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

A weekend of racing in Sweden

Elisedals GP

Last Friday, only two days after returning from two weeks solo “training camp” in Spain, I packed my bags once again at headed towards Sweden. I went for a weekend of racing and to get the second half of the season started. It had been exactly four weeks without racing and I was looking forward to pin on my numbers again.

Malmø sightseeing

I had my mother (and her dog) with me as chauffeur, motivational encourager and helper. Even though she knows very little of racing, she did a good job and we also had time to do some sightseeing in Lund and Malmö.

Friday – Höllviken GP

I started the weekend with an evening street race in Höllviken. We were around 30 women from Denmark and Sweden competing together, and we had to race 45 minutes plus three laps on a 1,5 kilometers course.

Höllviken GP

I had a bad start, as someone in front of me had problems getting started, so with three corners in the first few hundred meters, I started with having to close a big gap. When I did, in less than a lap, there were already two riders in a breakaway.

Unfortunately, is was two riders from Team Rytger (they were seven riders and way outnumbered) so the front was blocked and every attempt on pursuit or attack was closed.

Höllviken GP

I tried to get away a few times, but if I had a gap, I lost it again in the corners. I don’t know why, but even though I rode 30 minutes on the course before the start, and I knew there was only one sharp corner, I doubt myself in races and use the brakes way too much. So stupid!

I also placed myself badly in the bunch sprint and came in as #17. A bit disappointed, but at least I know what I did wrong for next race.

Höllviken GP

Saturday – Ringeloppet

I didn’t sleep well or enough, so I was very tired on Saturday morning. The race this day started at 10:05 in Hököpinge Kirkby and I wanted to be there at least one hour before. But somehow, I miscounted and suddenly at around 9:00, still being at the hotel, I realized that we should have been on our way 30 minutes ago! I panicked, found my mom and off we went in a hurry!

Elisedals GP

Luckily, I ALWAYS pack and get all my things ready for racing the night before, which is crucial when things like this happens. We made it with less than 30 minutes to spare, but I had time to register, visit the toilet and do a few minutes of warm up.

When the race started I was very stressed, my legs were tired and my motivation not good, so I sat in the back of the peloton, trying to get into race mode.

We were 46 riders (elite and juniors together) and we were looking forward to 88 flat and non-technical kilometers on a 11 kilometers long lap.

Elisedals GP

It was burning hot and a little windy. The pace was high and when we got to the section with sidewind the peloton split, and I was sitting in the wrong half (stupid).

When I realized what was happening in front of me, I passed a few riders and tried to close the gap. I don’t know how many we were in the chasing group, but we managed to get back to the front group. I used A LOT of energy on that move, so I tried to recover in the back. When we got to the sidewind the second time, the peloton split again and once again I was in the wrong half (how stupid can I be?).

Elisedals GP

This time I didn’t have the energy to close the gap again. I tried, but it was game over. I ended in a group of five or six riders, but we were only two willing to do the hard work. The others helped now and then, but mostly just sat on the wheel. Maybe they didn’t have the power, but I really didn’t understand why everyone was not contributing. It was not like we were going for victory, but only a top 20 or so.

With a few laps to go we were accompanied from behind by a big group of riders. I had thought we were the last ones, but apparently not. At first, I thought “cool, more people to do the work”, but haha, fooled again. They all just hided in the back with one taking a short lead now and then.

Elisedals GP

Then I thought “we are a big group now, but I think I am the strongest here, so at least I want to win the sprint” (me making new goals along the way, trying to keep up motivation).

With the ‘win’ in mind, and clever from damage (as we say in Danish) I decided not to take a single lead on the last lap. No matter how low the pace would go, and I was certainly challenged on that, I had to keep calm and patient.

Of course, one of the riders who had not contributed at all took a leap of faith and tried to escape the group on the last lap. I got so angry that I immediately closed her and told her NOT to do that again. She obeyed.

Elisedals GP

But then another tried her luck in the last kilometer or so and I was hoping for someone else to close her. To my luck three riders went for her and I followed them, but I could quickly see that they wouldn’t catch her, so I had to help.

When I took the front only one could stay in my wheel, but I needed to take some air one last time, so I got her to take the front again. After a short break I fired my last shot to reach the rider in front and I got rid of my following rider in the move. But I missed the rider in front by maybe one meter. Afterwards I found out that she was a junior rider, so I didn’t even have to catch her since we were not competing for the same points.

Elisedals GP

After the race I was a bit angry at myself. I was tactical stupid that day and I payed big time! But again, I learned and know how not to do it now 😉

Sunday – Elisedals GP

It was my last time to shine on Sunday and the race was a short criterium of 32 kilometers on a very easy 1,7 kilometers course with six soft corners. We were around 30 starters and I finished 18th in the bunch sprint (I was not sprinting) and we raced with an average of 40 km/h on another hot day!

