4 in a row? YES! YEAHH :-)
I was telling myself that I should not be too nerveous, that 3 titles already was very good, that if I wouldn't win it would not be a total disaster, that the others were also very strong! But.. I think that was mainly to keep myself calm or so.. because I felt I was nerveous. Already on saturday during a short warm-up trainingride. The first minutes I was really tensed..it took me 20 minutes to get this good feeling again, and to just enjoy it.. I think because I wanted to win so badly, to show myself I can do it, to confirm but especially to keep that jersey!! On the other hand not so nerveous that I couldn't sleep or so, or couldn't enjoy the time. Actually it was all going good, we had a nice 'Rent A Plant' dinner and I also slept pretty okay. Maybe I was insecure about my form. The season has been very long, very good though, but long, and hard. The Swiss Epic went really well but really took a lot of energy. I recovered well but also got sick afterwards. That changed my plan of doing specific short and fast intervals for a Dutch course in taking rest and doing almost nothing.. One more time full gas!
Concentration for the start, and go! 110 km, 48climbs with 2000hm. Completely different than the Swiss Epic, or almost all the other races I do during the season. It was super dry, which made the track even faster. The climbs were short, but pretty steep and since they are not long the speed was high! It was hard to predict the other riders. Of course I know Karen Brouwer, she was riding strong all season. But a lot of the others are more road cyclists.. Which suited this course very well too...
The speed was pretty high just after the start, which resulted in a small group in the first part of the race. The group got smaller and smaller. And I think after 60km I tried to attack and it got me a small gap. This motivated me, which resulted in a solo for the rest of the race. It was super hard. It may not look like that, but I was never sure of my advantage, so I kept giving all I had :) And was sooo happy to cross the finishline first! YEAHH one more year in the red white blue jersey. I love that one! :)
so.. now it's off-season! I think I can look back at a great season, but I will reflect on that a little later! First some easy days, spending time with familiy and friends, I even go for a small surftrip. Thanks a lot to all of you for the support and all the nice messages!! Cheers! Hielke :)