Boels International Classic Heerlen

Although I do love racing, today I had one of those days when I looked in the mirror and thought, why can't I be like those normal people who sleep in on the weekend and go have brunch? Why do I keep doing this?

My mum last week helpfully reminded me that there must be something about it I enjoy, because I keep doing it. And after every race I usually find that something. But before... That's when I have my brunch moments.

Today, despite the initial brunch moment, was a really good day. I finished 6th in a smoking field, won by Sanne Cant, followed by Niki Harris, Ellen Van Loy, Helen Wyman, Sanne Van Paassen, then me. All these girls are top-10 World Cup material so I'm super stoked. It's really encouraging to see steady improvement, and although I'm still a long way off getting my campervan it's a huge boost to be steadily working my way up the field. I've got a goal of a top 20 at worlds 2016 which I think just might be doable with a bit of hard work this year.

The course was slippery and muddy- it was forecast to snow but we got away with hail which thankfully cleared before race start. I got some advice from Stefan Wyman, Helen Wyman's husband and mechanic, on tyre pressure, and he recommended I go with 13/14 psi which worked really well. I was running FMB super muds on one bike and FMB slaloms on the other, and they were amazing.

A huge shout out to my pit crew, Christian and Dirk, who kept my bike changes smooth. shouted encouragement and generally worked a lot harder than I did today. And of course Focus - if you haven't tried their 2015 Mares do yourself a favour and test ride one. They are awesome. And finally Rapha- their winter collection has saved me from pneumonia many times over. I'll do a post a bit later about clothes and race wear, because it's a whole world of costume changes here on race day, and has to be seen to be believed.

Tomorrow- last race of 6- Oostmalle. Sandy and cold. And then like a good student after a set of exams I'm going to go and drink beer.

Ride happy.