Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Adamello Bike Marathon

Last Thursday we travelled to Ponte di Legno, Italy, for the 3rd Marathon of the UCI series.  At Verona airport we were welcomed by blue skies and 30 degrees; a nice contrast from the wet and windy weather we left behind in the UK. The drive to our hotel took us over Passo Tonnale, which lies between the Ortles-Cevedale and Adamello-Presanella mountain ranges; the mountain roads were narrow and twisty and the views were fantastic; I was just glad that I don't get travel sick!

65km with 2250 metres of vertical ascent
While Alban and I had fun pre-riding the course in the sunshine on Friday and Saturday, the Team supporters struggled to navigate the Team van through the very narrow and very steep cobbled towns as they searched for feedzones - they managed to get the van stuck in between two buildings on a very tight corner and they spent a long time puzzling over how to get it out again!

The Alpine summer ended on Saturday night when torrential rain and thunderstorms arrived. With no respite forecast I found myself stood on the start line in full waterproofs! Once the race started we were immediately splashing through deep puddles - the shock of the cold made me gasp - and within minutes thunder rumbled and lightening brightened the sky! The first climb took us through steep, narrow cobbled streets and eventually along a switchback forest track where the soft ground sucked at my wheels. My legs didn't feel great, perhaps because of the cold, so I decided to ride at a comfortable pace while I warmed up. Jane Nussli was approximately 10 seconds ahead of me when Michela Benzoni passed me; I followed her wheel and eventually we reeled in Jane who didn't come with us.

Michela and I reached the top of the first climb together; however I was able to pull out a 30 second lead on the descent, which I gradually extended until the finish. Throughout the course there were some excellent singletrail descents, including steep, narrow switchbacks; rocky singletrails; and rooty sections, all of which were made more technical due to the rain. I really liked the course in the dry, but I loved it in the wet :)

While I loved the descents, I just didn't seem to have as much power in my legs as normal on the climbs - perhaps it was because my legs were too cold. On the last descent I got so cold that I had to change gear with my palms and on the last steep singletrail descent I had to stop completely because I couldn't brake anymore! I eventually stopped shaking once I'd changed into warm clothes and drank hot tea, but it took a while for my blue lips to regain their colour!


1 Sally Bigham (GBr)     3:52:30
2 Michela Benzoni (Ita)  3:55:48
3 Jane Nussli (GBr)        3:56:46

Full results can be found here.

Congratulations to team mate Alban Lakata on his victory in the men's race - another very successful weekend for Topeak-Ergon Racing Team!

Next stop: Round 4 of the UCI Marathon Series, Ornans, France on October 2nd.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Grand Canyon CF 29er

I'm already looking forward to 2012 :D

Grand Canyon CF 29" Topeak Ergon Team Edition