Randers Bike Week – English update!

The last four days I’ve been racing ‘Randers Bike Week’, a four-day stage race in Randers, Denmark.

Every evening I’ve been posting a little blog about the stage in Danish. This blog will cover mostly the same – just in English J

 

During the stage race three of us women were riding with the Men’s C class, an option provided to the women riders on the national team’s long list. An option I was quite happy with, as it provides me with great training for my future goals.

The races were scheduled on the exact dates we were supposed to ride the Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Thursday - 10km TT

Time trials have never been a favorite of mine, so I was looking forward to the next stages, but I had to get it done. To fire up my motivation, one of my training friends asked if I wanted to have a little competition. He was competing in the men’s B class, but we had to do the same lap, so we could easily compare our times. The slowest would buy sushi after the season!

I ended up riding the time 15.02, exactly the same as Julie Leth, my Madison partner on the track – I guess Madison partners stay together always 😉 We had the fastest time for Women, but as we both had decided to ride in the Men’s C class, we finished as 10th.

I won the “sushi competition”. My friend missed a right turn, so he ended up doing some extra kilometers… I’ve promised a re-match later this season.

Friday - Criterium - 37,7km (9 laps)

After I’ve found myself in a training bubble the last few months it felt great to pin a number again!

The Men’s C class was every day riding in the same peloton as the H40 class (Men in the age from 40-49 years). In total a great bunch, with some (at times) physically stronger men.

 

My mum had decided to take the train to come and watch me race (The races where held 3,5 hour drive from my home). That was quite nice as she could provide me with bottles – we were racing in around 30 degrees!

I had to use my experience in being correct positioned in the bunch to use my power as wisely as I could. In total we did 411 altitude meters. It might not sound as much, but there was a quite hard hill. Hard enough to split up the peloton, and reduce the front group each lap. With 1,5 lap to go I accurately got dropped on the hill. Shortly after I got caught by three of the H40 men, and we rode together to the finish. As I was doing this race as training, I also sprinted on the line – and happy to say I won it 😛 Finished as 16th in the Men’s C.

Photo: Ulrik Møberg. CyclingPhoto.dk (The sprint)
Photo: Ulrik Møberg. CyclingPhoto.dk
Photo: Ulrik Møberg - CyclingPhoto.dk

Saturday - 99km road race

We had to do 8 laps with in total 933 altitude meters.

Again, I had the focus on my positioning. And I also tried to join some breakaways. With one lap to go I was starting to prepare myself mentally for the sprint, as no one really had had success in staying off the front. But then I felt like attacking. So I did. Shortly after I got company from two of the guys. We stayed away until the finish – and I won the sprint.

Unfortunately, there were not any photographers… Not even my mum as she saw three riders coming alone and therefor thought it could not be me, haha. But I got this photo from the judges as proof 😉

Sunday - 110km "mountain" stage

7 laps with just above 1000 altitude meters.

After yesterday’s win my motivation was high, but I knew it would be a challenge at the finish was on top of a 1300m long hill. The lap mainly had 3 hills. On really steep one after 3km, one les steep but a bit longer in the middle (also where they awarded points for the hill competition), and then the hill towards the finish line.

Photo: mbaek.dk

The hills slowly reduced the size of the peloton. There were also several breakaway attempts, but none that lasted. With 1,5 lap to go I went attacking again, I knew I had to try to get away before the final, I would not beat the men in a hill top finish. I got away with three others, but we got caught on the last lap on the short steep climb. Not a great place to get caught… Short before the final climb I attacked again, but that didn’t work. So in the end I just had to hang on the best I could. I ended up as 9th on the stage. Which I am quite happy with. It was fun to ride a bit aggressively in the final, even though I maybe did not have the legs to back it up.  

Photo: mbaek.dk - the moment just before our breakaway got caught - and there was still hope 😉
Photo: mbaek.dk - We got caught on the steepest part. Not ideal. Trying to keep pedaling haha

In the general classification I ended up as 5th.