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

A month of racing

Vitamin Well Frederiksbergløbet

Since I raced in Sweden, after the Summer break, it has almost been a month until my next race due to cancelled races and weddings to attend. The races in Sweden didn’t go super well, but you can read about it yourself here. In this blog post I will tell you about the last month of races I have done, having only two weeks left of the season. Time flies!

Vitamin Well Frederiksberg crit

I started with a crit race the day after a wedding, so I was not at all feeling strong at all – and I was very tired because I didn’t sleep much. It was a strange race because we were put together with Men 60 and Women B, which is a very unusual combination.

Vitamin Well Frederiksbergløbet
Photo: Jesper Skovbølle

On the first lap I sat talking with one of the men in the middle of the group when we hit the famous hill “Valby Bakke”, short but steep. Four girls went away, and I thought “God damn it, already?!” but I had to try to go with them, so I put in a strong effort and managed to close the gap not taking the peloton with me. Then I thought “damn it, now it is going to be a tough day” – haha. Luckily it was only 50 minutes of racing, but it was 50 minutes full gas and nothing less than nine times up the hill.’

Vitamin Well Frederiksbergløbet
Photo: Jesper Skovbølle

On the last lap I went in front and fast up the hill to make sure no one could attack. I was confident in my sprint, so I wanted us to stay together. We were down to four in the breakaway with two from the same team. I was in third position on the finish and thought it was perfect. I thought the leading rider would pull out because she led us more than half a lap and had a team mate behind me, but she didn’t and when number two started her sprint I followed to get a lead out. Unfortunately, she stayed side by side with the other rider, so I couldn’t pass and had to go around the other way when it was too late, so I had to settle with second. A bit frustrating being less than half a wheel from victory.

Vitamin Well Frederiksbergløbet
Photo: Jesper Skovbølle
HFCK road race

In this race it was time to join the Men C again. I was a bit nervous because I haven’t been able to stay with the group this year. But I had nothing to worry about. Yes, it was damn hard at times, and I had my moments of crisis. I tried to stay in front, but I went up and down all the time.

HFCKs åbne landevejsløb
Photo: Tommy Kjærulff Eriksen

On the final lap I had some help from a guy from my local club. He brought me to the front and did a lead-out for me. Unfortunately, he pulled out too soon and when the other guys started sprinting they boxed me in and I came in second, again. The good thing about racing with the men is the speed and bigger peloton. The bad thing is the sprint.

HFCKs åbne landevejsløb

CK Fix crit

I was hoping that third time was a charm doing another crit, women only, but being up against five riders from the same team out of nine (Women A) it wasn’t easy. I tried to close all their attacks, but in the end one rider went on a solo breakaway. Then I, together with a Swedish girl, could use the rest of the race leading the chasing group consisting of her three team mates. Boring!

CK Fix gadeløb
Photo: Claus Ljungdahl

With only four laps to go I had a puncture and I didn’t bring a spare wheel, so I was rolling to the finish. I saw one of my male team mates and asked for his wheel, since we were allowed one lap of respites. I just managed to change the wheel before my group was back and I could rejoin them.

CK Fix gadeløb
Photo: Claus Ljungdahl

I made a stupid decision on the last lap that forced me to take the front on the final meters with headwind, so I only sprinted to 4th or 5th place. But it didn’t matter because I was disqualified for not changing my wheel on the correct spot. My first DSQ ever, woops.

Slaget vid Lund road race

Next up was the last race in Sweden this year. It was early morning and very cold. My motivation was not the highest and we had to race with Men D and Men 50 which is also a very unusual combination.

It had been raining so the roads were a bit wet and I didn’t know the course on beforehand. Suddenly I felt like a did a lot last year, anxious and insecure in cornering on wet roads. Combined with a strong sidewind I quickly had to close a giant gap and after that I was game over. My legs were hurting and my mind even more.

I decided to go a few laps on my own, but then DNF to save energy for the race next day. Very disappointed in myself, but my mind is my biggest challenge and I can still have an off-day. Everyone can. Today was just one of these days where both mind and body wouldn’t work my way.

Mogens Lind VVS road race

The next day was a race on home ground and a very familiar course. Back with the Men C and only a light breeze on a flat lap made it a fast day. I wasn’t really in the mood for racing and a bit nervous to do another DNF, but still I wanted to win badly. Mixed emotions much?

