There are a few things to know before racing in Holland:
1.) It is fast and hard; the ENTIRE race.
2.) Do NOT climb the trash hill in your big chain ring.
3.) When descending the trash hill, do not forget about the big right-hand turn at the bottom, or else you will end up in the grass, in your big chain ring.
4.) It is fast, hard and windy; the ENTIRE race.
5.) If you are dirty after the race, it means you spent some time in the caravan (aka-chasing the main field through the follow cars after either being dropped, getting a flat in the cobbles, or crashing).
6.) It is fast, hard, windy, and crit-like; the ENTIRE race.
This picture is from the finish of yesterdays' race, the Ronde van Drenthe World Cup. Dramatic Brooke is leaning on me, Rebecca "migit" is front left, Katheryn "why are you guys so dirty?" is front center and Kristin "strong as bull, get flat, chase for half the race and catch the front pack" is front right. Unfortunately, Lauren "had bad luck the entire trip" isn't pictured because at the time of this picture she was in the hospital getting treated for a broken hand after an Italian pushed her into the railing of a bridge (slimy Italians).
Since being here in Holland we have raced, what felt like a 3 hour long crit, on Thursday where our super-star sprinter, Brooke got 8th. Yesterday was the World Cup and again Brooke did a GREAT job getting some place in the teens (I can't remember), and today is a circut race up and over the trash hill 5 times (no big chain ring, big turn at the bottom, no big chain ring, big turn at the bottom). Tomorrow, we are off to Tuscany for 3 days at the team house and will return to Holland on Friday for a race over the weekend then to Belgium for Fleche(!!) in a week and a half.
There are some great photos of us racing here in Europe on usacycling.org
This is how you look when you climb the trash hill in your big chain ring: