Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Transalp 2012

OK, I'm a little late in updating my blog, but stage racing is really hectic. It is like being in a bubble removed from the real world and it's only now that I've been released and returned to reality. Everyday is like ground hog day: early breakfast, pack luggage, pre-race warm up, race, post-race interviews, transfer to new hotel, shower, eat, massage, evening podium, eat, and finally bed. The days are really busy and rushed and I always find myself wishing that I could hit the 'pause' button on time.

I'm now back at home in England after being away racing for the last 8 weeks! However, I only have three more nights in my own bed before we head off to Colorado to prepare for the Leadville 100. These next few days will go pretty quickly, however I plan to enjoy them as much as possible. I won't ride my bike now until we get to Colorado, instead I intend to go to the beach and relax - in between catching up on normal household chores.  

Stage 8: Riva del Garda, Italy 

Anyway, I've missed the most important point of this blog - it is easy to see that my mind is still a bit scrambled - together with my brilliant Swiss race partner, Milena Landtwing, I won the Transalp!!!! Woooo-hoooo!!!! This was my first time racing the 8 day race starting in Germany and traveling through Austria, Switzerland and Italy. In total we covered 618km and more than 21,000m of vertical ascent. It was a tough race and it was made all the more difficult with some challenging weather conditions including: heavy rain, thunder storms, snow, wind, and heat!

Stage 3: Idjoch (2800m), Ischgl, Austria

The Transalp is very different to the Cape Epic in South Africa which I raced and won together with Esther Suss in March this year. There is so much more climbing in the Transalp and the descents are really fast and sometimes very technical. Riding at 75-80km down wet mountain roads which are all open to traffic was, well, pretty hair-raising at times!

Stage 6: Livigno to Ponte di Legno, Italy

Amazingly we had no mishaps: no technical issues, no crashes, no punctures. Huge thanks to our amazing support team: Dirk Juckwer, Peter Felber, Werner Faust, David Padfield, and Hans Peter Marti. We're really lucky to have such brilliant team support; everyday I thought of the unsupported riders who not only had to race but who also had to maintain their own bikes, move their own luggage and sleep in communal areas such as sports halls and tennis courts - congratulations to you all, such an incredible achievement!

Click here to see Sportograf.com race photos

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Transalp Stages 1 and 2

Wahoo! Milena and I won stages 1 and 2 of the Transalp :)

It's been a bit wet to say the least, but we're hopeful of some sunshine as we head south towards Italy...fingers crossed! Yesterday was a fast stage and took us 98km from Oberammergau to Imst with 2200m of climbing. I preferred todays stage because there was more climbing and less rain! - we rode 78km from Imst to Ischgl and climbed 3274m

Stage 1: Oberammergau (GER) to Imst (AUT)

Stage 2: Imst to Ischgl (AUT)

Stage 2

Tomorrow we ride 67.8km from Ischgl to Nauders (AUT) - a short stage but lots of climbing (2720m). Fingers crossed for fun and luck!

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Double Victory :)

Here is a very brief update, more to follow......

Last weekend I won the Kitzalp Bike Marathon in Kirchberg, Austria and this weekend I won the Dolomiti Superbike. What is really cool is that team mate Alban Lakata also won both races :)

Dolomiti Superbike, Italy

Kitzalp Bike Marathon, Austria

I'm now relaxing before the start of the Trans Alp next weekend where I will team up with Milena Landtwing. It'll be really fun to race with her again :)