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Lucy Garner Blog: The Lotto Belgium Tour

So, my last stage race of the season was last week: Lotto Belgium Tour. I hadn’t raced for a while before hand so I was nervous about my fitness and condition. I had trained a lot but racing is always different to training. I like racing in Belgium. Fast, hectic racing. That’s what I like!

The first stage was a prologue. I was satisfied with how that went. I hadn’t been on my TT bike for a couple of months as it wasn’t at my house to train on so finishing 44th out of 123 starters wasn’t too bad. Jolien won which was great!

The second stage had a crucial cobbled hill in it which eventually split the group and the winning group staged away. I was in the second group which was the peloton. We weren’t going to catch the first group and Jolien managed to sprint for 2nd. Julie and Grace helped me position myself for the sprint in my group. I sprinted to 3rd out of my group meaning I finished 16th on the stage which I was pleased with. I wasn’t sprinting for the win but it’s always good to test the legs and experience sprinting again.

The next stage was fast and hectic. Small roads, tight corners and a fast pace meant it was all about staying at the front. The first lap a bee stung me so that wasn’t pleasant at all. Then I had quite a hard crash. It took me a while to get back to the group but I managed. The final was crazy and I wasn’t able to help Jolien as much as I would have liked to but Jolien came over the line with her hands in the air which was another great result for the team!

The last stage was tough. It was raining and we had the Muur and plenty of other climbs to go up so the team was quite nervous before hand. Jolien was in the leader’s jersey. In the end 60 finished out of 120. I didn’t have a great day. My breathing was hard and I was quite sore from the crash. I made it onto the local laps but I was already dropped so my group was told to stop. I wasn’t pleased with the way I rode but I wasn’t feeling 100% fit and healthy.

That evening the pain got worse so I went to the hospital being told I had knocked my ribs and broken them again. Luckily only 1 this time 😉 I can still walk and drive but when I cough, sneeze and laugh its quite painful.

I’m now taking some time off the bike. My family are coming over to Holland this week and then I will go back to the UK the week of my birthday to spend it with friends and family ? Lars has left to America. Yes, that’s right. The cross season has started!

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