donderdag 18 augustus 2016


Sunday August 7th

Preparation for a stage race has become a routine job.
Where as in the beginning, we were running around for two days to get all our needed stuff together, now we only need a full two hours to get the job done.

What experience can do. Fortunately we have a camper which is big enough, so we don't have to choose between a spare tire and  some underwear.
We were also lucky to have a driver this time, so less stress and more resting between the stages.

For the Vaude Transschwarzwald, we were supposed to ride the new SRAM Eagle setup, but due to some logistic problems, only Sara's bike was completely ready.
I would still be riding my 1X11 SRAM X01, but it would do the job just fine.

Because the Black Forest is not so far, we drove in the evening to Offenburg, and still had a lot of time to sleep...

Monday August 8th

We already arrived near Offenburg around noon, and soon we found a nice location to stay for two more days before the start of the competition. A little biketrip to Offenburg city in the afternoon to check out starting location, and the hall for the accreditation.
Not much to see on Monday. All would be starting on Tuesday.

Tuesday August 9th

On Tuesday we went riding the track for the first kilometers. Steeper climbs then we were used to for the Black Forest.
Accreditation was in the afternoon followed by a ridersmeeting.
there we met some familiar faces, and we finished the day with a drink at a local bar.
Start would be given at 11 o'clock  the next day.

I took the picture, so I was frst...

Checking startclimb


Strange friends...

Wednesday August 10th

They promised us good weather the whole week, but at night we had rain. It was still raining in the morning, but H20 made place for a blue sky and nice temperatures. Lucky us...
Warming up was essential to hit hard at the start.

We had to conquer a distance of 67km with 2300hm. After Transalp all this seems pretty much easy stuff.
Everybody was HOT that day, and start was incredibly fast. Almost killed our legs completely in the first part of the race. Not quite according to plan.
Sara felt ok, but not as much power as two weeks ago. Resulting in a little bit disappointing 9th place in GC. On the other hand, competition between Elite ladies was harsh.

Thursday August 11th

66km, 2500hm today ,and hot weather was on the program.

Again not a great day for Sara, so it was "same shit, different day" feeling.
8th place today and a "not bad" feeling afterwards.

Friday August 12th

104km, 2600hm were on the menu on Friday.
In fact it started with a neutralized start of about 10km downhill behind the car.
Start would be given at the entrance of a woodsection.
Things were going so fast (almost 30km in the first hour), when suddenly riders seemed to come from all directions at  once in the forest.
Even the motor who was riding with the leaders, did got lost.
All marks were gone, and all of us got stuck on a roadsection.
Imagine 450 bikers in the middle of the road in a small village, and not one who knew where to go.

In the chaos they told us a new start would be given on the next feeding zone.
So many of us rode slowly to that point, keeping our energy for the 'real race'.
Once at the feedzone, apparently the organizers decided not to restart, but let the race carry on normally.
Sara and I lost almost 30' due to this miscommunication.
We managed to get back in racing mode, but harm was done. We could only try to make the best out of a bad situation.
Last 40km's were on a slightly going down cycle track. We were in a to small group (only 3 riders) to keep up a very high pace, but still managed to ride those 40km in about 1 hour. Not bad for MTBers...

At the end apparently some more girls were troubled by the chaotic start, and the tremendous fast last hour of racing.
Sara managed to shred the finish eighth place. Not a disaster after all.

Saturday August 13th

Legs were hurting a bit more the other days due to the time trial we rode yesterday. But today again there would be a neutralized start. So we had some time to ride in.
115km and 2200hm again, but a lot more mountain biking today.
Nice tracks and single trails made this our favorite stage and best result with a sixth place for Sara.
We passed the fininshline together in Murg satisfied, followed by a jump in the Rhein to cool down our overheated bodies. High summertime in the Black Forest.... I LIKE!!

Sunday August 14th

Last day is a classic. 60km and 2200hm to the Ski station Feldberg.
Black beast for Sara because the previous times she lost places on that bloody mountain.

Me riding the famous ski bridge

Sara 'riding' the famous ski bridge

I decided not to stay with Sara today and let her ride on her own, by the way it was all uphill, so not much need to have a tractor in front.

As like the other previous days, the power Sara usually can output was not available. It was a miracle she could remain her place in the GC.

Finally with a 9th place amongst some very good riding ladies, we can not be disappointed.

We can be disappointed about the organization in general, because at our fifth participation, it all felt a little less then other years. Perhaps they too need a different challenge after 11 years of VAUDE TRANSSCHWARZWALD.

After the race we had pizza and beer, and then we went straight back home.

Monday August 15th

Sore legs, dirty bikes, a lot of laundry, a dirty Mobil home... You got the picture...

The day after has arrived.

No bike for some days now, and then preps for the last part of our 2016 season.

Thanks to Bert Aerts for the company, the pictures and the driver's skills.

Thanks to Canyon Bikes, Crankbrothers, Fizik, Roeckl, Overstims and No Drugs Heroes for the partnership all season.


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