Training Camp Mallorca 2

If you haven’t read part 1, do it here.

Day 5 – Monday

Today, the sun finally decided to come out and play! The whole day was with sunshine, blue skies and not a lot of wind – just perfect! Still only 13 degrees, but better than the other days.

Me and one of the Finnish girls, Minna.

We went north on a loop from El Arenal through Santa María del Camí to Inca and back through Sencelles and Llucmajor. A much prettier scenery than the east coast, and hillier. I liked it a lot!

Empty roads on Mallorca

We had an 3,5 hours easy ride, but with the possibility to do some short uphill sprints and a 4-5 kilometers uphill tempo to Randa that kind of ended in a race between some of us. I hope it won’t affect the legs too much for tomorrow’s queen stage of 165 kilometers with 3000 meters of altitude.

Going up to Randa

For once, we were home early, so I took a little walk on my own after lunch. I went down to the beach, which at this time a year is totally empty. Almost all the beach shops are closed (including the ‘heladerías’ (ice cream)), and not many people are around.

Platja de Palma

The last time I was at Platja de Palma, I was not even thinking about cycling. I was running every morning on the promenade and tanning on the beach for the rest of the day. How life has changed since then! The friend I was travelling with back then is a married mother now, and I am acting like a professional cyclist 😉

Running on Platja de Palma in 2014

Check today’s ride here.

Day 6 – Tuesday

A major day was on the paper today! The lack of climbs the last days was made up for with 3000 meters of altitude spread over 165 kilometers. I had a good sleep and was looking forward to a day in the mountains.

Early birds along the beach

We started a bit earlier than normal (9:30) and it was FREEZING! You could see your own breath as it was down to 1 degree Celsius. But as we got further the temperature rose and we had up to 17 degrees with the sun coloring our faces too (at least my face, and I now have the famous panda-eyes).

Beautiful roads going up

We started our loop from El Arenal going north to Inca. From there we turned west through Selva and Lluc, climbing ‘Coll de sa Batalla’ (8 kilometers with an average gradient of 5%) before reaching the top of Sa Calobra (or actually it is ‘Coll dels Reis’ which is 9,5 kilometers with 7% in average gradient).

Short pit-stop on top of Coll de sa Batalla

The funny thing about Sa Calobra is, that you must go down, before you can go up and once down, you can only go up to get anywhere else. Unless you take the ferry from the habour.

The bottom of Sa Calobra or Coll dels Reis

So, we went down a nice descent with a few hairpins and in the bottom, there was the most beautiful harbor. Mountain rocks standing tall and proud bathed in sun and with the bluest sky as a background. Picture perfect!

But, no time for more than one photo, then the climbing back to the top began. As always, when I don’t know a climb, I want to enjoy it and get to know it in my own pace. So, I stayed in my zone 3 being able to admire the view and still get some decent work done. Maybe next time, I will see how fast I can go up.

Sa Calobra / Coll dels Reis
Sa Calobra / Coll dels Reis
Sa Calobra / Coll dels Reis

It is a beautiful climb in many ways, and it is not too step or long. I got a little competitive in the end, trying to finish in 45 minutes. But I forgot where the top was, so I had to hurry in the end and reached the top with my tongue hanging out of my mouth in 43:37 – phew!

Made it!

On the top we had a short break, refueling with pancakes and other good stuff, and then we had a little more climbing to do, before descending Puig Major. An almost 14 kilometers nice, long descent with wide roads and easy corners. I went fast! So no time for pictures…

The top of Sa Calobra

Then, there was only one climb left up Coll de Sóller which is 5 kilometers with an average gradient of 5%). That was easy peasy after Sa Calobra, except I was trying to follow our two lightweight mountain goats, so when they went medium, I was struggling a bit more. I had to lose them in the last kilometer and all I noticed on our way up was a lot of sharp cornering (hairpins).

Down to ground zero again

From Sóller it was a lot of downhill and flat the last 40 kilometers back home. Thank God! After so many hours on the bike, I just wanted to go home as fast as possible.

From the left: Marieke, Kirsten, Dorien, Minna, me and Ida

Check today’s ride here.

Day 7 – Wednesday

Today was another easy day on the bike, because of the epic ride yesterday, but I threw in some zone 4 efforts along the way. I remember doing these efforts in the cold at home recently, and they felt so hard. Today, even though we had a long ride yesterday with many meters of altitude, they felt a lot easier, so I’m looking forward to doing a 20 minutes test (or at least till when it is over) next week and see if I have gone stronger over the winter.