Elisedals GP

The race had a lot of intermediate sprints which made it difficult to get away. Everyone tried all the time, but no one succeeded. Again, I was struggling a bit with staying in front. It was either in the front all the time or in the back. I didn’t seem to be able to find the middle of a peloton…hmm.

Elisedals GP
Post race talking.

At one point I wanted to be near the front for an intermediate sprint, but then I ended with leading the bunch, which was not optimal. I looked back and saw Josefine close to my wheel. I called her, she nodded and then I went full gas to make a lead-out for her for the sprint. She won it!

Elisedals GP
Josefine on the podium for the sprint win.

I also tried to get one myself later, but think I was third or something and it was the last one, only a couple of laps from the finish. I should have stayed in front, because the speed went up from there, and I never saw the front again. I couldn’t get a good position for the final sprint, so I didn’t even try and just rolled over the finish line.

Elisedals GP
Last ride together as team mates. Josefine is moving on.

Tactical I did a lot better in this race, but still not satisfying and I still have things to improve. At least I am not concerned about my fitness, but I can’t use it for much, when I am struggling with positioning and not racing cleverly.

 

On to the next race! 😊

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 😀

Marcello Bergamo Cup 2018 (Pinsecup)

Team Integra Advokater - Giant (W)

Last Friday me and the other girls from the team took the team car to Jutland to race the yearly Marcello Bergamo Cup. Daily speaking we call it “Pinsecup” (“Whitsun” Cup must be the English translation) and it is one of the only races on the calendar where Women A (Elite), Women B and Women Junior race together. That meant that for the first time us girls could race together as a team.

Herning_Train
We lived at Danhostel Herning close to nature and train rails. In the middle of nowhere actually 😉
Stage 1: Silkeborg

The first stage was hilly and even though we had an early start before 10:00 it was hot and without wind. The race was 86 kilometers with six laps and one long hill that could really make a difference.

Pinsecup 2018
Photo: mbaek.dk

I was a bit more nervous than usual before the start. A bit nervous because of the big peloton, but also because I was afraid of failing. Afraid of not being good enough to be in the top. The feeling of not being good enough is something I’m trying to get rid of. I guess we all feel it sometimes and mostly I don’t give it too much attention, but this time it bothered me more than I needed it to.

In the peloton there were two big teams with around 10 riders each – and strong riders – while we were the third biggest team with five riders and the rest of the peloton was club riders and a few professionals being home.

Pinsecup 2018
Photo: mbaek.dk

The two big teams were aggressive from the beginning and attacks was ongoing, but only a single rider got away. It took me some time to relax in the peloton, so I used too much energy being in the back and struggling to get to the front.

Finally, my nervousness went down, and I could be to some use in the front. On the final lap I tried to get away right before the last hill. It was a make it or break it moment and this time I didn’t made it. I had the gap, but I was caught midway on the hill and then I had to dig deep to hang on to the finish line.

Pinsecup 2018
Photo: mbaek.dk

I finished 15 in the Women A class and 18 in the Cup. Even though we ride together, we still have separate prizes/points. I was happy to be able to stay with the front group throughout the race and for being active when I could and for having the guts to gamble even if it meant I lost a few places in the ranking.

After the race we had to wait for the men to finish because they used the team car for service. We waited 3-4 hours and helped give out bottles, tanned in the sun and payed over-price for things to drink and eat from the food truck. Probably not the best way to rest for the race the day after.

Pinsecup 2018
Photo: CykelFoto
Stage 2: Herning

On the second stage we changed car with the guys, so we could go straight home after our race. The route was almost pancake flat, not much wind and 95 kilometers with only four laps.

Again, the pace was high from the beginning and attacks was flying left and right. Again, I struggled getting to the front and on the second lap I punctured. Luckily, we had neutral service, so I was given a new wheel and paced back to the peloton. I think five or seven girls punctured – did they put out thumbtacks??

Pinsecup 2018
Photo: CykelFoto

Well, two got away, but the attacks kept coming and I also tried my luck now and then. On the last lap everyone was tired, and things were starting to slow down, so I took a long lead.

With around 10 kilometers to the finish three girls attacked and I was just able to get my ass with them. I had used energy on the long lead and even more on closing the gap to the three riders, so I really struggled just to wheel suck and had to skip taking my turn a few times. Not because I didn’t want to, but because I simply couldn’t.

The peloton was chasing us, and in a corner, they were close but then I heard a crash behind me and I could hear a familiar scream. I looked back and saw team mate Josefine on the ground and thought “crap!” but I had to continue.

