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Amy Roberts Blog: Getting a feel for the lifestyle in Holland and Belgium!

Amy Roberts

As I’m coming to the end of nearly a month of being away racing and training in Holland and Belgium I thought it would be a good time to update you all on how it’s going…..

So far this year I’ve been lucky enough to get lots of racing in the legs and get into my first full road season without having a winter on the track.  This block has consisted of quite a few races starting off with Dwars door Vlaanderen – a small Flanders type race with some of the cobbled climbs and sections, so a tough one. For me it went pretty well, getting in a break of 11 up the first cobbled climb, along with Amy Pieters so was nice to have two Wiggle girls there. Later on Dani King bridged across to us with one other rider. After about 40k away we were eventually caught with less than 1k to go so ended in a big bunch sprint and was nicely finished off with Amy P getting the win.

Next up I had Pajot hills classic and then Grand Prix de Dottignies. I think Dottignies was a special one for us with Giorgia Bronzini taking the win after a great team race. It’s always nice to have someone who appreciates everything and Gio is definitely one of them.

Between all of these races I’ve been staying with my teammate and good friend Lucy (Garner) and her boyfriend Lars (van der Haar) as they live in Holland. It’s been so nice and they really have been good to me, making it feel like home which definitely helps when being away for a while at a time. It’s also good to have someone to train with, especially when you don’t know the area!

Next up we had Energiewacht Tour, a 5 day stage race in the north of Holland. It was my third year racing this and I think it’s a great one to do. It started off with a Team Time Trial, where we finished 5th and were very pleased with. For me I love a team time trial and it’s nice to get the chance to race in one as there aren’t many throughout the year. The rest of the week we had 4 road stages, starting off with a brutal one on a very windy course, not much hiding when you’re on the open Dutch roads!! We also had an individual Time Trial on the evening of a short road stage day. These are always goals for me so it was nice to get close to a top 20 finish with a 21st and be in the mix with some top time trialists. With all this happening it was so great to have my grandparents and my parents, with the two dogs, come out to watch in their campers. They don’t get to watch my racing very often with it being abroad most of the time so I think this was nice for them. My sister, Jess, was also racing the junior tour at the same time.

Now I think I’ve caught up on most things, last night being my last night at Lucy’s we did the Dutch thing and rode the fixies to the local village and had an ice cream. I have really loved being here and it was nice to get a feel for the Dutch lifestyle! Two more races this weekend, Ijsseldelta and Gelderland before heading back to the UK.

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