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Rest Day in Grenoble
By Kimberly Bruckner, Saturn Cycling team
…and then there were four.
It feels like there’s a big void in our team; an emptiness that can only be filled by a certain person. Our teammate, Petra Rossner, finally headed home today. She dropped out of the Tour two days ago because she was too sick to go on. But she remained with the team for a few more days and was, as always, our biggest source of support and direction. Her knowledge, humor, kindness, and tactical brilliance have guided this team to so many wins. Petra is priceless. We are really going to miss her.
It was especially hard for Petra to say good-bye to another incredible teammate of ours, Anna Millward. Anna is heading back home to Australia as soon as the Tour is over. Anna was forced to abandon the race after finishing the stage up Col de la Madeleine and Courcheval.
Ina and Kim Davidge pushed Anna up the last 6km to Courcheval that day as her chronic leg problem flared up again. Anna has dealt with so much frustration trying to recover from this injury that has plagued her since the World Championships last fall.
She’s remained so positive and determined throughout the season even when her teammates knew she was in pain. She won a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games in Manchester, England less than a week before starting the Women’s Tour. She finally made the very tough decision to end her season early and return home to Australia to seek out medical help. Never have I met a woman so passionate and dedicated to her sport.
To add insult to injury, Kim Davidge is returning home to Canada tomorrow. I really admire Kim as she’s a full-time seventh grade-teacher and a full-time professional cyclist.
During the school year, Kim and her husband, Piers, wake up around 4:30am to ride their trainers before heading to work, and then ride again as soon as they return home. Kim has used her school spring-break for the last two years to race the Redlands Classic in California and then races almost every weekend until school lets out in June. Then she races all week too!
Kim is the most positive force on our team…no matter how bad things may seem, she always sees the bright side. Kim has been my total support system in the midst of every stage. She’s so smooth and confident in the European peloton. This is her fourth Women’s Tour and her job (poor girl!) has been to look out for me and make sure I’m safe. So when I find myself at the back of a very strung-out field, (which I do quite often, I’m afraid!) Kim zooms straight from the front to the back, gets me on her wheel, and pulls me straight back to the front. I don’t know what I’m going to do without her for the final week of this Tour.
So now our Saturn contingent is down to four women: Judith, Ina, Cat and me. Six days and seven stages to go. We’re still positive. We’ve got a great support crew and the sun finally came out today.
An easy two-hour ride and a lunch stop for some very good pizza…that’s all I need to psyche me up for another week of racing.
Just an added note:
Yesterday, at the top of Col du Glandon, Cathy got a boost from a fan…in more ways than one. An excited French fan started running alongside Cat and gave her a push while shouting,
”Oh thank you so much for what you girls bring to us. Thanks for the show. Thanks for the spectacle..thanks for giving us this excitement!” Cathy was just impressed that all the fans had stayed up at the top of the Col waiting for the final girls to pass by. The leaders had passed by almost an hour before.
Then after the guy pushed her off, his friend yelled up to him, “Hey, you just pushed Cathy Marsal!” Being that Cat is a national hero; she gives so much excitement to the French fans. And the guy tried to catch back up to Cathy, running as fast as he can. He was so enthralled that he had touched such a champion.