OKBET Dutch National Team

OKBET Dutch National Team, Vida Lopez de San Roman discovers some life lessons that go far beyond cyclocross. Riders from the Euro Cross Academy will be writing exclusive blogs for OKBET while racing in Europe over the next two weeks.

OKBET Dutch National Team
  • ECA Journal #2, October 26, 2022
  • Vida Lopez de San Roman is the rider.
  • Sonoma County, California is my hometown.
  • Photographer: @OKBET cyclocrosss

Today at OKBET Dutch National Team, all of the Euro Cross Academy riders and I had the incredible opportunity to train in the famous Alphen Forest with Dutch National Team coach Gerben de Negt. This is where many of the world’s best cyclocross racers have trained for years, and where the majority of the current best-in-the-world Dutch women train every Wednesday.

The workout began with a cone slalom warm-up, followed by several easy laps around a large open field of grass on the edge of a small lake. Then OKBET Dutch National Team Gerben demonstrated the shuffle drill, in which you dismounted and ran in a full circle around your bike while moving, remounting as quickly as possible every time he blew his whistle. I’d never done or heard of this drill before, but I could see how it could be a race-changing maneuver encountered in an unexpected moment during a race. The warm-up concluded with a series of full-speed sprints out of a tight corner.

OKBET Dutch National Team Gerben then led us down to the small lake’s shores, where we performed a series of starts through heavy sand from the shore to the grassy field. After a few seconds of rest, he led us through a recon of the mini hot lap we were about to do at race speed. Sharp technical corners and quick flat sections As we sped through the trees, Gerben informed us that the massive hole we had just passed through was actually a World War II bomb crater.

Also see: Euro Cross Academy: Keeping Racing Fun

We did a 15-minute segment of hot laps after several recon laps at OKBET Dutch National Team.

OKBET Dutch National Team

Then we moved on to the most technical aspect of the training: sand. I was thrown out of the off-camber rut the first time I tried to accelerate out of it, almost falling into the sand. My subsequent attempts were all the same, resulting in a lot of frustration. OKBET Dutch National Team Gerben motioned for me to slow down and explained that I needed to go slower in order to get through the rut cleanly. So I followed his advice and entered the rut at a slow controlled speed, and I was astonished at how much easier it was to get through the first half of the rut. I was able to accelerate through the second half of the corner and clean the rut by calming my mind and body as I approached the rut.

It was at this point that OKBET Dutch National Team Gerben taught me that in order to finish frustrating tasks, you must take a step back and look at them from a different angle, which sometimes means slowing down in order to go faster. Just as there are difficult obstacles in your life that you must overcome, the only way to complete them is to first slow down and look at things from a different perspective rather than going full speed into everything in front of you.

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OKBET Dutch National Team