Letos smo dobrodelno kolesarili 24. februarja 2023. V 12 urah se mi je pridružilo okoli 60 udeležencev, ki so s svojimi prispevki podprli dobrodelno noto acije. Sredstva smo zbirali z organizacijo Truhoma in z dobrodelnim kolesarjenjem in donacijami udeležencev smo zbrali 1500 evrov za nakup 50 paketov sadja in zelenjave, ki so jih prejele družine v stiski.
Virtualno v 12 urah prevoženih 459,2km z 1.650m višincev. Postankov 10 minut, vožnje 11ur 50minut. Povprečna moč 200W, povprečna hitrost čiste vožnje 38,2km/h.
Popil sem 10,5l tekočine, bolj natančno 12 bidonov po 7dcl, 2x0,5l CocaCole in 2x0,5l vode.
Kalorije porabljene: 7.820kCal (vir TrainingPeaks)
4endurance Nrgy Unit Drink 12x270kCal = 3.240kCal
4Endurance gel 5x95kCal = 475kCal
ploščice 4Endurance 3x166kCal = 500kCal
ploščice Mobberley Cakes 3x370kCal = 1.110kCal
Coca Cola 440kCal
Tortour Challenge 2022
Ko je bila že tretjič odpovedana/prestavljena dirka Red Bull Trans Siberian Extreme, se je bilo treba odločiti za alternativni plan dirk. Glavni cilj sezone je tako postala dirka preko zahoda (Race across the West) v juniju, avgusta pa kot že 12x doslej na Tortour. Vprašanje je bilo le ali bom našel ekipo ali bo treba solo. Ker ekipe ni bilo na vidiku, sem se odločil za solo varianto, zaradi poškodbe stopal na RAW-u, bolj natančno desne pete, pa sem se odločil za skrajšano verzijo Tortour Challenge, ki je dolga “samo” 580km. Razmišljanje je bilo, da bo to dovolj za testiranje pripravljenosti, vseeno pa ne pretiravanje kar se tiče (morebitnih) bolečin v peti.
Po RAW-u sem se dobro odpočil in s pomočjo kinezio traku, je bolečina v desni peti izginila, seveda pa nisem vedel točno kaj pričakovati ob večji obremenitvi na dirki. Vsekakor je bil plan začeti ne preveč intenzivno in kasneje stopnjevati tempo ter po možnosti ujeti konkurente pred mano. Konkurence nisem ravno poznal in moram reči, da sem bilj bolj fokusiran na svojo vožnjo, pa naj bo kar bo kar se tiče uvrstitve. Zadevo je zakompliciral še sistem, kjer so self-supported kolesarji dobili 1 uro prednosti pred nami z podporo (spremstvom) in na palec se je to zdela kar poštena odločitev.
Kar se tiče prehrane, je že kar dolga leta moj plan zaužiti 350-400kCal/uro in zadnje čase te potrebe pokrije Nduranz Nrgy Unit Drink 90 in ploščice. Bolj natančno 270kCal v napitku + ena ploščica na uro = okoli 370kCal. Ker sem moral prvo časovno postajo (52km) prekolesariti brez spremstva, sem dal v žep 2 ploščici, na kolo 2 bidona in gas! Startal sem bolj proti koncu, saj sem se odločil, da na virtualnem prologu ne bom preveč švical. Pri 36 prijavljenih, bi mi to lahko odneslo maksimalno 18minut in to se mi je zdelo nepomembno dirki, ki bo predvidoma trajalao 19-21 ur. Startal sem res počasi, ker so bila tudi navodila organizatorjev taka, da moraš po kolesarskih stezah v Zurichu voziti počasi (20km/h), dokler ne vidiš komisarja, ki da znak za začetek dirke. No, tega komisarja ni bilo nikjer, zato sem verjetno počasno vožnjo nadaljeval malce predaleč. Pa nič hudega, sem bil vsaj dobro ogret. ;)
Potem je začelo lepo letet, še vedno pa sem se držal načrta po ravnem 65-75%FTP in v klance do max. 90%FTP. Tega sem se kar lepo držal in kljub temu prehitel kar nekaj svojih konkurentov v 50+ kategoriji. Žal je kake pol ure po startu začelo tudi deževati, na kar sem bil pripravljen z Gabba dresom in galošami za dež. Ja, napovedana je bila deževna noč. Na prvi postaji me je čakala Irma in dobil sem novi bidon z napitkom. Potem pa gas naprej v deževno noč. Žal se je intenzivnost dežja povečevala in po nekaj urah me je začelo zebsti, tako da sem se moral ustaviti in dodati anorak za dež in pokrivalo za čelado. To nam je vzelo le par minut in se je splačalo, saj sem se hitro pogrel.
Ja, žal je po 4 urah power meter crknil in moral sem se zanesti na svoj občutek. No za občutek, v prvih 4 urah sem se res lepo držal plana in imel NP (nevtralizirana moč) 72% FTP. V dva daljša klanca (Brunner in Jaun Pass) sem prehitel še nekaj konkurentov, pa tudi mene so začele prehitevati hitrejše ekipe. Tudi prehrana je bila nekje do sredi noči po planu, kasneje pa sem ob močnem nalivu malo izgubil tek in voljo do žvečenja, sem pa dodal nekaj Gelov, predvsem kofeinski so mi pasali sredi noči, za malo poživitve in prebujanja.
Po celi noči dežja, je bilo sredi dopoldneva lepo čutit celo nekaj sončnih žarkov na obrazu. Zgornji del opreme se mi je začel celo sušiti, seveda so bile Nogavice v sprintaricah in dežnih galošah popolnoma premočene. Ko smo preverili, da bo suho vreme zdržalo (naj bi) do Zuricha, sem si na predzadnji postaji vzel čas in se preoblekel/preobul. Ni bilo škoda izgubiti 10minut časa, ker občutek v suhih sprintaricah in na soncu je bil nepozaben. Lahko sem ga začel gonit kot je treba , še malo bolj, ko sem izvedel, da je bil drugouvrščeni Poggio le 12 minut pred mano na postaji. Ko sem ga po nekaj kilometrih zagledal pred sabo, sem lahko še malo dodal po gasu in v enega izmed klancev sem ga končno dohitel in prehitel. Naslednja naloga je bila, poskušati se čimbolj približati vodilnemu Lauku, ki je imel sicer dobre pol ure prednosti, ampak na ultra dirkah pač nikoli ne veš, kako se človek počuti in kako se bo razpletlo.
No, razpletlo se je tako, da je po kake pol ure razbesnelo neurje z hudim nalivom. Tako hudim, da mi je navigacija zatajila, da ne omenjam zavore, ki so na karbonskih obročih potrebovale 30-40m, da sploh začnejo prijemat in so me v gostem prometu kar nekajkrat spravile v precejšnjo zadrego/nevarnost. Na križiščih sem moral tako ali tako čakat spremljevalno vozilo, da so me z napotki spravili v pravo smer. Tako je bilo mojega lova na zmago efetkivno konec. Čeprav priznam, da realno niti v sončnem vremenu Lauka po vsej verjetnosti ne bi mogel ujeti. Tista ura handicapa je bila pač preveč glede na kvaliteto samo-oskrbnih kolesarjev.
Z drugim mestom v kategoriji sem bil zadovoljen, še bolj pa z dejstvom, da sem bil na koncu dirke še dovolj svež/močan za napad na stopničke/zmago. Tudi prehrana Nduranz je delovala perfektno, v 20 urah vožnje sem popil 19 bidonov Nduranz Nrgy Unit Drink 90 in dodal 14 ploščic ter 5 gelov, torej zelo blizu tega, kar sem planiral pred dirko. Tudi dežna oprema je bila dodobra preizkušena in na srečo dobrih 15 ur močenja na dežju ni pustilo nobenih zdravstvenih posledic.
Sem bil pa ponovno opomnjen, da v primeru dežja disk zavore na specialki le niso tako napačna izbira. Morda si bo treba omisliti to na naslednjem N+1 kolesu? ;)
This year’s RAW problems started way sooner than usually as wasn’t allowed to fly my bike(s) to California. No pleading and no threats helped my cause and we had to look for other solutions. I am lucky to have such a great support first from my bike sponsor Spiegel Bikes and secondly from my friends in California. Spiegel had a RAAM San Marino frame waiting for me there and my friend Kerry Ryan of Actionsports Bakersfield was still hanging on to my old Trek Speed Concept and was more than happy to re-lend it to me for RAW. Actionsports is also one of the better supplied bike shops in USA, so there was no problem to set up the Spiegel frame before my arrival. Because of the limited budget I opted for Shimano 105 groupset, which proved to be an affordable solution and turned out to be a good decision.
Kerry had to excuse himself from crewing for working commitments and we certainly couldn’t do such a long race with only 2-person crew, so Irma and Tom Guevara needed someone to join them. We asked around through some forums and were lucky enough that Mike Mc Manus has expressed a will to participate and as he already had a crewing experience from RAW 2021, he was in!
