Last Sunday, at 6:30 in the morning, 10 Gauls were waiting completely awake and in an energetic state at the trainstation in Eindhoven awaiting transport to participate in the Utrecht hill relay competition. For the readers who have been reading our blogposts for a while, yes this is the relay race during which everything went wrong last year. With all the failures of last year in mind, we had some contingencies in place in case of failures to ensure a successful completion of the race.
Keeping this in mind however, just as we were waiting for the cars Michiel decided to drop his phone on the concrete floor at the station, something the phone’s screen disagreed with (by shattering). A great start of the day so far…
After a fairly long drive, Willem started the race from within the athletic clubs canteen “as it was raining”. He didn’t really think this through, as the second he left the canteen he got soaked anyway. Despite a couple of wrong turns (navigating in a woody area is quite tricky) the first 3 stages went quite uneventful in the rain, with Willem, Tom and John overtaking numerous teams.
However, during Michiels stage Ramon was navigating for Michiel during which he happened to cycle through a staple (described by him as hearing a weird popping noise) causing his tire to deflate. Fun fact, this was the same stage during which we lost the bike chain a year before. Luckily, we were better organized compared to last year meaning that we started with 2 fully functional bikes! So Tom continued navigating on a bike which ended up surviving the intire rest of the race!
The rest of the stages went quite well through the beautiful, but wet, nature around Amersfoort. We even managed to finish in a solid 10th place.
After a couple of Gauls took some well deserved rest (some (ok maybe just one) even had a powernap) regained there energy. We went and drove to the second best pancake restaurant of the Netherlands, where most of us had some pancakes (some of us had a pizza; slight insult to the pancake restaurant). After which we drove back to Eindhoven to catch up on some sleep.
All in all, despite a couple of small issues, it was a successful, beautiful and very fun day!