I headed to Zernez in Switzerland on Saturday afternoon with Florian for the Engadin Radmarathon on Sunday. We stayed the night at a little camping ground near a nice river just outside the town. The race started at 7 am. I lined up for the 97 km course and Florian started the 210 km course. Unfortunately I had let the organisers put me in the second bunch despite wanting to start in the first. The race started and we launched straight into a climb. This sorted out the field. I went forward and a bunch of people went backwards. We climbed for the first half an hour or so and I went hard to try and get a good bunch in the bunches that would likely form after the climb. As it flattened off we entered a tunnel and I pushed to catch up to the bunch in front of us.
Once we left the tunnel we turned right and were in Italy and rode along a half covered section. We were surrounded by awesome mountains. I worked hard at the front of the bunch and started the front five or six rotating. We worked together until we finally caught the bunch in front of us. After sometime we started ascending towards Forcolapass (2315 m). I dropped off the pace a bit and the front of the bunch got away. At the top of the pass I put in a big effort to get over. I rode hard on the winding descent hitting 92 km/h. This was enough to catch up to some of the riders in front. We turned right and went straight into the ascent of the Berninapass (2328 m).
The bunch had broken up. I climbed hard but couldn’t seem to keep a good pace. I reached the top and was amused to see people ease off. Instead, I rode hard on the descent and ended up forming a group with three others. We worked well and caught up to a good bunch in front of us. I sat on for the next while and let others work. They didn’t particularly and we just cruised along until a bunch from behind caught us.
People started to get frisky near the end and as we came up to the last few hundred metres I got myself into a good position and broke away from the front of the bunch with a few others. Of course it was completely pointless as we weren’t the first bunch but still… My legs were eager for a good hard sprint and I was positioned well.
We rounded the corner to an intersection. Someone was standing on the intersection shouting “lange Strecke geradeaus, kurze Strecke links” or something similar. My brain slowly translated the German. Too slowly… I continued to ride straight ahead until a split second later I realised my mistake but it was too late… The rest of the 50(?) strong bunch rode the correct way finishing before me. I had to wait until the road was clear and then rode to the finish line. Curse and swear. Curse and swear some more.
My legs had really been looking forward to a nice sprint… So that they weren’t too disappointed I headed back to the camp site and went running in the hills across the river for an hour or so… Meh… How annoying…
The problem with races is that you seldom get good photos… Since I am not so keen to pay 30 CHF for a photo of me racing I’ll have to post this thumbnail instead… Just ignore the advertising and pretend that it is a full size picture.
Above: Me riding up Berninapass in the Engadin Radmarathon. The photo is rather flattering and makes it look like I am leading. I’m not…
Engadin Radmarathon Time: 2:48.59,2 Dst: 97.97 km Avg: 34.81 km/h Max: 92.14 km/h Avg cad: 81