So I have finally arrived in Europe and the first day and a half here have been pretty crazy. I have already been to Belgium, Holland, and Germany, all in the same day.
I am currently staying at the National team base in Sittard, Holland which is basically right in between Belgium and Germany. This is so cool, because we have easy access to basically all of the races in Belgium, Germany, and Holland, plus the Cauberg is easily accessible to train on here, which is freaking legit!
Today I got to pre-ride some of the parts of Axel and boy is this one going to be tough. I did two of the six cobbled sections on the first day, which were brutal.
It literally feels as though someone is taking a jackhammer to your knuckles with each and every cobble hit. Not to mention that you can’t shift whatsoever, which basically means you better pick a nice gear and hang on for the ride because its going to be tough.
The crazy thing is that there is no easy way to ride the cobbles, and the cobbles at Axel do not have any dirt sidings, just tall thick grass. This means that you have to ride right up the middle like a true warrior, making it even harder on your body, because now your taking the full brunt of it.
After talking to some of the guys and my directors, with an added experience after riding the cobbles for a bit. The best way to ride the cobbles for me, since I am a junior with junior gears, is a hard gear, light hands on the tops, and steering with my hips.
I still cannot believe how hard it feels to try and ride over the cobbles. The coolest feeling ever though, is that after riding them I feel like I can ride over anything.
The good news is we have a great team thats ready to tackle this race.
Anyways, the food here has been pretty good, and the riding superb. I’ll keep everyone posted as best as I can but note that I am very busy.