Thursday, June 13, 2013

Marathon World Champs Recon and more Road Tripping

Me, Calle and Thomas Dietsch a top some of the mountains in Neukirchen, Austria.

Karl Platt and his buddy who tagged along on the ride too.

After Bike Four Peaks wrapped up, Calle and I tagged along with Team Bulls Riders, Thomas Dietsch and Karl Platt to check out the Marathon World Championships course. It was in the same area where we race on Stage 2, coming up a huge climb near the Hahnenkamm, a very famous and VERY steep ski run. After racing for four days, it does sound a bit crazy to do 6000 more feet of climbing and 3hrs of recon riding, but it was actually not too bad considering you were able to ride the climbs at an easy pace. FYI, that means easiest gear almost since all the climbing is very steep.

Calle and I going to the top on one of the very long climbs.

It was pretty sweet checking out where the World Champs will take place. I will not be racing, thankfully, but Calle, Thomas and Karl will be in three weeks. The course will be 94.5 Km (60 miles) and 4,400 Meters (14,400 Feet) of climbing. As you can see from the course profile too, its all very steep. A lot of the climbs are on very fast gravel roads with some sections of Single Track downhill. I say some because some of them are all washed away from all the rain that Germany and Austria have been getting hit with. Then on the last climb you come up the same climb we did on Stage 2, and also go down the super fun downhill singletrack section too. That part is really fun! Also pretty steep in sections, with lots of roots and some stones. It flows really well and will be very difficult to ride fast and smoothly after so much climbing etc. I don't think this will really affect the race in the sense that with all the climbing this race will be more about survival that far towards the end. At first, I thought about trying to see if I could qualify for the worlds, just for experience, but that is not the race to do it at. And I'm quite happy I'm not fast enough!

After checking out the course, Calle and I headed over to Switzerland to check out some of the trails here in Biel and also see some old friends.

We stopped in Rapperswil to have some lunch and coffee with Florian Vogel who lives there. It's a very beautiful city and looks like a great place to be a mountain bike racer, just like most of Switzerland. Now we are in Biel, close to Solothurn, a town where I raced the Bike Days back in 09. It's also extremely beautiful with awesome roads and trails for training. We are staying with Calle's old host family who are amazing. We've had the most fresh delicious food and best accommodations.

Over looking some wine fields and Lake Biel from a famous church.

After a few days here its been very to stay settled a bit. Since leaving Sweden, we've been staying somewhere different every night. Really cool, and in someways the best way to see so much that is here, but also a bit tough to feel settled. But like we have been, we are about to hit the road today, heading over to La Crusaz, France for the Roc Des Alpes. Another epic Marathon. Can't wait to check it all out!

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