Leonie and I headed over to Sankt Anton on Friday night and at 7:15 am on Saturday morning I was off on my bike with 1400 others for the Arlberg Giro. I was feeling somewhat tired and my legs didn’t seem so strong but despite this I got up Arlberg pass at an ok pace. I lost a few places on the descent until it was just me and two other guys. We worked hard together to catch up to the bunch in front of us of about 40 guys.
Then it was the section towards the Silvretta-Hochalpenstraße. I was feeling a bit rubbish and struggled to hang onto the bunch, but arrived with them at the bottom of the climb to the pass (after we caught up to another bunch in front of us). Then that was that, I stayed still, everyone else rode away. It wasn’t long until the next bunch behind us started to overtake me too, then on one of the corners my bike made a loud bang and I decided I should really do something about my cassette and chain. A few more pedal strokes later and something felt odd. Were my legs really that leaden? I checked my back wheel and found that it was hugely out of true, so much so that the wheel was rubbing against the frame on both sides. And that really was that.
I spent an hour waiting watching people streaming by and decided that I wasn’t really that slow. Then another guy came walking up with a bike without a chain. We decided to walk up the pass a bit. Long story short, he managed to get a ride sorted from his hotel. I put my bike on my back and started running up the pass before getting a lift with two lads in their pick-up. The motorbike officials called the race organisers, and they put a message out to Leonie at the finish line that I needed picking up. A bit of waiting and the lovely Leonie was there to rescue me. A knight in shining armour, except kind of the wrong way round. Anyway… Not an ideal race but at least my spoke didn’t break on the descent, and as my legs were feeling cooked on the second climb already, I probably would have lost quite a few places.
Above: Waiting for the race to start in Sankt Anton.
Arlberg Giro 2014 – 148 km / 2400 m DNF