Friday, 31 May 2013

Alpen Tour Trophy Stage 2: 15km with 1100 metres of snow hiking ;)

Enjoying the trails before I got lost yesterday
Changing into my race clothes in our team trailer I could hear the rain drumming on the roof. It's actually a nice sound; feeling warm and dry when it's wet and horrible outside. But when you know that you have to leave the warmth and set off up the mountain towards the snow, it's not such a nice sound anymore!

Decisions, decisions....what to wear?! Warming oil, leg warmers, overshoes, waterproof shorts, thermal vest, arm warmers, a gillet and winter gloves. Is it really June tomorrow?! Within minutes of setting off I wondered if I was wearing too much, but once we reached the snow line then all I wondered was why I hadn't put thicker gloves on....completely numb hands once again made shifting gears tricky!

Setting off last is great because it means that I can chase rather than being chased. Team mate Milena set off 1 minute ahead of me and it wasn't long before she started to come into view. For some reason I couldn't find a good rhythm for the first 10minutes and I found it hard to raise my heart rate, but once I had targets in view then I was able to push on a bit harder.

Tyre sucking fields and mud made the going tough, but things got a whole lot tougher when after about 40minutes I was off the bike running up steep slippery snow covered trails. Not quite what I had in mind for an uphill time trail, but once the rain turned to snow and I entered a winter wonderland then I actually started to enjoy it - if only my cleats weren't totally covered in snow then I might have been able to pedal a bit more ;)

With one reasonably rideable line through the deep snow it was practically impossible to overtake slower riders; going off line to overtake resulted in sliding to a halt and then having to chase back again before being held up once more. After a while I gave up trying to pass and just enjoyed the amazing scenery. My heart rate dropped and my fingers froze so I was pretty happy when I finally ran - yes ran - across the finish line (think that's a first!).

Now where's the hot chocolate! 
Anyway, now I am warm and dry after taking the cable car down the mountain - yes I think that's a first too ;) And I finally found out that I won the stage too. Fingers crossed for some respite from the rain tomorrow!

Thank for the sunshine Peter Felber (team mechanic) 

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