It was almost perfect

The total distance of the Rhonde van Nederland was 896 kilometers in 6 days/7 stages. I also followed all 8 riders during the Prologue TT and 4 riders during the 20k TT which gave me (and Juan who followed for one stage) a total of 983 caravan kilometers. It was almost a perfect score (flat wise that is) until 100k to go in the LAST stage. Normally I try to avoid thinking about (not getting) flats for personal superstitious reasons. But stupid me, I was thinking that I was about to have a perfect race (no flats). Only about 10k after I had that thought, Frankie called over his radio and told Dirk and I that he had a rear flat. Damm it! I knew I should have not permitted myself to entertain thoughts about a flat free stage race.
I am personally proud of the fact that in 1999 during the Hewlett Packard Women’s challenge, I did the entire stage race without any flat tires. That year I was with the Cox/Atlanta team now known as All of my riders finished that stage race except one and she did all the stages except the last road race (she crashed in the penultimate criterium). So, having all my riders (almost all) finish, made it more special. Saturn only had 4 riders after about half way through the race so their mechanics had a holiday. Two (mechanics) to Four (riders) is a good ratio. I was alone with six riders (which was still relatively easy).


Owner of and long time professional race mechanic.