Yesterday I had my first race in the Netherlands. There were only three races all for women. I raced with the elites without contracts, and there were about 160 of us. I had to line up half an hour early to get a spot near the front! I was told they would announce everything in English if they knew someone who spoke English was racing. Of course that didn't happen, so I failed to hear the "remove your helmets for a one minute of silence" and got punched in the arm by a girl because I was completely oblivious. It has also been a while since I have raced so I kept getting pushed around and sworn at because I forgot a bit how it works. We had 5 loops of 17km and I bet we averaged 50 or more.
It's definitely a lot different racing over here then back home...i never saw the front, never climbed a hill...and spent most of the last 3 km on my breaks! Although I was still sworn at in French! (and German and dutch haha) I finished 53 and there were only 70 left of the group when we finished. I was pretty happy with it, but next race I am going to try harder to be in it...rather then just watching it happen from the back.
Anita gave me a great oil massage before the race too! Made me feel very euro; and we had traditional Holland food for dinner to finish off a great day :)
I am itching to race again and fix some of my mistakes! And start using the F-word ;)