On Track in Mallorca

USA Women Training in Mallorca

A few weeks ago my boyfriend Jetse and I did a short visit to Mallorca, he had to do an intense block of training and the guys from Performance United have their training base there so I was excited to catch up with my sister Sofia!
It was impossible not to fall in love with the place, with those amazing views and all the mountains! We arrived at Sofia’s apartment in Alaró, such a nice little town.
Very close to her apartment is the Team House, the boys of the team live there and they also have a weight lifting room, with all the necessary equipment for track riders along with the fantastic watt bikes, and you can’t miss the flags of Ireland, USA, Turkey, Mexico and Spain decorating the room.

Sofia Arreola

We had time to catch up a little bit there with coach Andy Sparks while he was showing us the place and telling us all the advantages that came with training in Mallorca, he even invited Jetse for a ride with the guys.

To me it was clear why my sister doesn’t want to come back to train in Mexico after only a few hours of being there, the Island is really special for bike rides!!! But I was so excited and looking so much forward to go to the track and see the guys in action!

Andy Sparks

But that didn’t happen until the last day, meanwhile we had time to do some training, enjoy the sun and the beach and we even went for dinner with Jennie Reed and her hubby Brandon Madden, I have to admit I’m such a big fan of Jennie since long time ago when she was a sprinter but this is the first time I’d actually met her and had time to get to know her.

When I asked her, why did she make the change from sprinting to endurance she said she was looking for a new challenge and I think instead Jennie’s creating a challenge to other teams as she rocks in the team pursuit even as much as she did as a sprinter!

Anyways back to the track… The Palma Arena is such a cool place, the track is beautiful and you can feel the great atmosphere at their training sessions, you can hear everyone cheering for each other while they’re doing there efforts and giving tips to each other to improve… its just priceless! But I have to say the biggest supporters at the track are Brandon Madden and Kirk Bausch (husbands of Jennie Reed and Dotsie Bausch) you can hear they screaming “GO, GO, GO!!!” during the whole training.

While Sarah Hammer and Jennie Reed have basically made Mallorca their second home the rest of the Team Pursuit girls (Lauren Tamayo and Dotsie Bausch) come in special periods during the year, this time they were all together as they’re getting ready for London and yes… they are looking STRONG!

Other riders in the team also preparing for London are Martyn Irvine (Ireland) and David Muntaner (Spain), while Recep Unalan (Turkey) and Sofia Arreola (Mexico) are making next year’s World Cup season their major focus.

Coach Andy is looking very optimistic about the Games and I’m sure the boys and girls will get amazing results there, so excited to see them racing and I even got special t-shirts to support them along the way!

 

Thanks for reading!
 
 

A Look Back at 2011 and Towards My 2012 Season

Jetse Bol - Oscar Freire (Rabobank) - Image Wessel van Keuk/Cor Vos ©2011

When I was 18 years old and I got an offer to sign a contract with the Continental Squad of Rabobank I knew exciting thing were coming, what I didn’t know was how good was it going to be!

I had to take it step by step, coming to a big team it’s a big challenge and requires a lot of dedication and effort but it feels great when you get the results you worked so hard for and especially when that step on the top of the podium that everyone wants its yours… when you cross the finish line in 1st place and you feel like you’re on top of the World!

This season I had a big goal in mind, it was my last year as an U23 rider and I wanted to sign a pro contract for the next season, I worked really hard last winter and made a lot of sacrifices along the way because I had to stay really focused on my goal.

We had our first training camp in February and the atmosphere of the team was great, it helps a lot for your results when you are part of such an amazing team, everything is so well organized and we (riders) keep good relationships with each other and with all the staff, which it’s the perfect thing to stay motivated and be at your best.

The season did not start as well as I wanted, but I performed very well in the Tour of Bretagne and that’s when everything started to go really well for me.

Another of the big goals for me this season was to win Olympia’s tour, I won it back in 2009 and I couldn’t defend my title in 2010 so I wanted to peak for that race this year.

I am super proud to say I achieved this goal, taking the title and also winning 2 stages and the points, mountains and sprints classifications, it was unbelievable! I had the support of the team and of course my family and friends were there to cheer me up.

The next big event of the season was the World Championships in Denmark so my coach and I made a special program to get there in my best form. I was in very good shape but the course didn’t really suit me, it was too flat and easy and also a bit short, I prefer a harder course where you can go for an attack and make the difference up that way but I finished 11th so I’m quite happy with that all things considered.

After that I got the news that the worlds were my last race for the Continental Squad. I was going to be a stagier for the Pro team, I had already done the Tour of Denmark and Tour de Wallonië before the Worlds. Now they picked me for Franco-Belge, memorial Frank Vandenbroucke and Paris Tours.

With that last one I already had some experience because I did the Paris Tours the year before for the U23 team, but now it was time to race against the big boys. This one was harder and longer but I really enjoyed it, I was involved in many attacks with Gilbert and Pim Ligthart and my form was really good! It was definitely a good experience.

Now the real fun begins as I have a Pro contract with Rabobank for the next 2 years. We had our team presentation earlier in December and our first training camp in Fuerteventura. It’s real now and there’s nothing I wanted more than this.

In January we have another training camp in Spain to get in to top shape for the season, my first race will be Mallorca Challenge and Volta Algarve will follow, after that I race Kuurne Brussel Kuurne. I looking to push myself this season, get stronger and improve my uphill skills and I also want to help the team win as many races as possible.

When I was 18 I thought this was a once in a lifetime chance to live my dream, now I know I’m living it!

Wishing you all a wonderful 2012!

Let’s get this party started!

Jetse

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Europe Trip Part 2 (Fighting For My Life)

12th March 2011

My second destination in this new adventure, beautiful Holland!

I thought Monterrey had a weird weather but I was so wrong, I have seen the weirdest changes in temperatures here in Avenhorn, one day it’s sunny and hot (7 degrees… ok maybe not that hot!) the next minute is cloudy and raining, then you have some snow! then a sunny day again and of course… its ALWAYS windy!

It’s actually the first time I get to see real snow in my life, Jetse said, “I don’t think you should go for a ride, you better stay on the rollers!” haha Whaaaaat?! There’s no way I was going to stay inside and miss an opportunity like that, I was like a little kid enjoying it so much. You could see my face full of smiles, we did two hours that day and it was lovely, I mean it’s always cold here but at least when it snows it looks cool!

I was impressed about how flat London is but now I have a new idea of what flat means, there are not even little hills in this place and if I thought I was going to be safe here (without having to ride on the other side of the street like they to in the UK) I was also wrong. I am afraid that the wind could take me back to Mexico! ohhh well… at least no one has to worry about me riding in the right place on the road now!

Staying on my bike with this wind is almost impossible… but I like the challenge, apart from the wind there are also some cobblestones! not so great when you only weigh 44kg! but I really enjoy riding here, this is an amazing country, you see bikes everywhere in the streets which is very cool! They have this “fietspad” (bikes pad) so you can ride very safe and avoid all the traffic (not that there’s much traffic here!)

This is a very good change after riding for many years in Monterrey, I always have to ride with a car behind me because it is very dangerous and here I can just go by myself and do my own thing and I really enjoy it! Even if I do have to deal with cold temperatures and a bit of snow! haha

If the wind doesn’t take me back to Mex or somewhere in the sea I will write another blog soon!

 

Nancy

 
 
 
 

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