The days of heat acclimatisation first in Bakersfield and in Borrego Springs went well, even though I got somewhat surprised with very salty first ride in Borrego. The temperature soared from Bakersfield’s 32°C to Borrego’s 43°C, so a bit of a heat shock was expected. As ready as could be we moved to Oceanside where we met Mike for the first time and did all the paperwork to finish the Race Registration, decorate the follow van with stickers and got ready for the race. I myself couldn’t wait to get the show on the road. I was as ready as can be.
There were several goals prior to RAW, the first was winning it of course, the second setting the 50+ record and the third one to come as close to my 2014 result, which was 18,1mph. Knowing I am not as fast as I was 8 years ago, I would be satisfied with the average of 16mph. I started at 12.27 local time, so I was 28th from RAW soloists and teams to start. I started pretty conservatively (for me) and kept my power under FTP on some steep climbs into TS1. Still I kept passing the RAW riders and even teams, so the number of the riders still in front of me was surely getting smaller. I think I have passed mostly all before TS2 in Brawley and only a few were left to catch/pass in the first night, This is always the most beautiful night in RAAM, the temperatures are perfect for riding (around 25°C) and we are all still fresh and powerful. I did start cramping up just a little bit through the Sand Dunes, so I had to lower the tempo somewhat. After that we had to stop for gas in Blythe and that was the only few minutes of the race that I lost a lead to someone. It was Brasilian Fabio Silvestri who passed me during my break, but I soon passed him back and never looked back.
Other than the cramps, the thing that started bothering around 5h into the race was the right heal pain, which was pretty bad and got worse with every hour ridden. The only remedy for that was taking my right foot out of the shoe and rub/massage it for some 15-30sec. That all worked well when done on a descent, but as the climbing begun, it got more complicated. It has slowed me down to a crawl a few times, but had to be done if I wanted to continue pushing forward. The night passed without other complications and even with the issues, I was still staying at my close to 20mph average. Closing in the TS in Congress, where I was supposed to change my bike from TT back to a road bike, there was a road construction. The workers didn’t allow me to ride my bike through the 5+miles of it, so we called the race HQ to inform them about it, packed me and the bike into the follow van and I was shuttled through this part. As we were almost to Congress when I was able to start riding again, I just took my road bike and was off towards Yarnell climb. It was already mid morning (around 10am), so the temperature was already nearing 100F. Pretty hot for a hard climb, but I managed it well and continued towards Prescott.
After a busy highway out of Prescott, another hot climb was waiting for me (Mingus Mountain). I did struggle a bit with the heat, but managed it nicely and enjoyed the descent through Jerome a lot! Another busy section of the road through Cottonwood and towards Camp Verde, and the climbing began again, this time a long one toward Flagstaff. We have learned during the previous day that there were some big fires around Flagstaff and the crew would have to shuttle me through that section, around 50 miles in a car and continue on a different route towards Tuba City. It was longer and had a lot more climbing than the original route, but it was what it was, the same for every rider of RAW/RAAM. The nice thing about the shuttle was that I could get my first (and possible only) sleep while being driven through (by) the smoke. That’s what we planned for and that’s how it went. I got the perfect 1h 15min sleep during the drive, got dressed for what I expected to be a chilly night and continued to push the pedals.
There was Steinberger’s RV parked at the spot that we were supposed to start from, which told me he was closing in on me somewhat. A little incentive to push harder and not let him catch me. I kinda enjoyed the rest of the night, the new course wasn’t as bad as advertised, in fact I liked it. Coming into Tuba City from the other direction and actually more or lass descending into it, was quite fun. We had a short stop there to refill the gasoline and soon I was back into suffer mode with the headwind and a bumpy road out of TC. Yeah, my behind was feeling all those kicks in the butt and I started to embrace the fact that I will be able to stop in Durango this time around… ;)
The head wind didn’t stop even through the Monument Valley, so a little less fun through there compared to the times with a tailwind. The afternoon heat and sleep deprivation started to take its toll, so I had a few sleep on the bike moments there. I told the crew about that and we decided (as planned before the race) to have a short power nap at the “Forrest Gum spot” of the Valley. The best 15min spent in the van’s AC, I can tell you. I felt rejuvenated and could much easier survive the headwind through the valley towards Cortez. The dark was already upon us there and my mood was a bit down as I expected to finish in the afternoon, or at least before the sunset. There’s where the fastest 4-person teams caught (back) up to me and gave me something to chase. Unfortunately all the stage from Cortez To Durango is one big climb, so not much of a chance for me to stay with those rested racers. Was still nice to have the flashing lights lighting the dark ahead of me and give me a carrot to chase.
