After La Course I took a train to Verona. It was VACATION-TIME with my family at Lago di Garda ;-D. I was SO excited about having some time off with my family, my mum, my dad, and my little brother Thomas, who is 19. Daydreaming about good Italian food, relaxing and reloading. No pressure, just real quality time with the ones I love.
The first night we went out for dinner, we sat down for hours, talking and chilling around good local food. That was something I had been looking very much forward to. It is something I truly love. “Hygge” when it is best! I had also been looking forward to stay up late and sleeping as long as I wanted, not having to get up when my alarm told me to. And that’s exactly what I did the next morning. I slept in, made a cup of coffee and went outside on our balcony. So tranquil looking out on the most amazing view surrounded by mountains and olive trees. The birds were tweeting in the background, oh boy, life was good.
I love Italy. Somehow I feel right at home. I must have some Southern European blood in me. I’m very emotional and I definitely have temper ;-). And of course who doesn’t love their food, the landscape, the language I could go on…
I have eaten a LOT of avocado. We’ve eaten pizza, I’ve had risotto, bruschetta, cheese and jambon or as the Italian’s say ‘formaggio e prosciutto crudo’ (My mouth waters just by thinking of it;-)). And lots of chocolate, tiramisu and good Italian gelatos. Not too much of course, I’m still a bike rider, but I definitely had a holiday.
After about a week off the bike, it was time to start pushing the pedals again. Which meant trying to balance vacation and a hard block of training – and that can actually be quite tricky. When I come home from a 4-5 hour ride I’m not exactly trembling with excitement to go sightseeing and walking around the whole day;-D But we always found good compromises. I’m extremely lucky to have such an understanding family, they were chilled about it.
Getting back to training has been so much easier after La Course, when you have been sent such kind message, it gives you extra energy, filling you up with positive vibes. I am amazed by the reaction to my interview on the finish line – I just couldn’t hold back my emotions. I was so tired, so exhausted, especially after the Giro Rosa. I had not had a lot of sleep in the days leading up to it. That normal filter wasn’t there.
But people have said it was good to see an “unfiltered” interview, with pure, raw emotions. I was just so happy. I had such a disappointing spring, and didn’t understand why. Then I had my infected wisdom tooth removed and my form started improving, almost daily. I’m bouncing back, and those emotions came through too.
Even people who didn’t watch the race, or don’t watch women’s cycling now say they are definitely going to watch! I hope people’s eyes have been opened. Women’s cycling is so exciting, so dynamic and so cool.
Right now I’m in Switzerland on a training camp. Haha I live in my suitcase – and I love it! It’s quite expensive here, but it’s like cycling in wonderland, the views are breathtaking.
Next up for me is the World Tour in Valgarda and I am really looking forward to that one. They are so good at involving the local community, like the OVO Energy Women’s Tour. The race has hundreds of volunteers, lots of spectators and there will be live TV. The race is really passionate about women’s cycling – and it is a race dedicated to us.
See you there!