Mogens Lind VVS Løbet
Photo: Jesper Skovbølle

Well, it was easy to sit in the peloton most of the time and despite of a lot of attacks no one got away for real. I felt tired in the beginning but made sure to stay in the front the whole time. A good decision because a crash split the group early on. At the end I felt better, and I even tried to follow a breakaway – without luck though.

Mogens Lind VVS Løbet
Photo: Jesper Skovbølle

On the last lap I made sure to stay in top 10 but with everyone making it home together it was a chaotic bunch sprint with men and women together and tailwind on the long finish. I followed the stream and tried to find a good wheel. But I made a bad choice because just before the line (going 63 km/h) my wheel stopped pedaling and I came in second – again! God damn it! I was very angry afterwards, but I was also happy that yesterday’s mental breakdown was gone, and I felt good in the peloton again.

Mogens Lind VVS Løbet
The sprint – can you spot me? Photo: Jesper Skovbølle

The Danish National Championships 2018

Danish National Championship 2018

It has been that time a year again. The time to find out who’s turn it is to wear the national jerseys in Individual Time Trial (ITT) and road race (RR).

Last year was very disappointing for me in both the time trial and the road race. The last one being a DNF (did not finish).

Danish National Championship 2018
Photo: Dan Reinhardt

So, I was super motivated to step up my game this year and I was looking forward to both races even though I knew that my time trialing abilities are not the best and the course for the road race had a tricky technical part which can also be a disadvantage for me.

Individual Time Trial

Thursday, it was riders against the clock and the women had a course of 24 flat kilometers with lots of corners and chance of wind from every side. But, it was a hot day without much wind. My start was at 17:22 and I will take you through my day from arriving at the “crime scene”.

Danish National Championship ITT 2018
Before the start of the Danish National Championship ITT 2018.

I arrived 1,5 hours before the start. I unpacked my bike, changed clothes and picked up my race number. I started my warm up on the home trainer 45 minutes before the start and sat on it for 25 minutes.

I had to be at the start with 10 minutes to spare, but suddenly I remembered that I didn’t check in my chip or had my bike checked for legal position. I rushed to the start and checked in, but when the commissioners put my bike in the ‘thing’ for measuring it didn’t go through.

The saddle had to be put back at least five centimeters. I only had four minutes to my start and I didn’t think I would be able to put the saddle back in that time, but someone near had a tool set and the commissioners helped me.

Inside I was freaking out and I didn’t understand, because last time I had my bike checked the position was approved. Well, the bike was finally cleared, and I could start on time, a bit more stressed than I wanted to be, but it was my own fault.

I’m still trying to find out how to do a time trial and how I can do a good one. This day was another big learning. I might have started a bit too hard, because it only took me nine kilometers to reach my limit and from there my numbers kept falling.

Danish National Championship ITT 2018
Last 100 meters of the Danish National Championship ITT 2018.

Next time, I will start out a bit easier and try to hold the pace stable throughout the race. Pedaling a bit easier in tailwind as well as downhill and a bit harder in headwind or uphill. The only thing that was stable that day was my very high pulse.

I was overtaken by one rider and I overtook one myself, but I was still placed in the bottom being number 21 out of 22 riders.

The most frustrating thing is that I can push much harder on my road bike, so I think I need to find a better position on the TT bike and work on being more flexible. I’m also in search of a saddle that doesn’t make me move every two second because it feels horrible to sit on.

If there are any volunteers good at TT riding who wants to help me, please let me know! 😉

Road Race

Saturday, it was time for the women’s road race. Starting with 19 kilometers from Sakskøbing to Nysted, where we had to do eight laps of 12,5 kilometers with a very technical 1,9 kilometers through town including 11 corners and a steep hill.

Team Integra Advokater - Giant
Team Integra Advokater – Giant (W) on sign in.

The beginning of the race was very slow and relaxed. One rider tried her luck with a solo breakaway, but everyone else seemed just to enjoy the ride.

I knew – like everyone else – that it was important to be in the front for the technical part, so there was a bit of a fight for positions. Suddenly a rider on my right swayed her handlebar very close to me and, unfortunately, I reacted with fear and let go of my position in front.

Danish National Championship 2018
Photo: Dan Reinhardt

Instead, I ended behind riders not cornering too well and the gap to the front grew. After the technical section, we entered a main road with headwind and me and some other riders had to close a big gap to reach the peloton again. A waste of energy!

Danish National Championship ITT 2018
Photo: Jesper Skovbølle

The rest of the lap nothing really happened, and the pace was nice and easy. But every time we hit the technical part I was too far in the back, struggling to follow, and having to close the gap in the headwind – on EVERY lap! This was until 74 kilometers where I had a flat tire.