From the left: Sari (from another team) and Kirsten
Campos, I think…

Anyway, we went by the coast to Campos, where we had a coffee at CurroBikes. A nice combined bike-shop and café. I think almost everybody ended up buying something there, besides coffee, and I bought new socks – that matches the Restore Cycling outfit of course.

Coffee at CurroBikes (Campos)
New socks!

On our way home we took the smaller roads with very few cars and with trees in blossom on both sides of the road. Beautiful on a sunny day like today. The only “downside” is, that there is A LOT of straight roads here on Mallorca, and it can get a little boring. But on the other hand, it was great for doing my efforts 🙂

Me and Dorien

Check today’s ride here.

Day 8 – Thursday

Another rest day today and I wanted to try out the Cycling Planet Café in Alaró, because I had seen it on Instagram and the food as well as the coffee looked soooo delicious. Only problem was that there are more or less 30 kilometers from El Arenal to Alaró, so a bit long for a recovery spin. I went anyway, since I don’t know when I will be back on this island, so I better get the most out of my stay.

Somewhere along the way to Alaró

I went alone since no one else felt for the same adventure and got on my bike around 10:00 in the morning. The weather was nice. Warm, but a bit cloudy, and little wind.

I had made a route on Strava, but as always, when I am my own tour guide, I got lost somewhere along the way. One of the roads was closed, so my Garmin sent me on a little detour. After about 1,5 hour I finally arrived in Alaró to a stuffed café.

Wrong way

I ordered a toasted slice of bread with cheese, serrano ham and avocado besides a cappuccino and a coke. It was yum! I ate it quickly, I always eat quickly, and after half an hour, I was back on the road.

Fancy toilet at Cycling Planet Bikes

To not get lost again, I decided to follow the GPS on my Garmin, but that might not be my best idea to date. It took me to Palma, before back to El Arenal, so another 1,5 hours more or less, and one long recovery spin richer. Good thing we only have two tough days of training coming up! (Ironi can appear).

Check today’s ride here.

Continue to part 3 here.

Training Camp Mallorca 1

Mallorca

Finally, training camp is here! I will stay 10 days on Mallorca with my team and 10 days in Nerja afterwards on my own (joined by a friend some of the days). So, three weeks in Spain – wuhuu! 🙂

Mallorca ride
Smiling on Mallorca

Day 1 – Thursday

I landed on Thursday afternoon, just in time to do a short spin before sunset. I had to go on my own, because the others had landed earlier, and was already on the road.

I have never been on Mallorca before, so I didn’t know where to go. We live in a small town just outside Palma, El Arenal, but it took me 20 minutes to find my way out of town and to the main road.

Mallorca
Main road on Mallorca

I decided to continue West, staying by the coastline not to get lost. It felt so good with double digit degrees, even if it was only 12 or so. There wasn’t a lot of traffic, and I only met a few other cyclists. The road was a little bit up and down, but mostly flat. It was great to be on my race bike again, instead of my winter bike. Back to light weight, aero position and electronic gears.

Sunset ride Mallorca
Sunset on Mallorca

I went 45 minutes in one direction, turned the bike, and went 45 minutes in the other direction. The Restore Cycling team stays in a big house, and I found out that it is right next to the hotel of the professionals doing Challenge Mallorca this week. On my way home from my spin, I was passed by a rider from Trek-Segafredo. I was going the same way as him, so I don’t hope he thought I was just following – haha.

Check today’s ride here.

Day 2 – Friday

We woke up to a very windy and rainy Mallorca – damn it! So, we decided to postpone our training till the afternoon in hope for better weather.

Our strategy worked, and we didn’t get any drops from above, only slightly wet roads and a lot of wind. Almost perfect conditions with a temperature of 10-15 degrees.

Playa de Palma
Playa de Palma

We did two sets of 3x 200 meters sprints, and very unexpected, I managed to kick in a new PB in 5-, 10- and 12-seconds peak performances. We also did a high-speed echelon, before going up a short climb of 1,5 kilometers full gas.

Happy after sprint efforts

In the uphill “race” decided to follow one of the strong girls, letting her decide the pace. I slipped in a wet corner, got out of rhythm, and had to close a small gap to go back on her wheel. Then, with 400 meters left, I passed her, she passed me again, and then we went neck to neck for the last 100 meters. It was hard to call a winner, since I did not know where the finish line was, but it was fun and only took 5 minutes of pain resulting in another new PB! What is happening coach PeakPower?

Exploring Mallorca
Exploring Mallorca

After the climb, we did a 10-12 kilometers tempo on rolling hills to Llucmajor before heading back home, nice and easy. A great day on the bike with 99 kilometers and 3,5 hours.