Pinsecup 2018
Photo: CykelFoto

The four of us managed to keep the peloton distanced, but in the finish a car was in the final corner blocking our road. We had to brake and yelled to have it moved, but when it did, it was in the same direction as we had to go, so we had to brake again. Then the car decided to turn left, and we almost hit it, so we had to block the brakes again and start the sprint from zero on an uphill finish.

I was last in the sprinter train and unsure if being fourth was too long in the back, so I sat on the side of number three, but in the wind, which was not a good idea either. Luckily, the third rider decided to start the sprint early and I caught her wheel for a short period and then passed her.

Pinsecup 2018
Happy with 3rd place on stage 2.

I could see the finish line, but it felt so long to get there, and I was constantly afraid of someone getting passed me from behind. I managed to hold on and win the sprint and the last spot on the podium. I was very happy because sprinting is not my thing, but I have been working on improving it and it finally pays off.

Unfortunately, happiness was quickly changed to worry when I was called to the judges telling me I had to go to the hospital where Josefine was being treated. They only told me it didn’t look good, so I was very worried and just wanted to get the prize ceremony over with, so I could go see her.

Pinsecup 2018
Kristin 2nd in Women B class.

Me and the other girls went to the hospital and Josefine looked like, well, like she hit asphalt with her face – as she did. Her face was all bloody and she had a deep cut in her chin and eyebrow. Fortunately, nothing was broken, but she had 14 stitches and a concussion. No more racing for her in a while.

So, instead of getting home early and rest, I spend a few hours at the hospital and didn’t had food for a long time. When we could finally go back to the hostel, we had to go to the store for food and pick up Josefine’s bike. I needed to do some other stuff also and my head was mentally on limit when I could finally take a break late at night. What a roller-coaster day!

Pinsecup 2018
Daniel 2nd in Men A (Elite).

Bonus info: This day we had a rider on the podium in all classes: Women A (Elite), Women B and Men A (Elite)!

Stage 3: Hammel

On the morning of the final stage I didn’t feel good. I didn’t have much sleep, I was tired in my body as well as my head, and the motivation for racing the longest and hardest stage was non-existing. But I had too and I’m not a quitter.

It was another early start and a bit colder than the other days plus windier. The route was almost flat except for a 600 meters long hill with an average of 9,7% called Pøt Mølle Bakken and a long downhill before it went up. We had 100 kilometers of racing with seven laps. That was seven times up the hill!

Pøt Mølle Bakken
The hill everyone loves to hate 🙂

I thought the hill would make the difference, but again attacks went on from the beginning. The pace was high and every lap the speed was increasing. Four riders managed to get away while I was sitting in the back being without energy or motivation. I just wanted to have an “easy” day, but a race is never an easy day.

And the problem with being in the back was that every rider in front of me was braking a lot on the descent before the hill, so I had to do the same. When I then got to the bottom of the hill I already had a gap to the peloton. Closing the gap was damn hard and I used a lot of energy on it, but I didn’t learn and made the same mistake repeatedly. I don’t know how I managed to keep closing the gaps but somehow, I did. It was stupid and a waste of energy.

Pinsecup 2018
Photo: mbaek.dk

I was hoping to feel better after an hour (it often takes my body a long time to warm up) but after 1:15 hours I was still tired. Riders were falling from behind on every lap and two more got away in the front. Then I started to wake up.

When another rider tried her luck, I had enough of feeling powerless, so make it or brake it I decided to use what I had left in the pursuit. Unfortunately, we were only two riders willing to use energy on chasing the solo breakaway and when we were passed by the Men age 50 peloton we had to give up the pursuit.

Pinsecup 2018
Photo: CykelFoto

Instead I decided to take the lead for the rest of the lap because I didn’t want to be put back in every corner and downhill because of braking riders in front of me. That meant that I could go full gas on the descent getting a good momentum uphill and then I just pushed with all I had. The finish line was 1600 meters after the top of the hill.

A few riders passed me up the hill, but I caught them again and then we were four together (I think) going for a sprint. I started it too early – thought the line was closer than it was – and regretted. The sprint was in head wind, so I tried to go back on the train but lost too much speed to be able to pass two of the riders again and came in third in the bunch and 9th in Women A just outside the prizes. Damn it!

Pinsecup 2018
Photo: mbaek.dk

I ended 8th in the cup and I was proud of my racing despite still having a lot to learn. I have improved a lot since last year and I could focus on improving my positioning and even had energy to be a part of forming the race. That is sometimes the problem with three different levels racing together and only a small part being willing and able to race aggressive. The rest are happy just to sit in the peloton – as I was last year – and I don’t blame them, but it would be nicer with more active riders willing to take risks. You never know if you don’t try 😉

Pinsecup 2018
Suffering after a little climb.

This year we were almost 60 female riders and I think this was the biggest and strongest peloton ever and the increasing interest of women’s cycling is awesome! 😀