“Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.” Lou Holtz

"I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand." Confucius

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Yellow jersey gained and retained

As already mentioned, Monday's race was always going to be a cracker as it had everthing..slogging hills, joyous swooping descents, a flat bit and a truly awful grovel of a hill at the end of each lap.

I started the race 6 seconds off the lead and ended up 2 mins 38s ahead.  Sweet!

Tuesday was a rest day for me, while Alex got to race and was 5th on a hill top finish.

Wednesday's 44 km race was 1 peppered with blue language from me as there was something wrong with my front derailleur  which meant I was stuck in big chain ring for most of the race!

I eventually got it to shift although not before I'd been shelled out the back of the group.  I arrived 33 seconds ahead of Vida, giving me a handy better than 3 minute buffer, which I hope to extend in the next race, the Hill Climb, before ceding some to her in the final race, the Time Trial,

Alex got 8th in his race with the same time as 3rd!

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Feltre, Treviso and Hartberg

Back in Feltre

Palio time is just a fantastic time to be in Feltre and this year we stayed in an apartment in the old city and so were able to just look out of the window in order to see the parades going by.  Granted it was only a bit of a view, but at least we were able to know when things were or weren’t happening.

Medieval festivals have to have the drunken friars!

The competing quartiers have drum and flags this pix is  of the Duomo quartier

skill level ..very high

and there is jousting

a yoghurteria is a new one on me!
Training wise it was time to get down to the faster stuff and so I did a few sessions along known fairly flat roads..the benefit of staying  in an area where you are really familiar with the roads.  Sadly we were only able to stay for 7 days as the apartment was already booked out the next week and so in Saturday we moved to an apartment near Treviso..once again ..known roads and as flat as…
Alex had hoped the Pinarello shop would have a replacement for the t shirt he bought there 3 years ago, but sadly they were emphasizing the colour yellow for some reason or  other (!) and so we came away empty handed.
On to the start of the pointy end of the holiday…racing in Austria


Once again we stayed at Gasthaus Lechner in Kleinlungitz, a hamlet 10 km out of Hartberg, where we joined Ray Jarrett, Stephen Fairless and Pete O’Callaghan for 10 days of peace and quiet and having to watch our weight!  Over this period I end up eating more cream and more desserts than I do for the rest of the year.

The week of racing here goes like this, in order, Prologue, road race, crit, road race x 2, hill climb, time trial.   The prologue for me is always a question of trying to limit loss rather than expecting to do anything really good.  3rd..10 seconds off Tracy, who got the   yellow jersey and 5 secs off Vida.
Road race no 1..I got away from my rivals on a hill  but dropped my chain and so was caught and rolled in 1 second behind Vida and well in front  of Tracy.  Vida in yellow.
Crit…a tight 1km circuit and we rolled over the line together.

Road race no 2.. this was a 2 lap 20.9km circuit  a really good circuit with long downhills, a flat section (actually a part of the TT course) a long drag uphill and then finally, when you least wanted it a really really nasty 400m  grovel at 11-13%.  Since we were a group of racers from aged 50 up, it goes without saying that the young guns and the less young guns attack from the get go.  I blew a gasket on the first slogging hill and so was once again caught by Tracy and Vida and we work together to try and close the gap.  It eventually happened at the base of the grovel and then blew apart.  Vida and I had already dropped Tracy and that was the last I saw of Vida, although I wasn’t super sure of that until the finish.  The second lap was a solo ride and oddly enough wasn’t that much slower than the first…driven by my uncertainty as to exactly where Vida was.  In the end it turned out I was waaaay ahead, beating her by 2 mins 44 seconds, thereby earning the yellow jersey.

 There has been 1 downside of the trip and that is …….during the crit, 1 of  our group, Ray fell and broke his wrist..actually a #/dislocation and so has to have it pinned and plated, but when and where.  Currently we are hoping for an op on Thursday to allow minimal disruption to our travelling plans.This pix below is of the hospital canteen...check out the beer and wine for sale!

and finally:

Monday, 10 August 2015

Cortina, and Bormio

Time flies when you're having fun!

I hadn't realised it was sooo long since my last but what with the rides, the heat, the dentist and wresting this computer away from Alex, time passed me by.

Passi Falzarego and Valparola
 after years of mispronouncing it, finally we learned that the stress in the word Falzarego is on the second letter "a"!

My next ride and 1thatbroke me completely was as above then around and riding the Giau from the far side...I hit the wall big time, stopped many times, walked a bit and ended up being pushed the final Km by Alex who had come to find where on earth I had got to!

Valley ride
this was my rest day ride and 10 days later there were landslides along this valley killing at least 3 people.  I return part of the way on the old railway line, now a popular walking and cycle track. Ex station building  have become play areas, museums etc

Our stay here was good and we love our apartment, but we all feel we have ridden all we want here and probably wont return for a while.

 Last year our apartment was 10 km out on the road to Livigno...we weren't going to make that mistake again.!  This year we were about 2km out of the town on the road to the Gavia.

our original aim was to  do loops..eg the gavia both sides and also the Stelvio ditto, but in the end we were just too tired to contemplate that.  We drove over on the Saturday along with every other person in the entire world and at that point decided that we would leave Bormio a day early to avoid the lemmings.  The amount of cars and cyclists on the Stelvio ensured we would not be doing that ride on Sunday!

Herewith  a random selection of pix from our Bormio stay, during which I rode the Gavia a whole heap better than last year, but never got to ride the Stelvio  or Mortirolo due to dental issues...see below

the view from our apartment

dining/lounge area of  our apartment

and finally the reason I didn't achieve my Bormio goals.....during Monday's breakfast I realised that my muesli was NOT s'posed to be crunchy...I had lost a bit of tooth.  The remaining bit was mostly gold filling and was very sharp on the edge.  By afternoon I realised a dentist's appointment was a must as I already had damage to my tongue from that sharp edge.  4 appointments later..each of 90 minutes or worse, I had a root canal bizzo and a new tooth.  Before I got the bill, I shuddered to think how much I was going to have to fork out.  After I got it, I was more relaxed...500 euros..wow!

My rides that week  were the Gavia, Passo Foscagno, Bormio 2000 and a valley ride up towards the base of the Mortirolo

We drove over to Livigno  one afternoon, buying fuel at .88 euro cents a litre ...1.31.to 1.58 elsewhere.

As planned we left a day early, leaving at about 7am and given the early start opting to drive over the Gavia rather than around the base.  It was a good choice at that time of day..any later it would not, given the narrowness of the road on the far side.