Big climbs & ‘on point’ kit doping
Easter has finally sprung – the overshoes have been tucked away and the new kit is getting an outing.
I had the chance of squeezing in a week cycling with my race team Athlos – on the sunny island of Mallorca. The hills & mileage were daunting after having so much time out of the saddle but the prospect of sharp tan lines and miles pushing the pedals was too good to turn down.
I’ve cycled & raced in Mallorca over the past few years and one particular climb – Sa Calobra – has always eluded me. I’ve seen pictures, heard the stories but have always either been tapering, too battered or simply ran out of time to do the legendary ride.
Not this trip…. day 2 of my training camp, reading the day’s itinerary over a carb loaded breakfast – saw ‘Lluc & Sa Calobra’ … I won’t lie I was scared… I had climbed one ‘Devon hill’ in the last 2 weeks… and that was painful enough let alone this 10k climb. My husband to the rescue as always reassuring me with the magic words “don’t burn your biscuits – it’s a long climb” hahah…. thanks hubby!
Lluc has always been a stinger in my eyes, I’ve trained on it and raced it and still hate it with a passion. I climbed Lluc at a steady tempo pace, feeling puffed but confident that I had juice left in my legs for the next section. I actually thought I may race this little 70.3 again … perhaps it was the midday sun making me crazy! Yet more climbing to the top of Sa Calobra and it was literally 10k of sweeping descent. Dodging a few buses, hoping my brakes didn’t fail me & enjoying the magnificent scenery. Then the up…. it’s the climb that just keeps giving. I rode up alongside a team member, chatting, laughing, spinning ditts and having an enjoyable ride. We managed to get a brilliant photo from a well-placed stand – job done – or was it… now knowing the climb, could I do it again but faster? Stronger? Time to see if it would fit back into the weeks schedule…. why are we never satisfied… Strava you are a demon.
Jonesie 2 v Sa Calobra 0
The rematch.. day 4.. tired legs… tss score over 250 every day… a rest day on the cards = rematch Sa C…
Climbing Lluc ‘opposite way’ up the switchbacks, I passed a rider with a prosthetic leg, an amazing achievement and motivation in a nutshell. What a little gem he was! I may be tired, not pushing the power I’d like, but I was in a beautiful place chatting to this fellow rider who has more courage and will power than I could ever hope for.
Midday sun…low on water and a new ftp about to be squeezed out of whatever I had left in my legs…. my buddy Justin was literally on my wheel. We both smashed our previous times – felt like we nearly died doing it – on the rivot, chewing the bar, whatever else may have come to mind – I made it!! 10k up hill… holy jeepers what an epic adventure… oh and for the record Lluc ‘the opposite way’ isn’t downhill on the way home hahaha.
Kit doping – I would admit I do like a nice bit of kit.. and it has to match… Black/Red Bodyline bibs works an absolute treat with the new limited edition *****Echappee jersey… red socks and yes Black or Red gilet (for the pesky slow slog bonked ride back hahahaha)
Arms fit like a little peach ensuring the #rule**** of sharp tan lines. And the magic question it would seem we all talk about – bib chaffe…. NONE! And I went into this big riding week with about 60k prep… 300k in the saddle and I am one happy goat in the butt department. :-)
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