I flew out a week after some fellow race pals, Andy Barlow and Gareth Montgomerie, had arrived, so I certainly had a bit of catching up to do. Thankfully, the poor weather and rain that had hit the lads for the first week cleared, and it was all sunny, clear skies for me! There were also a few others over for training, all of which were at a decent level of fitness - and a great bunch for the craic! The roads and climbing out there were just top quality - tour style climbs and descents, beautiful scenery and weather - I will definately be going back next year. Here is a shot of us all at a water stop, somewhere up in the hills;
And so arrived mistake no1. I had travelled out, just off a heavy training week, fatigued and hungry, so straight into 4-5hr training sessions in the mountains quickly took it's toll. On day1, I felt ok and got through, but a big ride on day 2 with 3 monster climbs saw me crack bigtime and forced to jump in the van at the bottom of the last descent, 10km to go. However, after a rest day, I started to find my legs and things went much better from then on. Let me tell you, the climbs out there are damn steep - and they don't stop after a couple of km like in the UK. 10-15km would be more accurate! Top quality training! In total, I clocked 22hrs on the bike in 5 days of riding which was around 700km with a massive amount of ascent (and descent for that matter).
So, after getting back home and getting some rest in, I can say my form is very good indeed. Let's hope it puts me in good shape for the start of the MTB race season which is now just 5 weeks away! At the moment there has been a delay with my Orbea Alma frameset from Sandy Wallace, but let's hope it arrives in time. Just one last pic for that mystery bike that kept appearing in random places around Lanjeron... never seen with a rider!
Over and out for now :-)