Once again the start was a little crazy ;) We seem to be taking it in turns and today it was Milena's turn to get a good start and I had to play catch up. Things were going well and we took the lead early on but a puncture meant that the Swedish girls were able to overtake us. Fortunately the hole in my tyre was not so big and the sealant did its job, but I took a new wheel in the tech zone just to be certain it was OK. We soon took the lead again and we held it until the finish. It was a fun stage today and we were able to ride at a nice pace.
1. Bigham and Landtwing 3:53:44
2. Erlandsson and Snihs 3:59:20
3. Kornvig and Bachman 4:06:21
The railway track was pretty hard going!
Tomorrow we have an early transfer to Priego de Cordoba for the start of Stage 3 which will cover 70km with 2082m of climbing. The finish is also in Priego de Cordoba and then we drive to our next hotel in Jaen. So once again, fingers crossed for laughs and luck tomorrow.
Warm sunshine, clear blue skies and great singletrail climbs and descents made today a perfect day. Once again we started on the first row. This doesn't necessarily mean we have an easy time though because once the lead cars set off everyone seems to go a little crazy. All riders want to be at the front! Today I managed to hold my position behind the lead car during the 4km neutralised start, but Milena didn't have such good luck and she had to fight back through lots of riders. After neutralisation we entered a steep rocky climb which took a lot of concentration particularly because there were so many riders all trying to take the best lines. We reached the top in the lead and once again we managed to hold it to the finish :)
We're really happy to be wearing the leader jerseys and it's a nice surprise because we had no expectations. The race is good training for us because in a few weeks we will be racing the Cape Epic, fortunately we won't be competing against each other though - Milena will race in a mixed team and I will race in a ladies team.
1. Bigham and Landtwing 3:44:37
2. Erlandsson and Snihs 3:50:52
3. Scheitter and Mauerer 3:59:23
Tomorrow's stage also sets off from Cordoba and will cover 76km with 1946m of climbing. Once again we hope for lots of fun and luck......
Today was the Prologue of the Andalucia Bike Race. It was a mass start which was neutralised for the first 8km. It was a little bit crazy at first and I found myself slipping backwards in the chaos, but Milena managed to keep her position nearer to the front. This gave me some work to do! Eventually I made it back to her and we rode together with some of the other ladies teams up the first climb and a very steep and rocky hike-a-bike section. Once we entered the forest we rode together with the Swedish girls (Asa and Kajsa) until we managed to take the lead on some technical climbs. We held the lead until the finish :)
We have no expectations in this race, other than to have fun, so to win today was a really nice surprise :D
1. Sally Bigham and Milena Landtwing 1:19:19
2. Nathalie Scheitter and Sabrina Mauerer 1:21:30
3. Asa Erlandsson and Kajsa Snihs 1:21:43
Yesterday I used my new bike box from bikeboxalan.co.uk .....so simple to pack and unpack, and it looks pretty good too :)
Today I test rode the 34km prologue of the Andalucia Bike Race with my partner Milena Landtwing. I'm really happy to be racing with her, she's a great partner and I think that we'll have a lot of fun over the next 6 days :) The race starts tomorrow at 11am.....updates to follow.
Since arriving home from Lanzarote one week ago, I've been to Cyprus and back for our annual team photoshoot. It was a flying visit, but it was great to see everyone from the team. It was also really nice to enjoy the breakfast, lunch and dinner buffet at our hotel. There was such a massive variety of amazing food that I found it incredibly hard to exercise some self-control. So I didn't. I ate plentifully each day and sampled most of the dishes on offer! Now it's time to cut back ;)
Tomorrow we leave for Cordoba, Spain, where the Andalucia Bike Race will start on Sunday. It's a six day stage race and this year I'm teaming up with Milena Landtwing. Here is a link to each of the stages. The race provides the perfect training in preparation for the Cape Epic (March 25th - 1st April): good endurance training on some really great trails. I'm looking forward to riding with Milena and having some fun :)
I'll provide daily updates and hopefully some photos.......
We were due to leave Lanzarote last week but we extended our stay when we heard about the freezing weather (-15 degrees celsius!). Hopefully it'll be a bit warmer when we finally return in a couple of days.
It's not long now until the start of the Cape Epic 8 day stage race in South Africa. I'm really looking forward to teaming up with Swiss rider Esther Suss :) Check out the ride guide for info on some of the other teams.