Check today’s ride here.

Day 3 – Saturday

Today, was an easy day. Easy in the way that we had to go in zone 1-2 for 4,5 hours. It was a pretty flat route with less than 900 elevation meters. The first three hours was great with sunshine and a nice tailwind.

Playa de Palma
Mechanical problems

Then, we turned into evil headwind, a few showers and a temperature around 7 degrees. If I wanted that, I would have stayed at home! We ended up being on the road for more than five hours due to the wind conditions.

Rainbow ride
Spot the rainbow!

But, today at least, I had a good chance to see a lot of the Mallorcan island and to be honest, I don’t like it as much as Andalucía. I might be a bit biased, since Costa del Sol feels like my second home, and I might just need to go into the mountains to see Mallorca’s real beauty. I will on our queen stage with Inca, Puig Major, Sa Calobra and Soller.

Restore Cycling Mallorca
Coach Rob leading the way

Check today’s ride here.

Day 4 – Sunday

Today is rest day, and we started the day with breakfast followed by walking to the beach to watch the start of Trofeo Playa de Palma.

Trofeo Playa de Palma
Start of Trofeo Playa de Palma

Afterwards, we found a cafe where we could watch U23 Women Cyclocross World Championship. One of the Dutch girls from Restore Cycling was participating and came in 3rd after a great fight.

Cycling cafe
Where we watched CX Worlds

Then, me and one of the other girls went on the bike to Palma to watch the finish of Trofeo Playa de Palma. We decided to go via the bike path by the beach, but it was tricky! Curves, narrow, many pedestrians, skaters, other cyclists, sand etc., so it was like doing our own little cyclocross race.

Playa de Palma
To Palma by the beach

Eventually, we reached Palma after half an hour. We found a café to share a sandwich and drink a coke, while watching the last kilometers of the race.

Katusha Cycling
Nice ride home

When we decided to turn our bikes home, the whole Katusha team (Kittel had won the race) was passing, so we followed. Who would be saying no to a free ride home? Our team house is right next to the hotel of the professionals, remember, so we were going in the same direction anyway 😉 And, they new a better way than the one we took, so, win win in my opinion.

Selfie Mallorca
Selfie time

Back home I made lasagna for the girls, and tomorrow it’s back to real training.

Check today’s ride here.

Continue to part 2 here.

The end of 2018 and the beginning of 2019

Danish Championship Individual Pursuit podium

It has been a while since my last update, but my computer broke down before Christmas and I was without it for 3-4 weeks. In the meantime, a lot have happened, and now I’m ready to share some of it.

Restore Cycling
Restore Cycling jersey

New year, new team

First of all, I started 2019 on a new team, Restore Cycling Women Team. A Dutch club team based in Pijnacker, Netherlands. I have been with the team two times before Christmas. Meeting the other riders, training in the dutch cross winds, discussing the race calendar and trying the light blue team clothes.

I will race the whole season with the team, so I will need to temporally move to the Netherlands. It will be an exciting and challenging year, I think, but I am ready to take the ride.

Danish Championship Individual Pursuit
Photo: Jesper Skovbølle

Track season

On the track, I have developed a lot since October! I started with a pumping heart on every training, being scared to be on the track, especially with others. Now, I enjoy the track without fear, and I even race, although I still struggle with being comfortable among the other riders.

Photo: Jesper Skovbølle

I didn’t have to worry about other riders in the Danish Championship Individual Pursuit back in December. I only had to worry about my legs, and the lack of equipment. Being nervous on track have made me not care about equipment, because it didn’t really seemed necessary as long as I didn’t feel comfortable riding.

So, I was going to do the individual pursuit with the same setup as on any training, except for a disc wheel I was allowed to borrow. During the warm up, I talked with some of the other riders, and the conversations were something like this:

Rider 1: “Don’t you have front wheel?” (that matches the disc, he meant).
Me: “No”
Rider 1: “Here, you can borrow mine”
Me: “Thanks!”

Python track bike
My Phyton track bike went from regular to very cool in no time.

Rider 2: “Don’t you have a TT handlebar?”
Me: “No, I haven’t tried that on track before”
Rider 2: “You can borrow mine”
Me: “Thanks!”

Danish Championship Individual Pursuit
Borrowed handlebars and helmet made me a lot more aerodynamic.
Photo: Jesper Skovbølle

Rider 3: “Don’t you have an aero helmet?”
Me: “Yes, but I ride my bike to track, so can’t have two helmets with me”
Rider 3: “You can borrow mine”
Me: “Thanks!”

