It was then back to Belgium with a few days to rest and turn the legs over before the racing started. Unfortunately during these days training in Belgium I was hit with another harsh dose of allergies. I’ve always suffered in Belgium during April but this was by far the worst reaction yet. It hasn’t rained here for a while and the sun has been shining; I hear the past two days have been record high pollen counts/readings.
Rash! Rash! My symptoms include an ugly rash all over my face and body, tiredness, itchy eyes, nose, ears and throat, elevated heart rate etc…. not to mention the ridiculous lack of power on the bike!!"
Poor Rochelle’s allergies! A round-up of her life back in Europe, riding Flanders and Dottignies
GP de Dottignies. Dottignies is right in the heart of historic cycling country, just a few km from Kortrijk, the Vlaamse Ardennen, and Roubaix, so the race includes everything you’d expect, and that means narrow roads/cow tracks, cobbles and bergs. They set off at 14:00 on a long, 74km circuit that heads out into the Ardennes to climb five bergs, the Cote du Haut-Rejet, the Cote du Bois d’Allemant, the Cote de Mourcourt, the Col de la Croix Jubaru and the Cote du Carne, plus a token km or so of cobbles, then do four laps of a smaller 13km circuit for a total distance of 128km.
This tends to go to the sprinters, possibly because anyone who specialises in suicidal breakaways will have done their best to escape yesterday. You want convincing of that? The past four winners are Kirsten Wild, Sarah Duester, Marianne Vos and Giorgia Bronzini."