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 😀

Göteborg Prioritet Grand Prix 2018

Prioritet GP bruhnsphoto

On Friday, me and three of my team mates (two of the guys and Josefine) hit the road for Göteborg in Sweden to participate in a street race, Prioritet Grand Prix. Huge prize money (compared to Danish standard) lured us to the North and we thought we had a good chance to get away with some of it.

It was a little more than a 3-hour drive, including a short ferry, to Göteborg and the race was only 30 minutes for the women and 50 minutes for the men.

Göteborg Prioritet Grand Prix
Bruhnsphoto.se

When we arrived, we found out that we were not the only non-Swedish riders who could smell the cool cash, so us girls had company by a few professionals from Cervélo Bigla Pro Cycling and Team Virtu Cycling Women which made it a bit more challenging 😉

The route was only 1,1 kilometers but had 10 corners, a short hill, cobbles, curbs, holes in the road etc. A very technical course. It was placed downtown Göteborg and there was a lot of spectators which was awesome.

Göteborgsgirot Prioritet Grand Prix

We were 29 women on the start line and called to the front by club/team, so unfortunately I started a bit back. When the race went off someone in front of me couldn’t click in her pedal and it put me a bit further back.

I was trying to get to the front, but it was difficult on the narrow and technical streets, besides me not quite having the guts to pass and take chances, so I used a lot of power glosing gaps and passing riders in the beginning.

Göteborg Prioritet Grand Prix
Bruhnsphoto.se

When I finally caught the back of the front group, the high speed on such a technical course was a bit too much for me and I started distrusting my abilities making me use my brakes too much. You can not do that in a street race, so I lost the front group again.

I kept fighting a bit, but I knew the show was over for me, so instead I focused on my technique and just to get some training out it since I had travelled the long way.

Göteborg Prioritet Grand Prix
Bruhnsphoto.se

I overtook a few riders on the way and one of them sat on my wheel. At one point she decided to take a lead and I discovered how little energy I had to use on wheelsucking, so I made up a little plan.

My come-along-rider was terrible at cornering, so I took the lead again. I tested her sprinting skills a bit by pushing it when we passed the finish line, which made me believe that I could beat her in the final sprint.

Göteborg Prioritet Grand Prix
Bruhnsphoto.se

Sometimes, when the podium is gone, I just make another competion in my head and this was a “woman against woman”. So, back to my plan, when we had three laps to go, I let her in the front again to save energy for the sprint. It was quite boring, because it was so easy sitting on the wheel (I like to feel I’m working in a race), but it was worth the wait.

Göteborg Prioritet Grand Prix
Bruhnsphoto.se

I knew that I could stay behind her in the last corner, because there was plenty of road to let her get the speed up for the sprint, before I could overtake her – and that was exactly was happened. Actually, I did a new 5 second PB with 25 watts in that sprint! I ended up being 11th and Josefine 8th.

Göteborg Prioritet Grand Prix
Bruhnsphoto.se

After the women’s race we watched the men and our guys did a really good job! There were 67 riders and they ended 7th and 11th and even won a sprint prize!

It was a really cool event and I will definitely be back 😀

Craft Cup – 3 Days in the North 2018

Craft Cup - Thy

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

On Friday I went with the team to northern Jutland. We were participating in the Craft Cup stage race 3 Days in the North from Saturday to Monday. I was very excited to get the season started and to get a feeling of my race mode. It was also the first trip with the “new” team and some new faces to get to know 🙂

Craft Cup
StonyShots
Saturday

The first stage was in Hjørring and we woke up to a chilly morning with frost and a very cold wind. I put on several layers of clothes and warming balm on the legs – better safe than sorry seems to be the lesson from last year where everybody was nearly freezing to death because of the cold and wet weather.

Again, this year we are only two riders in the women elite class on the team and we are battling against teams of 10+ riders (not in every race, but in general). Normally we race with the men’s C-class, but in this race women elite and women B-class was put together and we were 20 riders on the start line.

Craft Cup
StonyShots

Our strategy was to be “on hold” and see what the other girls had in mind. One of the other girls attacked shortly after the start and my team mate, Josefine, followed so I stayed in the peloton. Unfortunately, she didn’t caught the group of three riders in front and they went on a breakaway.

Only Josefine and I wanted to close the gap which was an impossible mission without help from the others in the peloton. I didn’t feel strong and I was too disappointed of not being in the breakaway, so instead of playing tactical for a 4th place I just wanted to finish the race.

