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 😀

2018 Season Opener Race

Team Integra Advokater - Giant

If you missed my last post, you can find it here.

Today I participated in the season opener race. It is a short race where several levels are put together. You race with your numbers pinned on the jersey and the chip on the bike but there are no points, prizes or podium to conquer. It is good training and good for getting the legs in race mode for the season which officially starts (for me) on Saturday.

Season opener race
Photo: Kean Bang Sørensen

In the morning the team met for breakfast before riding together to the start. The route was only 4,3 kilometers and we had to do 15 laps. We were 75 riders on the start line consisting of Women A, Women B, Women Junior, U17 Boys, Men D, Men 40, Men 50, Men 60 and Men 70, so a wide mix of levels.

Race number
Race number of 2018 season

I have been really curious about my mental state in the peloton since I left the game last year after a crash and didn’t make it back before the end of the season.

The first laps I lost momentum in the corners, but I felt comfortable in the peloton and I had enough power to close the gaps. After some time, I got familiar with the corners and saving energy in the corners made me able to find my way to the front and take turns with the guys.

Season Opener Race
Photo: Kean Bang Sørensen

I heard the speaker saying “two laps left” so I pushed it a bit but the next time we passed the finish line it was “two laps left” again and that was a bit too much for me, so I went back in the peloton to save a little energy for the final. Big mistake! The result was me being blocked in the fight for positions before the last corner and I was not able to sprint in the final. Damn it!

Team Integra Advokater - Giant kit
New Team Integra Advokater – Giant kit

We raced 65 kilometers with an average speed of 42,5 kph and I am happy that I was able to sit in the peloton without fear and without struggling to hang on. I have definitely improved my cornering, but I can still be better. It was also only my third ride on the new team bike, so I still have to get to know it and find a good position.

Giant Liv Langma
Giant Liv Langma is my new toy 😉

Next up is 3 Days in the North in Jutland and I am PRAYING for better weather conditions than last year!