Danish National Championship ITT 2018

I had a new back wheel and my service car was ready to get me safely back to the peloton, but we were not agreeing on how to do pacing. Every time I was close to the car, it speeded up and I lost the “wheel”, so I also wasted a lot of energy on being paced behind the car.

Danish National Championship ITT 2018

Finally, I reached the back of the caravan and then I had to do the rest myself. The pace in the peloton was off course increasing while I was chasing, and didn’t get much help jumping from car to car.

Danish National Championship 2018

After approximately 20 kilometers I managed to get back in the bunch, but it was only a few hundred meters before the technical part, so I didn’t have a lot of time to recover before it was closing gaps one more time. Damn it!

Danish National Championship ITT 2018
Lonely rider on a mission!

I did close the gap again, but meanwhile the bunch was split into three groups and I had nothing left in the tank. I finished with the last group and number 21 was once again my rank on the finish line.

Danish National Championship ITT 2018
Photo: Jesper Skovbølle

The solo breakaway didn’t hold and the winner was to be found in a reduced bunch, where my former club mate, Amalie Dideriksen, took home the red/white jersey.

July

Next week I’m off for two weeks in Spain getting ready for the last part of the season. I’m looking forward to ride in the mountains again and to see my Spanish friends 😀

Fra forårscykling til vintercykling

Amager Naturcenter

Jeg har nu været hjemme i Danmark i en uges tid og det har været en uge med fuld knald på. De første fire dage gik med at komme på plads i lejligheden, som stod tom, da jeg kom hjem. Så jeg skulle flytte alle mine ting op fra kælderen og pakke ud. Derudover har jeg haft forskellige aftaler, praktiske gøremål og min træning, der skulle passes.

Andalusien cykling
Jeg savner udsigten og vejret på mine cykelture i Spanien.

Selvom jeg savner solen, varmen, den spanske kultur og mine spanske venner, så er det også dejligt at være hjemme igen. Det er lidt stressende at komme tilbage til storbyen, når jeg har været i en lille bitte by i så lang tid, og jeg fik da også hurtigt kærligheden ved storbylivet at føle.

Den første uge

Det allerførste, der skete var, at jeg gik forbi en bygning og lige bag mig kunne jeg høre noget tungt ramme jorden. Jeg vendte mig for at se, hvad det var og kunne konstatere, at det var en tung dørstopper af metal, der var faldet ud af et vindue. Shit! Havde jeg været et par sekunder langsommere, havde jeg fået den i hovedet og det havde ikke været kønt.

Rapha Copenhagen
En af mine yndlingskaffer hos Rapha Copenhagen.

Så var der folk, der råbte grimme ord til hinanden på hver sin side af vejen. En der cyklede ind i mig på cykelstien. En der pludselig hoppede ud på cykelstien uden at se sig for, så jeg må klodse bremserne. Det hele går bare lidt hurtigere i København og alle har travlt, hvilket er en stor kontrast til Nerja, hvor stress-niveauet er en del lavere og ingen har mere travlt end godt er 😉

Omvendt blev jeg rigtig glad, da jeg stod i Netto med kurven bugnende fuld og kunne have en hyggelig snak med damen i køen bag mig. På vejen hjem fik jeg også en hilsen og ”hav en god dag” af en, der stod og røg foran sin opgang. Jeg håber, at jeg kan bevare den åbenhed og ro, jeg lærte at holde af i Spanien.

Rikke Bak Dalgaard og Patrick Piscot
Det var dejligt at se min lillebror igen 🙂

På den uge, der er gået, har jeg nået at se en del familie og venner allerede, men jeg mangler stadig nogle stykker. Jeg har langt om længe fået god kaffe (og endda flere kopper) samt været ude at spise lækker mad. Jeg har dog stadig brunch, bland-selv slik og biograftur på listen af ting, jeg har savnet til gode.

Cykling i Danmark

Jeg har selvfølgelig også været ude på cyklen (både min bycykel og raceren) og nøj hvor var det koldt! Den første tur var bare en rulletur og optimistisk (og for doven til at finde mine vinterhjul frem fra gemmerne) som jeg var, kørte jeg ud på sommerdæk og punkterede efter 30 min.

Punktering cykling
Flintesten er en irriterende ting ved cykling i Danmark.

De to næste ture var i minusgrader og med regn og blæst. De trak tænder ud! Jeg var helt færdig, da jeg kom hjem og min krop er tydeligvis ikke vant til kulden. Men jeg vil langt hellere ud i kulden end sidde inde på en hometrainer.

