Day in the Life: GP Stad Zottegem
One-day small Belgian races come with a huge, huge benefit---sleeping at home! I've had two races this week, GP Jef Scherens in Leuven and then GP Stad Zottegem in.... Zottegem. Both were within an hour's train ride, so I got to wake up and sleep at my apartment both days. After my previous month and a half of travel, I don't take days at home for granted. If I didn't live so close, I probably wouldn't attend these races for work, but I can't have my guys racing so closely and not support them. Here's a quick glimpse at my day:
8:00am--Wake up. I know.....it's nothing short of shameful but after all the jet lag, I just try to listen to my body. Shower and check the weather for the day. At Sunday's race, it was cold and raining. I wore basically all the gear I owned, but today is looking like a gorgeous summer day. Shorts, tank top and sandals!
8:30am--Check email, double check trains, drink coffee and throw in some laundry. This whole sleeping at home thing is awesome.
9:20am--Out the door. It is already HOT, so I grab the tram to the train station. I want to delay the wet dog look.
9:50am--Soy latte and egg sandwich from Starbucks. The sandwich said it had an egg and some spinach, so I was planning on just throwing out the bread. The spinach was instead blended with cheese. Total bust in my gluten-free, dairy-free life.
10:05am--Train to Zottegem. It's delayed 10 minutes. Lots of funny sounds and shaking, so I'm a little concerned we are never going to make it. Because it is such a low-key race, I'm not terribly concerned about my arrival time.
10:30am--Did some work on the train. I know this is one of the quietest moments of my day and one where I can sit with my computer and decent Internet and crank through some things.
10:50am--Arrive in Zottegem. I have about a 1.5-kilometer walk from the train station to the race start. The heat has really started to crank up.
11:05am--Arrive at the race. I have a few things I need to do before the guys leave for the start, including shoot a few videos. Always a juggling act between getting work done, supporting our sponsors and letting an athlete mentally prepare for competition. Also, there are numerous kid fans on-site, so I try give them a VIP, super memorable experience with the team. I always think that it is our one shot with these kids, our one opportunity to make a lifelong memory and I'm always driven to make it the best it can be. Before I know it, the riders are heading out for the start.
1:00pm--I find a cute restaurant to grab as much water as possible and lunch. I order what ended up being an impressive chicken salad....enough for several people. And because I am in Belgium, I obviously got fries on the side.... with mayonnaise.
2:30pm--The heat is now basically unbearable ...around 34C (100F), so I find someone's shaded front porch that is along race course. I hunker down, find decent Wifi and work until the race finishes. I mainly respond to emails, edit videos and fight with Wifi to get things uploaded.
5:00pm--Waiting for the race to finish. I start looking at my phone and hoping to get an earlyish train back to Gent. It looks like I have a little wait, but hopefully I can make it home by 7pm. I'm dreaming of a normal night at home, cooking my own food and taking it easy....maybe watching a movie.
7:15pm--The Roommate picks me up at the train station. He breaks the news that he has one of his sponsors in town (he works for a different team) and asks if I want to have dinner and drinks out with them. My dream of a salad and a night on the sofa quickly disappears.
7:45pm--A super quick rinse to get the layer of yuck from the day in the sun off and I'm out the door again. A glass of cava at the neighbourhood bar and then Indian for dinner. Despite my earlier hesitations, it isn't so bad.
9:45pm--I'm crawling into bed; I'm definitely dehydrated, but all in all, a good day.