Looking back a year I see myself sitting at my desk studying for the final exams at school. I had stopped my training earlier and had less time to ride my bike in those days. Right now, I can concentrate more or less full time on cycling. On the thing I love. Of course, there are many stories like this, and also different stories, which might be more spectacular, but I just want to share with you my first experiences in professional peloton.
In the Juniors it was mostly all about racing for yourself. Trying to get the best result as possible. Only the international races were competed as a team. When I came to Drops in the autumn last year, my childhood dream turned into reality. I always want to develop and improve myself on and off the bike. The mentality of our DS Bob Varney made the decision easy in the search for a team.
As we came together for the first time as a team at our training camp in Cambrils, Spain, I was impressed with the positivity and commitment of everybody. Every rider and every member of staff worked really hard and it is a great feeling to be part of this team. As we are an international team our common language is the same, like in most of the bigger teams, English. Honestly in the beginning I was a bit scared of talking because my English at school was average. To be surrounded by people day in day out speaking English helped a lot and I got more confidence in my own speaking. Of course, there is still a lot to improve, as you may notice in this article.
During our training camp and the time after, more ‘first time’ experiences followed. First time riding with a radio, first sponsor meeting, first professional photo shoot. As the youngest rider on the team it was a great pleasure to be the ‘presenter’ of the new team apparel for 2020. I was really glad it was a photo shoot for the race kit because I definitely prefer cycling shoes to high heels!
After our training camp, we did the spring Classics, the only ones so far. At Omloop Het Nieuwsblad I rode my first race with some of the Women’s World Tour teams. It was an exciting feeling to ride along with the best female riders in the world. Riding the Classics in Holland and Belgium is very special and not comparable to the stage race in sunny Valencia we did the week before. Surprisingly I lost the fear about riding the cobblestones and I’m looking forward to riding more of them. Hopefully later this year!
I’m sure at 19 years old I still have a lot to learn. For example, never try to ride in the inside of a corner when there is a team car next of you. I said “Hello” to the road after doing that. It’s going to be a long road ahead with many ups and downs, but I think it’s going to be worth going for it. During the week of our training camp and the first races we had so much fun and I really miss the girls these days without racing.
It’s a hard time for all of us at the moment and of course under these circumstances bike racing is not possible. Health always comes first. We shouldn’t lose our positivity and keep looking forward.
Greetings from Germany.