Sadly the 130 km short course of the Tannheimer Tal Radmarathon has been demoted to an RTF thanks to some poor cycling from the participants in previous years…
But that was the only sad thing.
The “race” was good fun and unlike the Saentis Classic they still had timing. So at 6:40 am Leonie, Markus, and I cycled down to the start line from our campsite at Haldensee. They had changed the course somewhat this year and we headed off on a small winding road joining the main road later for the normal descent to Pfronten. I rode up the front in the first bunch and unlike previous years the start was far less hectic. I expect what happened is that the letters RTF scared off the speedy people.
Unusually, I spent time at the front on the descent and then again on the flat after the descent. At the right hand turn onto the small bike path after 40 km or so I was well placed with the first few people and didn’t have problems like previous years with slow pokes creating gaps to the front. Instead I attacked on one of the climbs and rode off the front and bridged the gap with the help of another guy to another rider who was already off the front.
It wasn’t long until we were hauled in though. This was the second break that I had been in that didn’t get away for long.
After the turn around there, were in the space of a few minutes, three very close calls involving riders near me in the bunch. I stayed at the front though and when we joined the main road I powered along with the first few riders down the valley. We ended up with a large bunch that road together to the last climb back into Tannheimer Tal.
I emptied my second drink bottle before the climb and started climbing in what I counted as 8 th position. Unlike previous years my legs didn’t feel like dead weights or feel like they would cramp as the climb began. I was surprised to see that I was holding my position and the rest of the bunch was falling off somewhere behind. I slowly caught up to a rider in front of me and we worked hard to close the gap to another to in front of us.
On the slight descent before the last section of the climb I towed the rider behind me along before I motioned for him to pass me and he started pulling. Unfortunately my calf muscles began to cramp up so that I had to slow down and ride with a dropped heel. The other rider passed me and rode off towards the two in front. I managed to ride through the cramping and just managed to get on the back before the climb finished.
We then rode up the valley at a reasonable pace all taking turns at the front. In the last 3 km we could see another rider in front of us and one of the guys began to get excited that we might catch him. Disappointed that we didn’t share his idea (I certainly wasn’t going to sit at the front and pull longer than expected) he rode off the front. I got on his wheel with another guy and he towed us towards the turn off to the finishing chute. At the turn I wasn’t far behind and at the straight to the finish line I dug in and passed the enthusiastic rider. Unfortunately a few seconds behind the guy we had been trying to catch.
A good “race”. I’m not really sure how the maths worked out but somehow I ended up in 8th place after coming in at the front of the group I had ridden with up the valley. I met Angela at the finish line after vanishing back to the camp site for a bit and Markus crossed the finish line half an hour later. About 20 minutes after that Leonie crossed the finish line. Both with very respectable times.
The weather had been very good. Quite hot but not so hot that it affected the ride, I thought. We packed up at the camp site and the rain came shortly after as we drove home, arriving back in sunshine in Lindau.
As it was only an RTF the results were only published in alphabetical order. Boo.
Above: We set off at 7am in sunny weather on a slightly changed 130 km course. Unfortunately the event had also been degraded to RTF. No, not Rich Text Format, something like a fun ride rather than a race. I’m lurking in orange in the picture. Above right: I started near the front and worked up into the front bunch before being chased by older men.
Above left: They had altered the start so that it began with a narrow road through nice meadows. Good job. Above right: The “race” went well, as you can see I’m still grinning on the climb back into Tannheimer Tal… This was just before my legs cramped horribly…
Above left: The more you grit your teeth the faster you go. Plus it allows you to pip other riders on the line (mysterious shadow behind me). Above right: By the look of it Leonie ground the men around her into dust as she stomped her way up the hill. But then again, perhaps I’m mistaken, my eyes aren’t what they used to be.
Above: Leonie was all concentrated determination… or something.
Above left: Apparently she attracted a fan club of men, well a man, eager to ride behind her and admire the view. Myess… bottom. Above right: Leonie looked far too fresh as she crossed the line. Not a lot of teeth gritting going on there.
Above left: There was time to look pleased with ourselves after the race. Above right: And some time to do some posing with Leonie.
Above left: Our bikes needed a rest after the race. Above middle: And we were definitely in need of some kaiserschmarrn, which isn’t really surprising because it’s always a good time to eat kaiserschmarrn. Above right: We headed back to the campsite later, packed everything into the cars, and left as it began to pour with rain catching a good portion of the competitors who had entered the long course. Muhahaha.
Tannheimer Tal Radmarathon 2014 – 130 km / 930 m 3:22:42 Avg 38.45 km/h 8th place
Splits 1:29:52 2:01:49 2:25:52 Transponder 03:22:42 | Gun time 03:22:52