It has been a while since my last blog. After my last blog I unfortunately was not able to race for a few months due to an injury I got during the Thuringen Tour Ladies Tour.
I needed some time for recovery and after a solid month of training in Girona I started racing again with the team in August. That’s where I also did my first ever Team Time Trial in Sweden. After this race it was time for the Simac Ladies Tour and this was a race I really wanted to do this year, so I was very happy that I could ride there.
The Simac Ladies Tour is a stage race in the Netherlands, where I come from. And on three out of the six stages we would ride over roads I normally train on, which makes it special for me. The short hill we went up on stage three was also one of my favorites to do during hard efforts in training. It was so close to home, so my family and friends were able to watch, which made the experience even more special.
There is also a second reason I really wanted to race this stage race. We have to go back to 2018. In that year one of the stages started in Nijmegen, my home city. At the time I was still in high school and I was not able to make it to the start at 13.00. I came up with some ideas to skip school but ended up racing home on my commuter bike to get a glimpse of the race. Luckily in 2019 the organisation again decided to go to Nijmegen but this time to finish there. This time I was desperate to go watch the race. Good thing for me it took place in the weekends but can’t guarantee I would have gone to school otherwise 😉
We followed the race on the screen and then saw the breakaway group – and later the peloton – finish. After that we went to the podium ceremony and I tried to take as many pictures as possible with the riders who had won a jersey. When the race was fully over and everyone went back to the busses I quickly took a picture of the CANYON//SRAM Racing camper because I thought it looked so cool.
When I look back on it, I think this was the first time that I felt I wanted to try out road cycling as well. At the time I was still fully focussing on triathlon. I remember being very impressed by the whole environment of the race.
In the 2022 edition of the Simac Ladies Tour, I did not need to race my commuter bike home and neither did I make pictures of the camper this time. In this year’s edition, I was in the camper getting ready for the race. And I was racing on my Canyon bike with my teammates.
Just before the start of the first stage, I remembered how grateful I am to ride in this peloton and especially to ride in this race.
After stage 4, however, my Ladies Tour was over. It was a few hard days and after my long period of time off the bike and away from racing, I didn’t feel completely ready. But I look back proudly, as I know how I looked up to this race just a few years ago. I hope this will inspire others to always follow your dreams and believe in yourself.
I hope to be back next year. But for now, I will take some time to relax and enjoy offseason, before getting starting with building up to 2023.
Till the next time, and in the meantime you can follow me on my socials!
Instagram: @maudoudeman and Twitter: @maudoudeman