So onto my next adventure… After recently spending 10 days in Mallorca training, I got home to the typical English weather. Strong winds and heavy rain. So my training hours dropped dramatically. Maybe Mallorca softened me up or the weather was just extremely poor, anyway it didn’t appeal to me to go out and do long solid rides. Another plan was needed. As I’m in my gap year I don’t have anything tying me down to stay at home so my next mission was to find somewhere to go. Luckily for me my team Matrix Fitness – Vulpine has a link to a guy in France, Chris, who lets us stay with him. He owns houses in Limoux. It’s such an amazing place, the weather is great, lots of mountains and a lovely town square that has everything you could need.
I arrived in Limoux and was greeted by Team Tibco, an American Pro Womens team, as I was staying in the same house as them. They are a lovely bunch of girls so I was privileged to stay with them. It’s definitely interesting meeting new people and seeing everyone’s different ‘normal’ routines. There’s always something new to learn. The main question I was asking was “what’s that you’re eating?” I definitely love trying new foods and eating healthily so it was great to be around these girls. The training has been really good too, every where you go there’s different climbs to explore. Just how I like it. I find myself constantly in my own world admiring the scenery.
The Tibco girls were only in Limoux a few days as they were then heading out to Holland for Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. I then had the house to myself. To pay my way for the accommodation Chris got me cleaning the houses in the morning which then allowed me to train in the afternoon. Living on my own in a foreign country for that short space of time was a different experience but I loved it. I kept myself busy and loved the independence.
Then when I thought things couldn’t get better Chris invited me to a training camp in Spain with his regional French team Languedoc Roussillon staying in an all inclusive hotel by the beach. But firstly, Chris informed me that he was taking the team to do a men’s race not far away so asked me if I wanted to join him. Of course I did as I was super keen to get my racing season under way.
After testing out the climb in warm up I was ready to go. The girls got to start at the front on the start line which was a big help as I was straight onto the back of the neutral car. Then came the hill. I was very intrigued how I would do up the climb against the men but I managed to hold on to the top. Next came a long sweeping decent followed by a right hand turn into side wind then right again with tail wind back to the start. I loved the circuit, it really suited me. The race split up on the second lap up the climb and I found myself in a sizeable group of men. We all worked together catching people up the road and before I knew it the Languedoc Roussillon race had finished. I was pleased to find out I was first woman and 56th out of 150 men so won a lovely bouquet of flowers, two bottles of the local rose wine and a glass trophy. After the race we headed to Spain.
The weather was lovely, clear blue skies and a warm sun shining bright. The team consisted of 9 girls. 6 French, one Spanish, one Danish and Einat from Israel. I knew Einat very well as she lived in Limoux working for Chris so I didn’t feel out of place. The training was really good and we certainly had a fair amount of laughs along the way. We were soon settled into the training camp ‘routine’ of wake up, eat, train, shower, eat, sleep, rest, eat, sleep and repeat. Apart from one day was a double day to mix things up a bit with a ride in the morning and afternoon.
The week flew by and it was soon time to drive back to france for 2 days before I headed home back to England. I’m now home for 12 days before I head back out to Limoux with Matrix Vulpine for a team training camp. But first off we have our team launch this weekend.
Until next time,