Sunday, February 21, 2010
2010 Cyprus Sunshine Cup Round 1 - Voroklini
Wow, that was HARD! The first race of the season is always hard, but this one seemed so much harder again than any first race in any season. It didn't help that the race organizers had added another lap to this course, so that my race was 2h 4min long!
There were 20 girls in the women's Elite race, with a high profile field, including the vice U-23 world champ and several national champs, most of them using these races as early season race prep. Each of the 5 laps had 240m of climb and boy, the climbs were tough. There were some power sapping steppy climbs, some technical singletrack climbs and some draggy fireroad climbs, with some granny gear kicker climbs strewn in for good measure. Hell, it felt like you were climbing almost all of the time! But maybe that also had to do that whatever height you gained was lost in no time on the super steep technical descents, featuring amongst them the famous dry riverbed descent that has seen many a man walking.
Anyhow, back to the race and the feeling of lactate acid filling up your legs and turning them to leady jelly. I didn't have the greatest of starts but did my best to stick with the lead group of about 6 girls. While the front few girls pulled away from the first lap, Alexandra Engen (SWE), Sue Clarke (GBR) and I were ding-donging for about a lap before I managed to slowly pull away from them both. I was able to increase my gap and even when my legs started cramping up in the last lap I was able to stay away to cross the line in 4th place - I am so so happy to have had such a good start into the new season.
One thing that was very different this year was that I felt really comfortable on the technical descents. It felt like something has clicked in my head - and I rode all of them well controlled and relaxed, possibly even making up time on them. I cannot explain what happened, since a lot of my recent training has not been very technical, but I really enjoyed them. So far so good :)
Thanks again to Frederick for doing the bottles - this year with ZipVit Energy drink - it seemed to work well in the race :)
Results on cyclingnews.com