Tane turned up on Thursday evening for a few days before he heads down to Italy. Today we decided to stretch our legs and took the train to Immenstadt in the morning. After a quick fuel stop (hot chocolate, quark mandarin cake thing, and a chocolate croissant, yum) we headed up the valley from Immenstadt along the Nagelfluhkette/Panoramaweg following a very similar route to the Immenstadt Gebirgsmarathon.
We sweated along for a few hours, climbing and dropping again. The ridge is very narrow in places with good views down into the valley. Eventually we reached the gondola station on Hochgrat and stopped for germknödel, yum yum. The weather snapped from warm to cold-and-windy and we decided to take the gondola down. Unfortunately due to the wind they stopped the gondola and we had to wait an hour or so for a window of less wind before being sent down.
Above left: We set off from Immenstadt after stuffing our faces with delicious goodies from the bakery. Above middle: We headed up the valley and over a number of peaks including Stuiben here. Above right: When it was flat enough we ran.
Above left: Tane did some reading along the way. Above middle: Cris did some posing. Above right: Sometimes we thought we were in Nepal.
Above: The weather turned rubbish and we took the gondola down from Hochgrat. We decided against the German cuisine. There was something wrong with their advertising campaign.
Nagelfluhkette run: Moving time: 3:00:28 Dst: 16.6 km Ascent: 1838 m
Ole and I headed over to Sankt Anton on Saturday. The weather was sweltering and we went for a short ride up Arlberg pass when we arrived to maximise the summer feeling.
Today was the Arlberg Giro. It’s a 148 km race with 2400 m climbing. I first did it in 2012 in horrid rainy weather. Today it was different. The day dawned with nice clear weather and the race started at 7 am. I was placed in the first start block and did some speeding to get into an ok position on Arlberg pass. I couldn’t hold the position though but got into a rhythm where I was climbing about the same speed as the others around me. I ended up at the top of the pass still placed quite ok. It was then a speedy descent followed by more descending down the valley. Unlike last year there wasn’t rain drenching us from above and below.
We slowly climbed to the base of the Bielerhöhe pass climb. The road then spikes up and the ascent really begins. I couldn’t hold any sort of decent pace on the climb and got passed by vast quantities of cyclists including, quite unusually myself. Not many people have passed themselves in a race before and I spent a little while riding behind myself. How is this possible? Well I entered the race in the “semi-pro” category and changed into the “elite” yesterday. Someone (coincidentally named Chris) ended up with my race number and name. Of course the categories are rubbish, and are just for ego boosting…
I rode with a few on the descent and we collected others until we had a good sized bunch. Cris was also in my bunch and I rode with myself for the entire descent. By the end my name was starting to annoy me. Who writes Cris without an ‘H’ anyway? One of these fashionable leave-letters-out-for-uniqueness names, but at least he spells his name with a ‘C’ rather than a ‘K’… it could be worse.
Unfortunately as we turned to ride back up the valley to Sankt Anton my legs failed me and I rode away from myself and had to be content in being beaten by myself (but at least I also beat myself). After dropping out of the bunch I rode alone for a while before my legs came right and I managed to stay with another bunch that came up from behind.
A good race all-in-all. And here are the results.
Above left: I spent some of the race riding on a funny angle. I’m not sure if it was effective or not. Above right: Unfortunately my legs were hampered by the weight they had to drag up the hill and I lost the elite bunch at the bottom of the Bielerhöhe climb. In fact many cyclists streamed by as I slogged up to the pass. Perhaps I should chop off my arms.
Above left: Occasionally I tried cycling on other jaunty angles too. Above right: Despite my legs failing on the climbs I finished in 4:45.06,8 bettering my time from last year by 18 minutes. A bunch picked me up on the last section up the valley to Sankt Anton after leg failure caused me to loose a faster bunch. Here I am trying a crafty sprint around the outside of some of them.
Strava said some stuff:
Arlberg Giro 2013
Time: 4:45.06,8 Dst: 148.9 km Avg: 31.3 km/h Max: 88.6 km/h Ascent: 2436 m Avg Heart: 162 bpm Max Heart: 193 bpm Place: 250/1001