|Short but furious...
|Me chasing Gaia Tormena & Fem Vanempel
|Short but furious...
|Me chasing Gaia Tormena & Fem Vanempel
|Parcours 5KM starting loop followed by 3 laps!
But then we received some great news... Koenraad Verschoren (organizer of BeMC stage race) was able to organize a replacement with BeMC Marathon in La Roche en Ardennes.
|Getting my start number
It would be a tough one... Almost 90KM with around 2800AM!! But guess what, I like it this way... The weeks before the race I focused on this day, trying to find a balance between working, training and rest. Sleeping with my fingers crossed that it would not be cancelled.
|Warming up on the rollers
My goal was the podium, but with some very strong ladies starting that day I knew this would become a very difficult task. The last weeks before D-day it pored rain so it would not just be hard... It promised to be epic...
|Sartline in the mud!
Peter decided not to ride. He loves muddy conditions but not in cold and rainy weather. So each round he handed me a bottle so I didn't have to stop to refuel.
|Peter @feedzone 1
And Epic it was! During the first climb the top 5 stayed together, once we went offroad the pace went up. I found my own steady pace and turned around in 4th and 5th position. I felt good but raced my own race which was 5th position during the biggest part of the ride. We slipped and slide around, I managed to ride all sections and go down the hills like a rocket!
When Peter handed me my last bottle he told me he would head back to the camper. At this time I was still riding in 5th position.
|📷Credits @Bart Knops
Just before the last feedzone, in the last 15KM, I saw number 4 appear. I still had enough fuel on me, so I decided to skip the feedzone. We started to climb the steepest section when Kristien grabbed something to eat. I made the jump and left her behind. I had to push it all the way up now before I could check if she followed or not.
I had a gap and knew I had to give myself until the finish now. She is a very strong rider and I knew she would try to fight back and close the gap again.
I crossed the finish line after 5h20min looking like a muddymonster... Before getting cold I rode to the camper where I found Peter very proud. I finished with mixed feeling.
|Me aka Miss Mudface
Happy that I moved up a place, but a little disappointment that I didn't make it to the podium.
In the end I know I did everything to give it my best and I never finished this close in such a strong field. I'm happy with my progression physically and technically.
In the past this
race was called Trans Schwarzwald, because it's in the beautiful German
Schwarzwald. The concept of stages in line changed a few years ago, we also
skipped some editions, but last year we had a great time at the Feldberg so we returned.
I think it is fair
to say that I highly respect the event organiser Sauser events. Due to the
COVID-19 situation cancellations were flying around our ears. But they delivered...
So thumbs up!
Back to the race...
Stage 1 &
stage 2: Todtnau/Notschrei
So I pushed through
hoping I would find my legs back, but I didn't... Starting the last climb I
even had to get off the bike for a minute... My legs felt horrible and it was
so hard to motivate myself. There were hardly offroad trails, heum no offroad
trails. It was a true sufferfest for me
Stage 3 & 4:
But it ain't over
until the fat lady sings right?
My start is rather
good and I find a good solid pace. All day long I can overtake other riders and I
really enjoy the harder parts of the track. I enjoyed the trails and the more
technical sections and finished with a good result, but even more important a
In the end I just
have to conclude that my heart is in the trails and exciting downhills. I probably
have to skip this kind of races and go for the real deal.
That's the number of times they already organised this race in the French Alps.
Due to COVID it was postponed to a later date, so this year we could participate in this stage race over 5 days.
Our camper has been loaded since beginning of July, so packing is just getting the bibs and jerseys all together, and off we go.
|Off we go!
The plan was to combine this race and then afterwards drive through to the Black Forest in Germany for the Rothaus Bike Giro.
Because we don't like mixing holiday and racing, this time (this season) it was going to be a little different. Staying on camping sites before and in between races always gives that little sense of holidays;
But nothing to complain about. We're happy to be riding and to have numbers on our bikes.
The first two days of racing were held in Lanslevillard and for the next two days we would be travelling to Aussois.
|prerace ride 💨
Both are typical French Alp villages with a lot of charm and conviviality. The organisation was spot on, and it seemed like a World Championship seeing all the big names on the starting-list. The first day there was also the French Championship XCM, so a lot of beautiful people were headed to Lanslevillard on Monday.
As always we like to come prepared, so we had arranged a reconnaissance with a bunch of Belgian riders.
|Recon with the boys 👊
The tracks were splendid and since it hadn't been raining for a long time, the soil was hard and dusty as we like. (We also like to ride wet and soft, but that's for later...)
Small detail: there were two distances proposed to the riders. One with 9000 am and a shorter one with 6000 am.
|Ready to race!
|Pink for the ladies ♀
Sara went for the 9000 and I did the 'kids' race... Afterwards the small distance race was perhaps harder. A lot of young riders who started off like missiles at the start, and then slowed down. There were a lot I could catch up later in the race. Feels good to show them slow is often faster at the finish.
The first stage was a hell of a story. Due to bad weather the riders were sent back on the trail of the 9000 stage. No problem if the race is cancelled. But they did not cancel because some riders already were past the point were the others had to turn around.
|What goes up must come down...
Sara was one of the blocked riders. Race was over. At the finish they told us they would put everyone as a finisher, but without saying that the unlucky riders all had 105' of penalty. WHAT? was the reaction from most of them.
The jury found that this was the most honest thing to do... I NOT AGREE.
Sara did not spent much energy, but catching up 105' in four days, would be impossible. Going for a stage victory was not among the possibilities. To many strong professional female riders in the bunch to clear that one.
So Sara forgot the first day and had a good race for the next days. No crashes, no flats, no flaws... Just riding as hard as she could and finish. Finishing strong after 5 days resulted in a 6th spot in GC WOMEN ELITE category.
|Downhill fun 👌
Myself was also riding with a lot of confidence and I felt stronger each day. I could manage to ride around a 10th spot in my age-category. 8th was best, 12th was the lowest score.
After the race we did not have any options. Our next race would be starting 5 days later in Germany.
The organisation did a great job organizing this event. And also a big high five to all the volunteers who made this one possible in this crazy season. Sure to be back here in the future.
Not wasting much time in France, we headed to Germany the next morning. The weather forecast was not that good for the coming days.
|TransMaurienne in the books ✔
When writing this down, we just got kept up to date for the last big goal of this year, namely the ROC d'AZUR. Bad news: CANCELLED DUE TO COVID.
So this is probably one of our lasts race posts of 2020.
Good news also came to us today:There will be a Belgian Championship organized in La Roche on October 3rd. So still a chance to go for that one big goal for 2020.
|Getting the race kits clean 💦
|Luxery public toilet @ Sankt Moritz
|Sleeping on altitude with a view 😍
|coffee ride with TRUST team
|COVID 19 - proof start
|Pure joy 😁
|After race recovery with @overstims
|Hero of the day!! BAM 💥 muc-off magic
|Technical slippery sections 💗
|Smiling or frozen cheeks???
|Peter couldn't choose, so 4 cakes 😋
|Best pizza with best boyfriend 😎
|Anna Taubers mom suprised me with the cutest cake right before bedtime... So sweet 😻
|Suffering with a view 😅
|On our way home @ walensee