Lauren Hall

Professional cyclist from the state of Mississippi

Racing bikes...

Steph is driving, Brie is sleeping and I’m in the backseat of our car typing up this blog.  There are 2 other vehicles in our caravan - Ed is driving the other car with Lauren Stephens and Lauren Komanksi and our swanny is driving the van with all of our equipment.  We are driving down to Italy for the weekend, it almost sounds like the beginning of some foodie article or book but we are headed to Cittiglio for the next women’s world tour race - Trofeo Binda.

We’ve been in Europe for 4 weeks now, mostly Belgium but also a weekend in Italy and a weekend in Holland, which is where we had 4 bikes stolen, including my race bike. The racing has been HARD! We haven’t faired so well but it’s not from the lack of trying that’s for sure.  We’ve had sickness, crashes, a director with a broken hand and stolen bikes.  That’s the spring(minus the bike thieving) as they say, these races are hard on the body, hard on the equipment and if you are lucky or come into these races on form you are up there and if you make it through it makes you TOUGH! 

Our team house in Oudenaarde is now ‘home’ and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed exploring the towns, roads and cobbles.  There are lots of cyclists and the warmer it gets, more and more are out and about. 

After this weekend there will be another 4 weeks before flying back to the US, I’m sure my mail is stacking up now!  I couldn’t be any happier being here for this long and getting to do all these races and I’m thinking my time is coming soon for a result! 

Photos.....

This is Erwin, a super nice fan that made this photo for me....thank you Erwin! 

Anton Vos takes a lot of the women's peloton photos and he is always a warm and familiar face to see...

Being goofy at sign in...
On stage with the girls, they read your names and announce the team and then wish us luck... .

This is the photo Erwin made...pretty cool I think.

This is how Emily travels....;)

Brie, always making friends where ever we are.... this nice guy at the gas station bought us all a coffee from the vending machine...they are actually pretty good. 
Lauren ordered a yummy seafood pasta and this came with it... so of course we made her wear it! 

All those, in there.... 

Brie's hotel! Thanks Brie! 

A pitcher of wine is how it's done in Italy.... none for the girls, just the staff. 

Racing the roads of Sienna.... OUCH! 

Pre race for Strade Bianche.... 

Lauren Stephens, Emily Collins, Brie Walle and myself...

This church is close to our house, so I stopped to peak in...maybe I can actually make service once while I'm here...

Someone's front gate and driveway is REALLY nice! 

The flowers are starting to pop up...come on spring!!! 

Walking the square with this bunch of outlaws:) 

These ducks were just hanging around begging for food... it's just not something I'm used to seeing..

In Belgium, they enjoy their waffles in the afternoon with coffee...I didn't realize I ordered the one with ice cream, whipped cream and chocolate sauce...oh my goodness! 

Car art, found after Drenthe race in Holland...

CAR-B-Que :) ha! At our hotel in Dwingeloo, Holland.

Reclaimed piano for this... cutlery, not a bad idea...

This just gives you a quick idea of what one of the cobbled sections looked like in one spot.  Thank goodness the whole thing wasn't this bad but this was enough to kill Brie's chances for the day.... 

This is how I like to ride bikes, follow signs, get lost then try to find my way back home..... 

A beautiful morning in Oudenaarde...

Coming back into town on a main road....just a view looking left...

This is our land mark, the BIG church - St. Walburga Church

The church from the square.  In the right hand corner is a pub and I think that tells you how big the church is...

Town hall in the square.... this is where presentation is held for Tour of Flanders(April 3). 

Reading: Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris(from The Chain Stay library)

Watching: the last two nights we watched movies - Bull Durham and Sisters

Eating: yummy bread and maybe some butter

Listening: Ocean by Boy Kiss Girl

Website: Volvo concept car... 

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