well, i completed my first race of the year! and although my performance wasn't optimal b/c my muscles were sore from training the days before (i had REALLY hard rides Wednesday and Thursday and then did a long tour with 1300meters vertical Saturday). Thursday night i decided to do the race as training for my upcominb big race, so i hadn't tapered my training or anything so i was NOT in peak "day form". the course didn't have any big big climbs soas not to go up high into the still snow-covered peaks, but LOTS of short climbs (12 climbs each 70 to 300 meters vertical). for the vertical profile, see http://nyx.at/top-six/_uploads/_imag...ollnprofil.gif or image below - i hope
but i finished 206 out of about 400 for the middle distance which was 52km (32.5 miles) with 1320 meters vertical (4300 ft). see http://nyx.at/top-six/ergebnisse/2003_1.pdf -- and i was again the ONLY non-European (i was also the only non-European for this race last year when i finished 123 out of 400). at the start of the race my legs were already burning in the first climb so it was a hard race that required some mental effort and ignoring pain. it had rained the night before but then was relatively dry until about 2:15 into the race when it started to rain and then HAILED for about 3 minutes. it made the course very interesting and challenging. and then i crashed twice! once in the very last corner as we rode across a grassy field and then made a 90 degreee left and i was going a lot too fast and slid out in the corner and then slid sideways with the bike quite a ways, then turning over on my chest/stomach and my face/helmet. anyway, got a nice cut on my upper eyebrow (see phots). i think it looks more like i was in a boxing match, but whatever.
so all in all i've had FIVE crashes in 1 week --- Monday dropping a rock ledge in Gardersee i hurt my right hand. Thursday i crashed on a bike path when a kid ran in front of me (i hurt my right wrist but the kid was uninjured). Saturday i went head-over-bars on a rocky descent and scraped my right thigh, my left forearm and left bicep and hurt my left pinky/hand. then Sunday i cut my face in the 2nd crash (no injuries in the 1st crash - i just slid out in the wet)
so looks like i may actually be fit enough for my big race next saturday -- 104km (66 miles) and 3530 meters vertical (12,000 ft!). i'm still a little worried b/c the pros finish in a little over 5 hours and i'm speculating i'm going to be on the bike for about 7 hours! i've never done a bike race so long or with SO much climbing. we basically have 2 big mountains where for each we ride from 50m elevation up to mountain peaks first of 1200m, then 1500m! (plus some up and downs in between). both big climbs have a LONG sustained climb of over 1000 meters (3300ft) of vertical in less than 10km (6.2 miles) - an AVERAGE grade of more than 10%! see http://riva.upsolutmv.com/marathon/hoehenprofil03.pdf - it's pretty impressive! - so each big climb should take about 1.5 hours of sustained 7-20% grade climbing... then STEEP descents, then a bunch of up and downs and small climbs and trails and then the 2nd mountain! for those in the Northeast, the Mt Washington Climb is also less than 1000 meters vertical (i think). --- or the big mountain stages of the Tour de France usually have 2500-3200 meters of vertical in about 150 to 200km (so Lake Garda is a little more vertical, a lot less distance so STEEPER grades and also off-road gravel climbs instead of road -- of course the Tour lasts 3 weeks, but they're pros)
it's going to be an interesting competition between my friend/teammate Ingo and I. he did the double distance yesterday, finishing in 6:38, with a first lap time of 3:05 and a half-distance average of 3:17 (mine was 2:59) but he did it twice! and he's more of an endurance-muscle-type than me. so IF i can make it through the whole race without collapsing or running out of energy (the race has twice the distance and TRIPPLE the vertical) i think i will probably beat him, but that is a BIG IF!!!
so i have 3 days to rest my legs a little here before i head off to Italy again -- we're driving down Thursday and will ride singletrails Thursday, then hang out at the Bike Festival on Friday and rest up for the big day Saturday. currently the weather looks ok --- temps in the high 20s (high 70s F) and about 30% chance of showers through the weekend.
so i'll report back my results after the race!