Bus trip from Barcelona to Solsona arriving early at 9:30 a.m. Race was to start at 11:30 a.m. so more than enough time to chill, pick up the bike, and get drinks ready.
Friendly racers with easy conversations with most anyone. One older French man racer saw my green morning drink, guessed it was "spiruline" and said he looked forward to seeing me racing. After the race, he saw that I had a good race and said he will now look into drinking "spiruline"!
I started with the first wave, as did a whole bunch of fit looking women. We rode a crazy loop around the village, neutralized, down the skinniest street I have ever ridden with a peloton, and on cobblestones. After 2 km, we crossed the timing mat and flew in a huge peloton up the first climb. Gentler than the Alps.
Looking at the profile, I liked the undulating climbs whereas the Alps are solid uphill climbs. My strange standing hillclimb technique works much better here.
|Hope to get tips from the World's best ski mountaineer racers! |
Valerie Berthod & Laetitia Roux
|riding in the Pyrenees! - marathon-photos.com|
The descents in the Pyrenees were skinnier with more blind corners. Fortunately, a motorcycle patrol would guide us down forewarning oncoming traffic of which was little. It helped to mark the motorcyclist's turns. I managed to descend well and grabbed onto a couple speedy guys at various times. Most racers seemed abit apprehensive. I was missing Ruud.
|Team Girls of Ski Mountaineering |
with Compression Socks & variety of shoes!
With the final descent, I needed alot of brain energy to concentrate. The road was bumpy (Canada-like) and there was an uncertainty if there would be gravel on the corners. I was happy to see the 10 km, and 5 km to go signs. Almost cramped on the last pitch with 6 km to go, though talked my muscles into being calm and managed to hang onto the boys. The last couple km were flat and I had two awesome guys to follow.
|Excited to be on podium with the strong young women, |
1st Marina Ilmer, 3rd Laetitia Roux
|Awesome to hang out with the Team Girls of Ski Mountaineering! |
- photo Laetitia Roux
Waiting for my massage, I took the opportunity to get a happy snap with Greg Lemond. I told him I was a fan and had the Sports Illustrated magazine with him on the cover from back in the day. He was so easy to speak with.
|Race briefing held in an old church|
29th of the 330 total racers
5th of the 33 Iron racers
All Haute Route POSTS