Semaine cantalienne féminine – victorious road race debut

I will spare you a long text and will make a picture story instead ;) . There is a gallery for each day and you can read the descriptions by clicking on the photos(*).

Intro: Last week I participated in the Semaine Cantalienne, a 6-day criterium stage race in the French region Auvergne. (For those who don’t know what a criterium is – hi mum! – it just means doing a short lap of about 500m-3km multiple times.) The overall winner was decided via a point system based on the ranking of each day – 35 points for 1st place, 28 for 2nd, 23 for 3rd, etc.

10377151_10206903171285920_637585349727188726_nI went there without great expectations; I though I would just roll with the peloton and hopefully learn something. Click on the photos to read how it turned out ;) .

So I started the second day lying in second position in the general classification and with a lot more self-confidence. Maybe I could escape again? Maybe on my own and win?

On the third day I had quite a safe lead in the general classification and “Nico le boss” told me to take it easy and not attack too early. The course at Marcolès was the nicest of the week, with a “longer” climb and it would have been tempting to try and attack right at the start.

On the fourth day I started to get quite tired of it all, not just physically but above all mentally. The leader’s jersey is not only too big on the body but also heavy on the mind! The course wasn’t too spectacular so I’ll keep it short:

On Friday the course didn’t suit me at all: 100 x 550m. Margot Dutour, who is also a strong track rider, was part of our group so our “boss” (hi Nico! ;) ) decided I should help her to win, since I had a safe lead in the general classification.

On the final day I really only wanted it all to be over! The constant nervousness was… unnerving! But it ended so well!!! :)

I don’t have pictures from the final ceremony yet. Only the unofficial celebration with my wonderful chalet friends!

(*) Thanks to Audrey Isserte, Patrick Van Heghe and Rose Marie Gaston Boutez for the photos!

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