And suddenly, with help that I’m very grateful for, I had an awesome setup! Now, it was all about the speed my legs could produce. It was my first ever individual pursuit, haven’t even trained it, so I didn’t know what to expect or what to be capable of.

On track, you are not allowed to use any electronic devices, so I didn’t have anything to pace me other than the feeling. I just went as fast as I could, without killing myself completely.

Danish Championship Individual Pursuit
Danish Championship Individual Pursuit 2018 podium
Photo: Jesper Skovbølle

I felt good, but I was also afraid to be catched from behind by my opponent. That never happened. Instead I was close to catching her on the last lap. I was so focused that I couldn’t figure out which finish line was mine, so I did an extra lap just to be sure.

My time for the 3000 meters was 3:53,850 and good enough for a second place, and I was really happy! I was only 4 seconds from the gold medal, so maybe I should train the discipline for next year 😉

Danish Championship track
Photo: Jesper Skovbølle

The same weekend, we also raced Nationals in scratch and points race. None of them went good for me, but I learnt a lot. Track season is over for me now, but next season I hope to improve my racing and get into Madison. I tried Madison briefly on a training session and it was a lot of fun.

Ballerup Super Arena
Photo: Jesper Skovbølle

Training camp

My next adventure is training camp in two weeks – I can’t wait! First, I’m going to Mallorca with my team. It will be my first time cycling on the Spanish island, and I look forward to trying some new roads and climbs.

Straight after, I will continue to Nerja, my second home, for some epic rides with my Spanish friends. Being home in the cold, wet Danish winter weather, makes me miss Spain a lot, so I look forward to be back. And, with three weeks in the south, I hope to be in shape and ready for the season-start in March.

First track race of the season

Ballerup Super Arena

So, yesterday I decided to do my first track race of the season. I have never been really happy about racing on track, and a pause of two years have not made it easier. My last race you can read about here.

When I saw the start list I was ready to pull out! 26 riders on the track and me as a nervous wreck was not a great combination. I don’t even know if I have ever tried being so many on the track in the past, but this year I only had to deal with maybe half of that amount, which is more than enough for me to handle.

Ballerup Super Arena

But, I’m stubborn and a fighter, so after trying to find way too many bad excuses for not to race, I decided to at least give a try.

I warmed up on the rollers, but I was shaking so much, that I had a hard time keeping my balance, and my heart rate was blowing through the roof, even though I hardly moved.

First start was “Først til mølle” (I don’t know the English version) and I lost the fight for a front position at the barrier. Actually, I didn’t even get a position, so I had to go a lap to get back to the end of the looong line. Embarrassing much?

The start was off, and I was too afraid to do anything but stay in the back. But, nothing happened, and suddenly I saw a possibility to attack. So I did! But, I made a mistake, not sharing the lead with others, and when they passed me, I got scared and let everyone pass, so I was in the back again and stayed there for the rest of the race.

Ballerup Super Arena

Well, lesson learned and after 5 min. full gas in the wind I was more relaxed (ironically enough). I had more than an hour to get ready for the second race, Scratch. Ate something and talked with friends and fellow riders.

Second time up to the barrier I fought for a position, and ended in the middle of the bunch (already a successful race right there), wuhu!

The race went on but again, nothing happened, so I attacked and this time I tried to orientate and get people with me, but no one wanted to play. I tried many times without luck, and in the end I went out of energy. I never got back on a wheel in the bunch to relax, so I was unfortunately in the back for the last few laps.

Ballerup Super Arena

But, what a SUCCESS for my first race this season! It can be rather difficult to explain how I feel when the anxiety takes over, because it is, or looks, so easy for everyone else on the track. So, just being in the race was a big step forward, but also being able to actually try making the race (with a lot of mistakes though) was more than I had hoped for.

I still have a lot to learn, tactically, technically and most important mentally. But I am slowly getting there, and every time on the track I get more comfortable.

It was a long, but happy, ride home, and I was so tired because of getting up at 5:30 for work and being home at 21:30 from track. But, it was worth it 😀

Ballerup Super Arena

Road season 2018 is a wrap

CC Hillerød

On Wednesday evening I took my bike with the train to Jutland to visit my dad. I had two easy days on the bike and a race on Saturday, before going back home for Sunday’s race on Zealandia. It was great just to relax and ride around without heavy traffic and even enjoy a bit of hills. I did a 1-minute hill interval just for the fun of it and did a new PB! I never get tired of improvements 😉

Horsens Amateur Cycling Club

On race day, Saturday, it was raining before the start and it was freaking cold with an unpleasant breeze. Waiting for the gun to go off I was joking about getting a puncture with 10 kilometers to the finish being the worst thing that could happen. Don’t ever make jokes like that! After only 13 kilometers I had a flat and guess what? I had 10 kilometers to the finish. Doh! To my luck I passed a helper when he was about to switch with another, so I could go with him in his car. Thankfully!!

