake at 5 am. I got up at 6 and went down for breakfast. Beans, pasta and coffee was offered. Luckily ur national coach had brought me some instant oatmeal from Finland because you can’t find it in Germany. So I had some oats, a banana and a cup of coffee for breakfast. The Mexican girls gave me some milk. I can’t drink plain black coffee. Thanks for that!
The caravam started to the start of the race about 8 o’clock. It was crazy! In the traffic jam we were escorted by the police somehow through San Salvador and I tell you it is not a small city. We arrived to the start. It was by a track for cycling and there was also an awesome looking olympic swimming pool.
By the way, we are staying in a place called INDES, I think it means institut national de sportivos. Amazing facilities. Some tennisplayers for example from Aruba are here on trainingcamp and the olympic swimming pool….no words! I would love to do some lanes, but I have no energy for it. I did bring my swimmingsuit and goggles though…
Back to the race. It was only 30 degrees in the shade as we started. The first 80km were slow. Everyone was waiting for the last 13km long climb. I sat comfortably in the back of the bunch and was able to react and avoid all the holes in the street. So I was lucky not to have any punctures. There were so many girls who had punctures and also some destroyed there wheels because of the big holes in the street. My room mate and team mate Claire Fraser from Guyana punctured both her front and back wheel and even her nice ZIP back wheel was destroyed because of the bad road.
5 km before the climb started I moved to the front. It was time to race. The italians made the pace and it was fast. One of them attacked and I did not even recognize who it was. So many blue jerseys ahead of me. I just could not follow. I was completely dead. It was so hot, I tried to cool myself down with water. At least I thought it was water, but afterwards I think I had been pouring sportsdrink on my head, neck and back.
I found my rythm after a while and it was still 10 km to go. So keep on going, don’t give up. Try to catch as many as possible before the finish line. I tried to ignore the heath. I caught a group of riders,passed them and saw the next bigger group ahead of me. With 4 km to I had caught them. Now, I tried to take it easy, get ready for the sprint.
I was tired though and think I finished 5th or 6th in our group. As I crossed to finish line I was so dizzy. I almost fell from my bike. I just wanted someone to give me some water so I could pour it over me. I did not need any drinks, I wanted to cool my down my body. I dont know my overall ranking yet, guess I was 11th or 12th.
Shit, it is hot here. I tell you, I am having a hard time in the heat. 40 degrees + is hard at this time of the year, but I think I will get used to it day by day, at least I hope so.
Tomorrow Vuelta El Salvador starts with stage 1.