Craft cup
StonyShots

That meant I took the front for the last 7 kilometers. Of course, no one wanted to be up there in the final and it is very typical when we have these women races that no one ever wants to take a lead. Because of the work all day and the position before the finish, I didn’t have anything left for the sprint and I came in 7th while Josefine fought her way to 5th.

Sunday

The day after we went to Thy with a plan. I was supposed to win the stage and I tried to escape the peloton, but I was closed after 8 minutes in the heat. Then Josefine tried and because of the hilly course I guess the others didn’t think she would manage to go solo for 69 kilometers. But she did!

Craft cup
StonyShots

The peloton waited a long time and was going really slow while Josefine drifted longer and longer away. When the peloton finally decided to close the gap, I followed every single move and a group of six riders formed a chasing group. I was in it, but not willing to work until the end, when I knew they couldn’t catch Josefine in the front.

Craft cup
Licenscykling.dk

There were several attacks with long breaks in between, but it was only on the final hill things split up. I didn’t see the attack from behind, so I lost a few meters to the others. On the top I couldn’t get my shifter from small to big chain ring, so it took me ages to catch up and when I finally did the girls started the sprint, so I finished 6th and was a bit disappointed. But I was also really happy about my performance, being able to cover every attack until the end and for Josefine to take the stage win on a course that didn’t even suit her.

Monday

On the final stage in Aalborg, we had not only one plan, we had a plan A, B and C because now we had the opportunity to go home with the overall win and the jersey. I had put on my racesuit for the big final 😉 Again, we wanted to be the waiters, but again the pace was too slow for my taste, so I went to the front just to speed things up a bit.

Craft cup
Licenscykling.dk

I didn’t go that fast, but suddenly I had a small gap. As a reflex I pushed harder but it wasn’t a part of any of our plans so I thought about stopping for a second, but decided to give it a go. It could help us getting the others a bit tired by trying to catch me.

Craft cup
Licenscykling.dk

After the first lap I had gained a minute and after the second lap it was 1:30 minutes. On the third lap I was passed by the men elite which was a huge group followed by service cars.

My car in front didn’t know what to do, so instead of just keep going it slowed down to let the men pass. It took too long and I was losing time, so I passed my car – it came back a bit later. After that lap I had lost time to 1:15 minutes.

Craft cup
Eating isn’t cheating. Licenscykling.dk

I still had two laps to go and I was starting to feel the pain for real, but then on lap four I had gained 3 minutes. I kept the pace up to test myself and on the last lap everything was hurding. I thought I was going slower and slower but looking at the laps afterwards I was pretty steady with a difference of maximum 30 seconds between the laps.

3 dage i nord

With a few kilometers to go I was passed by the junior men and again my car couldn’t keep up. The juniors blocked me because they were going for the final sprint – but hey, so was I! It was a bit of an anticlimax to cross the finish line at the same time as a sprint finish in another class and no one noticed me passing the line. I wasn’t even announced the winner in the beginning.

Craft cup
Craft cup ‘3 Days in the North’ stage 3 podium.

I had been out there alone for more than 86 kilometers and even though I know the peloton was probably unable to cooperate and establish a pursuit, I pushed hard, so I was tired and my abs were hurding for the rest of the day because of heavily breathing for 2,5 hours.

Vinderblomster
Flowers to the winner.

In the bunch sprint Josefine was in position of taking the overall win but she was blocked and only 1 point differed from 1st to 2nd place. My win gave me an overall 3rd in the Craft Cup, so going home with two stage wins, an overall 2nd and 3rd is pretty damn good by our little team.

It was our first races as a team and it showed that we can cooperate and that we race smart. Not always according to plan, but we take our chances and sometimes we loose other times we win. That’s racing 😉

Craft cup
Overall podium in the Craft Cup ‘3 Days in the North’.
Women’s Cycling in Denmark

I don’t know how it is in other countries, but the “problem” with women’s racing in Denmark is the big difference in levels. Normally we race with the men where the pace is high and the peloton big.

In these races we were only 20 riders and it seemed like no one wanted to race. The pace was ridiculously slow and only a few riders participated in the work – some didn’t because they didn’t have the strenght and others, well, I don’t know. It was so boring at times and I don’t understand how anyone thinks that is fun racing.

Craft cup
StonyShots

I DO support women races and wish we could have them every time, but not like this. Not until we have enough riders on a level where it is actually going to be a race.

Our team is racing again this weekend and I’m looking forward to race with the men and get som speed in the legs. Hopefully it will be another succesful race-weekend 😀

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!

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.