After a long trip from Red Hook Criterium London to the family vacation in Austria and afterwards to Munich I finally flew with Sofie from the Malojapushbikersfem team to Barcelona to race at Red Hook Criterium Barcelona No.5.
The boys and Maria of CANYON RAD PACK were at our own event, RAD RACE CRIT in Ostende, Belgium. Therefore I joined the friendly Boys and Girls from Maloja Pushbikers.
Finally, after exhausting and long days on my VRAD through Barcelona and in the Velodrome d'Horta the race day was on.
With the number 16 on the back and the start position 7 I went to the Quali Heat 1 with 30 women. After half of the race, suddenly the red flag came up and the race was stopped for 15 minutes, because a bad crash occurred and an ambulance had to come.
After the Restart a few girls attacked and I missed the breakaway. I attacked as well, closed the gap alone and we became a 7-headed leading group. In the final sprint I finished on 6th place and was able to start at Super Pole as well.
In the Super Pole the ten best women from all qualifying races fought for the final starting positions. I became 9th.
Around 20:30 the finals went off.
We started for a neutral lap of honour and could see the countless spectators on the track, who celebrated loudly and wildly knocked on the fencings. Almost the same feeling as in Brooklyn.
The race began really fast with several attacks, but nobody could break away. The first half of the race I was always on top ten positions and responded well with all attacks.
At round 17 my wheels were slipping away, again and again.
I looked down quite often to check my bike for a flat tire, but I didn’t recognise anything.
After a while I had to fight more and more during the race and my legs became heavier and heavier. At the beginning of the race I felt good and the whole time my legs were in good shape, but suddendly my legs got sore and I cycled slower in the corners.
Anyway, the pace went up and two women got away. Our group tried to catch them and we cycle with high speed around the hairpin corners. I dropped myself a little bit to the back of our group because I didn’t trust my tires in this moment. I still couldn‘t see any damage on my tire.
With three rounds to go I took the last hairpin with highspeed, to pass some other women. Unfortunately I underestimated my speed and didn‘t have enough time and strength to slow down hard enough and therefore I slipped away and crashed.
I laid there on the ground and couldn‘t believe that I really went down. I wanted to get back on my bike, to finish the last few laps. I had pain in the arms and my whole body was shaking. When I wanted to get back on my bike the organisers stopped me, due to my flat front tire. I was super angry, threw my bike in the fencing and had to sit down until the race was over. In these moments I couldn‘t believe what was happening, I just wanted to get up over and over again and get back on my bike, but I was held back.
I sadly saw how the race came to an end and furiously I thought about my RHC overall ranking. I already crashed in London, so I'd loose again some positions.
Totally sad the night seemed to be over for me, but the dear girls of the Maloja Pushbikers Team and many others comforted and hugged me after the race, encouraged and motivated me to go to the After-Race party to distract myself.
Now a few days later I‘m still sad and irritated that I couldn‘t finish the finals again, however, thank God that I‘ve got no bad injuries only a few bruises and deep grazes.
But Barcelona was such a great event and experience with many spectators, perfect weather and a good atmosphere directly at the beach.
Fingerscrossed for Milano.
All pics by : Jason Sellers.