Ah, France. Bonjour à nouveau.
Returning to Les Herbiers this year, was a lot like returning to a family. Same hotel. Same organizers. Same bakeries. Same TT course. Sometimes a little familiarity in a different country goes a long way.
One of the world’s most prestigious time trials? Sign me up. Or I mean, invite me. Chrono des Nations. Just think of me the next time you feel silly for driving 3 hours for a road race in the middle of nowhere. I flew across the world for a one day event. Was it worth it? Absolutely.
Not only did I get to photo bomb Tony Martin (I am sure he was more than excited). I don’t know if it is socially acceptable to ask for a picture while you are both waiting for podium and giving interviews in the “green room”, but someone had to do it. Awkward? Perhaps, but highly necessary.
I also got to meet Eddy Merckx. He presented the trophies, and they also made him weigh himself on stage. I am glad I didn’t have to weigh myself. Leave it to the French!
No one should ever write in length about a TT. First of all, I don’t want to let you that much into my head, and also, it is a pretty simply race. The fastest time wins premiere (1e), and the second fastest time finishes deuxiemme (2e). Deux années in a row. Darn or Sacrebleu.
The race was 20k pour les femmes elite, mais les hommes elite did 57k! Oy vey. Needless to say, I was pretty happy we had the 20k option instead of 57k. Who can focus that long?
The competition was incredible this year and the conditions were brutal with huge winds and inclement weather. Olympic medalists. World Champions. National Champions. Finishing 2nd was a big honor for me. I am still craving that top step, which means, I will be back (in your best Arnold impression), or add a French accent and say “Je serai de retour”.
The race is still and always one of the best experiences. Thank you to all who helped make it happen for me. This does concludes my 2013 road season, and I have to take pride in my accomplishments, learn from my failures, and never forget to set big goals. Dream big.
A special thank you to SVCF for helping me with my travel to the race.