My name is Elin - A pro cycling lover's reflections

Cummings signs with BMC

Category: Cycling

I thought I would write about my last day in Copenhagen today when I came home, but I didn't bring the notes when I went to my parents' place. However, I will write about it later 'cause I found it interesting. During the day I saw plenty of elite cyclists around the city, but as said, the story will be written later.
Steve Cummings
Instead, let's speak about Steve Cummings who will leave Team Sky and join BMC Racing Team for the 2012 season. The team has earlier signed Philippe Gilbert, Thor Hushovd, Marco Pinotti, Adam Blythe, Tejay Van Garderen and Klaas Lodewyck.

“They've just won the Tour de France, and the riders they've signed have the chance to win almost any race," Cummings said earlier today. "Their entire program really has the whole package."

Cummings has spent the last two years at Sky Team, and has had a pretty successful season as he woun stage 3 of the Volta ao Algarve ahead of Tejay Van Garderen and Alberto Contador. He also took second-place at the Tour of Britain.

“I want to work as hard as possible for the team and make the most of any opportunities that come my way. If I can do that, then I'm happy,” Cummings said.

Good bye Copenhagen

Category: Cycling

On Monday, many cyclists would travel home, which made it easy to check out some pro cyclists around town. Facing Ivan Stevic and the Serbian team was not exactly something new at this moment, but there were other cyclists in town that was more interesting to check out this particular day. Cyclists who I had not actually seen every day in Copenhagen.

When we left the luggage at the train station, I suddenly saw a man coming down the stairs with a big bike bag, which means a bag where you put your racer when you travel.

He never left the bag. I do not know why, but I suspect that he did not feel comfortable with it. These bikes the pros are using are very expensive and you can't afford to lose them.

Hopefully he would not trudge around town too much, because even though the bikes are lightweight, it takes some effort to carry them around.

Any, I could keep my eyes of him. Or really, he was a bit uncharismatic, but he was clearly one of the men who had participated in the men's elite race the day before. I could not figure out who this guy was. No problem really, but it would have been fun to now.

Anyway, me and my partner left the station and took the S-train to check out some tourist attractions in Copenhagen that I have never seen before, like the statue called The Little Mermaid and some other things.

But then came back to the train station, took our luggage and starting walking to get to our next s-train. And at that point I saw a guy who I think I should have recognized, 'cause I have seen him many, many times in real life, but I didn't. I can't remember where I was in the station building, but I think we both had found ourself on the wrong track, and we took the escalator back to the main building.

He didn't look special, but I actually thought he looked really boring and as a guy who wear designer clothes just so someone can notice him, but something made me aware of him. I know what, I happened to have my eyes on his suit case and saw this bib he had glued to his wheel suit case. The bib wore the name (Nicolas) Roche, but had it been Nicolas Roche then I would have recognized him, no?

This a young man wore blue jeans, a black jacked, and he was holding this suit case, and also had several smaller bags (some came from Louis Vuitton, another was a typical ugly sponsor bag from Specialized) with him.

I tried to look more carefully at him, without staring, but no, it really wasn't Nicolas Roche. The times that I have seen him before, he has been rather quiet and shy, but had sweet facial features and I have had the feeling that many girls have thought he was cute or even attractive. Not even when he turned his head towards my way could I see any similarities. It could be any guy, of course, but my instinct told me that maybe I was wrong. And sure enough, when I consciously increased my steps I saw that it was indeed the Irish rider.

We went out to the airport and I was really about to lose everything. We was in the terminal and should check out where to eat. I was pretty stressed out because I have constant problems with my blood sugar and I start to cry easily, get angry, indecisive, and so on. It's very easy to notice when I need food and right now, I was in huge need of something to eat. Anything.

I walked there, quite annoyed, quite stressed but suddenly I saw something that made me totally blank. All I could think of was, "where is she?". I'll explain. While I walked around there, starving, I saw some orange-dressed girls who I was just about to pass. Everyone was so clearly extremely thin, just as professional cyclists often are. I looked at the girls who walked by and suddenly I began to smile. There she was, Marianne Vos. At first I didn't know if it was a group of Dutch cyclists, but I had a feeling it was To be honest, I don't even know why I wondered as the the whole town and the airport was full of cyclists.

Those Dutch girls walked around, seemed to feel bothered, or at least uncomfortable, when they looked (and walked) around in the building (that airport is truly a little special). They behaved like ordinary girls, except that they were rather quiet. Maybe tired or they just didn't feel like talking right then. They may not even be friends in real life, just hanging around during races. Wouldn't shock me, really.

Since 2003, I have admired Marianne Vos a lot and I was very glad she was there. It meant that I could think of something other than hunger. And it was actually pretty cool to see her there, especially since she looked just as confused as I felt.

She is a very talented rider, but I know that I would not have noticed her if she had not been dressed in orange. Some people you notice no matter what they wear, because you recognize their face or they are incredibly charismatic. But Marianne Vos (and apparently Nicolas Roche) is not like that. Vos is quite masculine in her appearance, not very pretty either, but she is an amazing cyclist.

When finally sitting down with some food, I suddenly realised that I really hadn't had in mind that I would ask for an autograph or anything. And I felt a little sad. I should have stopped her, but on the other hand, I didn't want to disturb her. She looked so thoughtful.

This was my story about the last day in Copenhagen. Hopefully I will return to the the city sometime in the near future, but most importantly, I hope I can go to future world championships and have as much fun as I have had in Denmark.

A calm evening after a nervy race

Category: Cycling

PodiumAfter the race we once more ran through the forest, that had previously been semi-impossible to get through. But now paths had emerged. That's what happens when thousands of people passes through every day for a weekend. It does not take very many days before a forest chance appearance and looks totally different if people start walking there.

Even though we ran, the prize ceremony area were totally crowded when we came there and I decided to stand quite far away, while my partner took a closer look at the ceremony. I am a bit shy, don't really want to disturb other people.

Previously it had been announced that Fabian Cancellara would win the bronze medal, but now they had changed their mind and appointed the great sprinter Andre Greipel (Germany) as bronze medalist. I almost felt happier when I heard this. I think that Greipel has received too little attention earlier. He seems down to earth and friendly, so I do not really understand why people have said so many bad things about him. Maybe he is a little too cocky sometimes, but who isn't? With his sprint ability, he deserves to tease others once in a while.

In the evening we took the train to Copenhagen's city center and ate at a restaurant before heading back to the hostel. This evening we were feeble, and besides, it was unusually quiet and peaceful there, so we soon fell asleep.

I saw Ivan Stevic (Serbia) talking to his physiotherapist (or something similar) before that. Otherwise I'd have asked him how he was, after all, he had been forced to abandon the race earlier in the day after a crash. He could have continued if he only would have a bike nearby, but that's the disadvantage of belonging to a small team.