Some more strong headwind at the top of the last climb and then it was all fun, descending the last miles to Durango. A few more turns of the pedals for the last flat mile or so and I was at the Finish! It was nice to have a few team members waiting for me and cheering me up, as there were certainly no spectators around at midnight when we arrived. We did some photo shooting and were off quickly trying to find some descent food at that ungodly hour. We found an opened Denny’s, got a few calories in and were on the way to our hotel and first real sleep after 2,5 days of racing. We needed it!
Thank you to my awesome crew of my wife Irma, my old friend Tom Guevara and a new friend Mike Mc Manus, who was kind enough to join us in the last minute to make the race possible for us. Nice work Mike, Tom and <3, you were an excellent crew! Couldn’t have done it without you…
P.S. The heal trouble did get worse as the race went on and I was in a pretty bad shape after the race, not being able to step on it for two days after the race. Did have it checked with the help with my friend dr. Vince on Infinity Bike Seat and the X-rays showed some bad inflammation and certainly we will be working to find a reason for it as well as solution if I want to continue being competitive in ultra races. For now some rest and therapies are what the doctor ordered.
Sebring 12/24 Bike Race was a little different for me this time around, as my big(ger) goal is going to be the Florida 500 Race from Jacksonvile to Key West Florida. Thank you to my friend and fellow ultra cyclist Alberto Blanco for organising a new ultra-cycling event in Florida.
We came to Florida five days before event and took time to see our favourite basketball player Luka Doncic live for the first time ever. Luka with his team Dallas Mavericks beat the Miami Heat, so it was a good start of the week, don’t you think?
As this was going to be my pre-season Training Camp all inclusive (including the two races), I did a few centuries before the race. Of course I held the pre-race Social ride a day before the start, so that was my rest for the 12h race. Again a bunch of old and new friends showed up for the ride.
It was also great to welcome dr. Vince of Infinity Bike Seat and his wife Diane to their first Sebring experience. Vince also did some bike fitting for the guys/girls who felt they needed an improvement. And he did my blood testing and we decided to continue with my SPIZ&Fluid nutrition diet for the race. Thank you Vince for your invaluable advice! And for or else that you and Infinity Bike Seat do for me.
Our friend Randy Horton showed up before the race, too, to keep Irma company at crewing. She has done the 12/24h crewing on her own before, but it was good to have some company our there. And for sure we couldn’t have done it without Randy in the Florida500 race, so thank you Randy for sacrificing your time for helping us out.
Another thing I could mention is that the main competitor for the race was kind of known to me as we had our battle before. Two years ago Ryan Collins was a guy who surprised me, after I escaped early and rode solo for most of the race, he caught me back some 9 hours into the race. “Where did this guy come from? And how do I get rid of him?” I was asking myself, before he had to stop for some time for a knee issue. So, that was a victory for me 2 years ago, but since then Ryan has become faster and stronger and the World Champion for 12h TT. And me? Well, I am not getting any faster if you know what I mean…
So I reached to him before the race, as I like him and the way he goes about his cycling passion. The idea was to possibly work together in Sebring to bring down the Course Record (held by me, would you believe it?). Of course, he was in, so that made my Sebring for once a bit less stressful. I wasn’t actually thinking about winning, just go out, have a good time, work your ass off to get the record and who wins isn’t actually important in a great scheme of things.
It was a fun race. We stuck together and with our plan and there was quite a few riders that joined in, especially on the long loop. After that the group thinned down a bit until there were only Ryan and me and a few recumbents. Before the end one of them went ahead and the other John Schlitter stayed with us and gave pretty hard pulls, as we all did. Still it was touch and go for the record, the winds haven’t made it easy for us. Coming to the race track loops we had to work quite hard to make bellow 10 minute laps and have the full three laps count. That meant full gas until the Finish Line where Ryan passed me for a pretty prestigious victory. A well deserved one I might add and this guy is going places if he stays as focused as he is.
Congratulations to Joe Barr for winning the 24h section of the race and to all other riders racing in Sebring. Awesome job everyone!
Marko je postal ambasador kolesarskih svetilk Gaciron. Od lanskega leta uporablja model V9DP-1800, ki jo vidite na fotografiji na Markovem Spiegel Bikes San Marino. Z več kot 6 urami na jakosti 500lm ni boljše za nočno vožnjo.