Saturday, March 03, 2012

Stage 5 ...

...and the last day! Shorter but not easy. Most of us are now juat getting through on lots of adrenaline.

Short neutral today and again pretty easy pace. But as soon as we hit the gravel the race was on. The leader team in our category looked strong so i pretended to look strong too; but was very empty. I could only hope that it was the case for them too. I kept watching the km; 47 was the number but it went by very slow. The first climbs (not major) are sort of a blur; im not even sure i remember if we rode with them that stretch or if we came together later. I think it was shortly after a feed we eventually managed to get a gap. Craig had got a head a little bit to stop and i went right through. And got a bit of a head start on some great single track down hill. I manage to sneak by a bit slower rider and Craig with the leads got stuck behind. Craig wasn't worried as he would catch me after. When we hit the bottom we quickly hit a good climb. The three of them had to work pretty hard to close the gap and Craig was able to catch me just in time to grab my bike and me to run (more like crawl) up. This gave us a gap and we held this gap for a while. Up one of the major climbs; a beautiful vally in the mountains, very steep and with the side slopes so steep i tried to avoid looking down. Neat.
Then some more (shorter sections) of fun down until the last major climb of the day (500m over the next 4, so i knew it would hurt). I looked back as we start but figured we had left them behind for good; though not too far in a womens team we normally don't see pass. And about half way up they are all of a sudden on our wheel. We ride their pace; Craig thought it was like a Sunday group ride, while im giving almost all i have or wait, all i didnt have. I thinking if we can push just a bit harder we can get a gap back and if we can hold it to the top we should be ok. So I dig a bit deeper so Craig can get to race again. She says something to her partner but since I my Spanish is as good as my legs at that moment i just translate it to what i wanna hear "i cant do it". So I don't look back and keep legs moving, we catch up with the swiss girls again. We finally crest the climb and im still alive! The down would have been heavenly but with the rain (oh yeah, it was cooler and bit of rain today), it was very slick so I settled in a safe pace behind two guys and one of the girls. We again got to ride through this amazing towns small street and happy to reach the finish with another stage win!

This week could have started better, but that is stage racing. It is on from the start to the end; things can happen that can change the standing very quickly. We got over our little mishap and raced a great race rest of the week. Craig has been an amazing partner and definitly helped me race to my limits every day.
The Andaluciabikerace in its second year only is definitly one to put on your calendar. Very well organized with some great riders which makes for a very competitive event. The course each day was well put together with a good mix or road and surprisingly good single track! And timing; February racing in the sun!

Thanks to everyone that have followed and sent their support through the week.

Thanks to Ridleys for getting the bike tuned and ready on a very short notice; it survived but be prepared for what is coming back!

Now rest day in Madrid next, then home and back to the real life.

Happy riding!


  1. Congrats on the race. Have a great rest day.

  2. Craig's awesome at squeezing out every last drop, and you guys did awesome all things considered. Kate you can ride not pinned threshold all day when you're home!

    I like that last picture - it's good those Ridley's mountain bikers are all so 'goat friendly ; )