Thursday, 2 June 2011
Alpen Tour Trophy Stage 1
Stage 1 started with a 2km neutralised start which turned out to be pretty dicey as riders jockeyed for position banging horns (bar ends and elbows) until the car pulled off and the pace went ballistic! With the first monster climb starting immediately the riders spread out pretty quickly with one of the Milka Trek riders jumping off the front almost immediately. Both Josh and myself took a little while to adjust to the insane pace and settled in around the top 70 and top 40 respectively.
The weather in the Austrian mountains is as expected pretty unpredictable, a small amount of rain last night and a heavy shower just as we were due to leave the apartment dampened the dusty trails at lower levels but left the trails at higher altitude a little muddy, an extra bit of resistance training having climbed for almost a thousand meters though wasn’t too much of an effort in the grand scheme of things!
The first descent was a little disappointing and several tough short sharp climbs caused some pain too already tired legs. About 35km’s in we’d dropped from the King of the Mountains at 1700 metres to 1100 metres, over the next 10km’s I went through a mid race lull. Josh on the other hand had found his rhythm on the descent and pushed the pace on the following smaller climbs.
On the Garmin the route looked to fall off a cliff at 55km’s and it wasn’t far from that, both us TORQ riders found riding the descent which reached 30% gradients easy enough but dodging the Europeans rolling around on the floor or walking was a much harder task! The next climb also seemed like a cliff face but my legs had now woken and I smashed it past many riders including many who’d blown after the fast start. The TORQ gels and isotonic drink were all we used throughout today’s stage and really gave us an energy boost for the climbs.
By the top of the final climb which we’d both made up a good number of places. Josh got a clean run down Schladaming’s Downhill World Cup track, unfortunately a riders jumped ahead of me entering the descent. After buzzing his back tyre for a few minutes I saw a gap and took the inside line on one of the bermed corners and nailed the remainder of the descent back to the finish line. Results are yet to be confirmed but we think my time was about 3 hours 30 and Josh took 3 hours 45.
Back at the apartment Josh’s obsession with food has only worsened, I can’t understand where all that food fits but I guess having burnt around 4000 calories today and probably the same tomorrow it’s necessary. Foolishly we forgot to buy any cake or puddings, following tomorrow’s stage our mission is to find the local bakery!