We were invited to train with the Dutch national team this morning. All the pursuiters and the women sprinters were out on the track and showing us how it's done. Yesterday it was training with Matt Gilmore and the Aussie pair (also scary fast), and today the Dutch team. It's amazing to see how many top level riders a country this small can produce. Really goes to show what a strong development program can do. Not only are the talented riders identified and encouraged, but a consistent national team trains together regularly, unlike the piecemeal teams the US throws together. I'm left wondering how many incredibly talented potential riders there are in the US who never even consider getting on a bike, much less racing on it.

A lap around the track at the Alkmaar Sportpaleis. 250 meters around, but with very broad turns, relatively shallow banking, and short straightaways. Very smooth transitions though, and comfortable to ride, both slowly and at top speed.

Super Rookie, I wore my TROY jersey today, so it's getting exposure on this side of the pond as well as in Canada. Sorry to say that I had clashing U of M shorts on though. We didn't really fit in with the Dutch, all riding full orange team kits.

I met a guy named Maas (I think I got that right...) who was out training yesterday with the bike he uses for hour record attempts. He was riding a 68x12 gear, with 200 mm cranks. For the record he set last year in the 50+ age group, he rode a smaller gear, a paltry 68x15, to notch a distance of just under 45 km. I bet Hanz and Franz can't turn a gear that big, much less ride it for an hour straight! The Dutch are clearly insane.

This afternoon we went to the seashore in Egmond for a stroll on the beach and some coffee. It's nice to get out. I've now made it to the Pacific Ocean and both sides of the Atlantic this summer. Thank you cycling.

Tomorrow morning we leave Holland and drive to Dortmund for the first of 3 nights of racing. The pros start today, but the UIV Talent Cup only runs for nights 2-4.

Does anyone know about a cheap way to get from Geneva to Gent? I doubt I'll be racing in Gent, but I plan on watching with Bob and Bill, and now it looks like my parents will come over and have a look at the racing too.

Blogger doesn't seem to let me upload photos here, as the internet connection is pay per use, and seems to interfer with both this and my email program. I'll try to catch up on all that when I get the chance.