Team Ribble sponsored triathlete Ailbhe Carroll headed to Europe for a three-week racing block of European and World Cup races in Belgium and The Netherlands.
I’ve been home from another big adventure for a few days now and it’s taken me a while to get pen to paper after this one. It was a tough trip. A really tough set of races.
First up was a European Cup Triathlon in Weert in The Netherlands and I punctured. Race over.
World Cup in Antwerp
Next was the short hop to Antwerp and my first taste of a World Cup triathlon. I knew I was in Belgium, but I certainly did not expect the bike course to be 60% cobbles. To say I didn’t have the skill set to ride these things, would be an understatement… I was not best pleased with myself.
Third and lastly it was another European Cup round in a small Belgian town to the north of Antwerp called Wuustwezel. I had done this race last season. I knew the course. I knew the host family I was staying with. Every was so familiar. Unfortunately, the result was a familiar one too.
I’m not sure why, but I just couldn’t get my hard work to show in any of these three race results. It was actually a heart breaking few weeks, but I’ve come away with a lot.
I’ve learned that I can survive three weeks on my Tod in Europe and make it home alive. Each race has also highlighted weaknesses that I realise have to be turned into strengths. I’ve come away obviously hungry to do better things. And I’ve taken a leap of faith and joined forces with a new coaching team to help me achieve these better things.
And the worst thing about the whole three weeks? I forgot to get myself any waffles… I’ll have to go back!