Here I am again, a couple of months after my last blog! I’m looking forward to sharing my first experiences as a pro cyclist with you. The last time I ended my blog talking about my nerves and excitement about the first races with the team. The time has flown by and I now have my first elite level races under my belt. So many new experiences, learning lessons, and happy moments. Currently I am getting more and more into a rhythm of racing. In this first part of the season I have gained a lot of vulnerable experiences in- and outside racing. Ticked off a lot of firsts, and I’m keeping the learning process going.
Going into the elite category a lot of things were ‘new’. When I was watching races on TV I saw these situations, but now was the first time that I was involved. Let me give you a few examples. The first race I did with the team was Le Samyn. It was a very hectic race in Belgium with a big peloton on the cobbles. Even though I am from The Netherlands, it was also the first time I went over these sort of cobbles. Within fifteen kilometres of the race I crashed on the side of the road. Luckily not that hard, but a bike change was necessary. It was the first time for me getting back to the peloton behind the cars. It did not go as smoothly as it could have gone, but it was a good challenge and all part of the learning process. A few races later I know that when you feel the confidence that you will get back and if you stay relaxed in that situation you will get there again.
Getting bottles from the car is also something I had to learn and experience. Normally watching races I do not really think about it being a situation. But for me the first time getting bottles from the car was a sort of experience. I am glad the team is supporting me through all the scenarios of racing. Getting tips from my teammates is something really valuable.
It is a big learning process to get used to and get confident into the elite peloton, which can be very hectic. But I am very grateful for the team giving me chances to learn. Learning takes place by having new experiences and by making mistakes. I feel with every little experience I am making progress. So I am looking forward to what the rest of the season will bring. I am very excited for what’s to come.
Till my next blog! In the meantime, you can follow my journey on Instagram and Twitter @maudoudeman.