This was actually my first road race ever. It was very low key, with no timing mats and even no start line. There was just a guy with a clipboard who called everyone’s name and then shouted GO!, and we were off.
|Hanging on to the tail end of a large group of riders at the beginning of Fjorden Rundt.|
Most of Fjorden Rundt is punchy, rolling hills, but there is one longer climb after 30 or so kilometers. On the climb, I watched Noëmi and Fredrik bolt up the hill like they were on a two hour ride. I felt miserably inadequate. Was I doomed to be the weakest link on the team? Were the hours and hours spent riding this year all for nothing?
I finally made the wise decision to stop looking at my heart rate monitor, and just enjoy the beautiful, sunny day. This would be a test: either I would blow up due to the too hard early pace, or I would learn that I could keep this harder pace for 200K. I keep my own, easy pace on the hills, and Marius and Audun would help ride me up to the group after hill tops.
As the race continued, our team began to ride more like a well-oiled machine, practicing our double paceline formation until it felt natural. The advantage of the double paceline is that you can chat with your partner as you go along, and with good company the kilometers passed quickly. On our way we passed several stragglers who had lost their groups for whatever reason, and let them draft off of us for a while.
|Sigmund rides towards the bad weather.|
On the final climb to the finish, we saw another team a couple minutes ahead. “Let’s go, we can catch them!” someone shouted. I put my head down and rode hard, but, in my mounting fatigue, fish-tailed into Fredrik’s back wheel. I yelled unintelligibly as I flew off my bike into the ditch on the side of the road. It took me a moment to take stock, but I realized that I was fine, with the exception of blooded knees. Shaking a little, I got back on my bike and we road calmly to the top of the hill and the finish.
|From the left, Sigmund, Marius, me, Audun, Noëmi and Fredrik at the finish line of Jotunheimen Rundt.|
Strava here, results here
- The Wild Bazilchuk