Horsens AC
Photo: mbaek.dk

It’s the flattest feeling when you prepare all day (and even the day before) to race and then have to abandon after 20-25 minutes. But the weather was bad, and I was not in the mood for a recovery spin, so I just changed my tube and watched the others racing. I had to wait for the Swedes to finish because they were giving me a ride back home.

Horsens AC
Photo: mbaek.dk

At home I needed to comfort myself, so I ate a whole bucket of Ben & Jerry’s by myself for dinner. Not a proper meal before a race but at this point I didn’t really care. Only one more race and then it was off-season.

Cycle Club Hillerød

Sunday, I didn’t feel good. Not because of the ice cream last night – haha – but like I haven’t been feeling good for the last couple of weeks. I felt tired and without energy and I was not looking forward to 106 kilometers with strong crosswinds and too many hills.

It only took about half a lap of 21 kilometers for all the women to separate from the men. The hills, the wind and the pace were too much for us girls and I ended up being in a group with five women and three men.

CC Hillerød
Photo: Claus Ljungdahl

I was hurting a lot from the beginning! On every hill and every open, windy section my legs screamed at me. I thought about quitting so many times, only because everything in my body was hurting. But the winner was to be found in my group, so I decided to just get through one lap at a time.

My mind was switching between thinking of how to do the sprint in crosswind and just being happy to finish with the group. I don’t think I have ever been so uncomfortable on the bike regarding to the feeling in my body.

With about five kilometers to the finish we were all still together in the group and I was in second position behind a fast guy. I was hoping that he would keep the pace high and stay in front the rest of the race. He did!

CC Hillerød
Last podium of 2018

On the last 1000 meters he gave me a thumb up and then I knew he was going to do a lead-out, so I got ready sticking close to his wheel. He started sprinting with a couple of hundreds of meters to go and I could pass him to take my second win in the Women’s Elite class this year. An awesome way to finish off my season after several podiums and bad luck.

I decided to ride home after the race and ended up doing 166 kilometers in total. I was toast the rest of the day!

The end of another season

I was supposed to race next weekend also, but my body is tired, and I think it’s better for me to give it a break now. Instead, I’m all in on strength training, maybe doing some yoga and eating whatever I feel like (like I always do 😉 ). I also want to practice on the velodrome this winter, so I will use some time feeling comfortable on it again after my crash two years ago.

DM Omnium 2016
My last race on the track was in 2016.

But, to sum up this season I have development tremendous on every level. My physical fitness is better, but more important is my mental fitness improvement. And no crash or injuries this season! Except for a bruised rib, but it didn’t prevent me from riding.

Last year I struggled with being in the peloton, with cornering and with believing in myself. This year I have no problem with the peloton and my cornering is pretty good. The only thing that can still be a challenge is the positioning when things get hectic or technical. I will solve that puzzle also 😉

I can look back on two wins and five podiums in the Danish races. I am the overall winner of Tour of Reykjavik 2018. I have raced my first UCI race with Tour of Uppsala (UCI 2.2) and done my first Kermesse races (1.15) in Belgium. I am also double Club Champion (time trial and road race) in 2018 and even though these are not big achievements, I still need to remind myself how far I have come and that small successes are also successes and allowed to be happy about. Even my win in my first Zwift race I’m happy about 🙂

CC Hillerød
Photo: Claus Ljungdahl

I look forward to what the 2019 season will bring, and to work with a new coach. I have been with Power Perfection for the last two years and Magnus has helped me a lot and made me a lot stronger. But sometimes you just need to ‘shake the bag’ (as we say in Danish) and try something new, get a new focus and try other things, so you don’t get lazy or too convenient 🙂

Thanks to Team Integra Advokater – Giant for a great year, and to our sponsors for making it happen 😀

Integra Advokater
VUF Frederiksberg
Gaia Sport Danmark
Ama’r Cykelservice
A.P. Køleservice
XTREME Team Wear
ConWx
Touch Grafisk
Bak Optics
Giant Bicycles
ncm project
Richardt & Mejer Watches
WOW Cyclothon
Verisure
Amager Cykle Ring
Frederiksberg Bane- og Landevejsklub