Dee Dee’s Flying Circus Goes To Europe

January 25, 2007 · Print This Article

By Deidre “Grasshopper” Winfield

Arrival into Burssels through Jan. 13th

It has been a while since I have been at the computer typing but here goes. We arrived in Brussels the Friday before the Nommay race (Jan. 14th) only to find our bikes had not made the trip across the Atlantic. So, we headed to Izegem for the evening only to return to the airport the following day to find that our bikes still had not arrived.

Well, this was pretty much very disheartening. Rhonda and I were supposed to race the following day 5 hours away but we had no bikes. We went upstairs and down in the airport shuffling from one continental rep to the next with no one being able to really provide us with any optimistic advice and with one employee even replying, “ well, your bikes could be in Tokyo, we don’t know.” So, we headed back downstairs for one last stitch effort and as we are sitting there faces in our hands feeling pretty low, an angel of some human form comes in and says, “Mazza and Winfield, you are Mazza and Winfield, correct?” “Your bikes are right out there.” Woohoo, we offered our praises and off we went bikes in tow.

It was a great car ride to Nommay with Mark Matson (Kona Factory Team Wrench) burning up the highway. But, once there, we had no idea where exactly to go to get to the course and I think it took us almost as long to find the race venue as it did for us to get to Nommay. Nevertheless, we finally found the venue after a high speed chase of of the Hanka Kupfernagel’s support vehicle. Hey Alex! Where is MY support vehicle? :)

Unfortunately, we had no idea how to return to our hotel after all the twists and turns. This is where it got a little tricky b/c I only speak a little French and they only spoke a little English. My big concern at this point was getting back to the Hotel b/c my husband had flown into Switzerland earlier that day and was scheduled to arrive in Nommay around noon. It was now almost 7:00 p.m. We were a little behind schedule. I was able to get a ride back to the hotel with a very nice woman who was working at the venue and ironically enough, the hotel was only about 2 miles away. We had just taken a different route to get there that was much more confusing.

Jan. 14th the Nommay World Cup

The day began with some chilly temps and some rain but soon warmed to a balmy 45 degrees or so. Perfect weather for cross. Seeing as we had just gotten our bikes built at 8:00 p.m. the night before and rode the trainer for about ½ an hour I was a little concerned about my ability to perform on Sunday. Rhonda and I warmed up on and off the course. I was psyched b/c it had been so long since I had raced. We line up and bam, the gun goes off.

The start was fairly smooth, a stretch of pavement into a 90 degree left turn where you had to dismount, run up the stairs, then immediately down the muddy descent, onto the gravel path then left turn into the muddy field around we go, ½ way up the hill, dismount, down, quick left turn (still not clipped in) oh, off the bike again, up the hill, back down the other side another quick left turn, again ½ way up the hill, off the bike, around to the left, this was a very hard area the ground was muddy and it was so easy to get bogged down but the legs felt good, off camber turn to the right, feeling good around the corner down the muddy descent onto the pavement and back at the start for the next lap. Lord, I’m tired just typing it out!

It was a good course and I was definitely struggling in some spots but was feeling good. I went down a couple laps into it b/c I tried to bunny hop the girl’s wheel that had gone down in front of me. Stupid, stupid! Then I had my pedal caught around the hose to wash the bikes (I mean what are the chances) so when I tried to go, I couldn’t. In retrospect it is pretty funny but I was cursing myself. Alll in all, I was pleased with my race and was looking forward to next weekend.

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