Cykling Tonseren
Glædeligt gensyn med Tonseren i Dragør.

Weekenden bød på fire timer lørdag i -3 grader og med en kraftig vind, der gav en chill faktor på -10 grader. Jeg var virkelig bange for at fryse ihjel, så jeg havde smurt varmecreme på ben, arme, mave og hænder samt pakket mig enormt godt ind. Varmecremen var lidt et eksperiment og selvom det brændte lidt, så frøs jeg slet ikke 🙂

Vejrudsigt København
Vejrudsigten for lørdagens tur.

Søndag kørte jeg med nogle stykker fra teamet og et par herrer fra Amager Cykle Ring. Vi kørte den velkendte Mølletur og kæden blev holdt stram hele vejen, så jeg fik min sag for. Der er forskel på at køre en masse højdemeter og så ren, flad tons, så jeg skal lige vænne mig til den høje fart igen. Men solen skinnede og vinden var til at have med at gøre, så det var en hård, men flot tur.

Dronningmølle ACR
Dronningmølle med Team Integra Advokater – Giant og Amager Cykle Ring.

Jeg håber alligevel, at vejret snart vender, så vi kan få lidt varme til sæsonstart om to uger.

Fecha del Día de la Constitución (2)

I går var det som tidligere skrevet helligdag i Spanien, så kl. 8:30 tog jeg på cykeltur med CC Narixa. Vi var en 10 stykker på endnu en bidende kold morgen, dog ikke så slemt som i lørdags.

Til min store glæde dukkede der en anden kvindelig cykelrytter op, endda på min alder. Jeg “kendte” hende godt i forvejen, for de gange jeg har fået den eftertragtede krone i Strava, så er den som oftest taget fra hende. Så med “kender”, mener jeg kun hendes navn. Da jeg præsenterede mig selv, var hendes første reaktion også “ah, dig fra Strava”. Så var isen ligesom brudt 😉

Medi og jeg fandt hurtigt kemien…

Vi skulle køre en stigning op til Comares og det er normalt en stigning, som vi kører jagt-/enkeltstart-cykelløb på, når jeg er på træningslejr med Amager Cykle Ring. Så da en af mændene spurgte, om jeg kunne genkende ruten (han havde set på Strava, at jeg havde kørt den før), så sagde jeg nej, lige indtil jeg nåede toppen, hvor der er en flot port. Den kunne jeg kende!

Som altid skal turen dokumenteres.

Tidligere har jeg kørt turen op til Comares med makspuls og ingenting registreret før jeg nåede toppen (porten) og faldt død om på jorden sammen med de andre. Den stigning er så hård og især de første kilometer stiger med 10-15% i snit. Belønningen for at komme op er en fantastisk udsigt og kaffe på en velbesøgt café.

Kaffestop i Comares

Denne gang kunne jeg “nyde” turen op. Jeg lod mændene køre og fik en god snak med Medi på  vej til toppen. Det var rart ikke at prøve at følge med mændene for ikke at lade dem vente alt for længe på toppen. Nu var vi to de skulle vente på, så jeg følte ikke noget pres. Mine ben har efterhånden heller ikke godt af fuld gas opad hveranden dag, så de var også glade for et roligt tempo 😉

Glæde efter dagens stigning.

Ligesom det er klassiskeren derhjemme, så er der ikke mange kvinder, der cykler i Spanien og Medi og jeg blev derfor enige om at vi skulle ud og cykle noget mere sammen. Det ser jeg frem til! Hun bor i Torrox Costa som ligger 20 min. (på cykel) fra Nerja.

Om aftenen var jeg nede ved rådhuset for at se afsløringen af den kommunale udgave af Bethlehem. Det blev fejret med tale, sang og nogle velsignelser.

Inden afsløringen af Belen Municipal (Bethlehem)
Efter afsløringen af Belen Municipal (Bethlehem)

Bagefter skulle vi hen foran kirken, hvor  julelysene i byen blev tændt og der var mere sang og musik. Det var meget smukt, selvom jeg ingenting forstod. Jeg har ikke set så mange mennesker i byen, siden jeg kom, men jeg tænker det er sådan det er hver dag i sæsonen.

Inden julelysene tændes
Efter julelysene tændes

I morgen, fredag d. 8. december, er det helligdag igen. Denne gang for Marias ubesmittede undfangelse også kaldet ‘La Inmaculada Concepción‘ og det betyder endnu en tur med CC Narixa 😀