Arlberg Giro 2015

Leonie, Markus, and I headed to Sankt Anton on Saturday afternoon. The weather forecast was bad but we hoped that it was going to be wrong. We collected our race packs and set up camp.

After a very short sleep Markus and I got up at 4:30 am and got ready for the race. The weather forecast was unfortunately right. It was raining lightly. We rode to the start line in the dawn light and at 6 am we set off. Instead of riding like crazy at the start I concentrated on not falling off on the wet road. I rode up Arlberg Pass slower than usual and at the top the horror became apparent. Steady rain and fog. I descended at 40 km/h and could see very little.

Had an ok but slower than usual bunch going to the Bielerhöhe ascent. As usual my legs died on the ascent and I lost huge numbers of places. It didn’t help that I dropped my pump and went for a pee twice but even without the 2 minutes lost there, I would have lost the group.  My legs seemed to be particularly poked this year as I was 8 minutes slower in the ascent than in 2013.

It was 11 degrees at the pass. Another slow descent and then I collected a few people and we formed a bunch of four. The descent from Bielerhöhe is always fun and I still had some fun on the gently descending sections this year.

Another bunch caught us up shortly before the final ascent to Sankt Anton. This time I didn’t get dropped on the the ride up the valley and cruised with them to the finish line where I snuck across in second place in our bunch. Still I was considerably slower than 2013 (25 minutes) but perhaps I can blame the weather, it being the first race of the season, being in hospital, not riding much this season, and getting older. It’s always good to have a healthy list of excuses ready. Finished in 5 hours 10 officially.

Markus had a very good race finishing in 5:28. Leonie was waiting at the finish line.

Perfect weather (Arlberg Giro 2015)Riding (Arlberg Giro 2015)

Above left: Here’s a nice example of the weather we had. Above right: The weather looks quite ok here but it’s all a trick. It stopped raining for the ride up the valley to Sankt Anton at the end of the race, which the event organisers have chosen to publish on their website.

Sprint finish (Arlberg Giro 2015)After the race (Arlberg Giro 2015)

Above left: I had a nice sprint at the finish line. Above right: Having some food at the finish line.


Results

Arlberg Giro 2015: 5:10:09 148 km 348/942 finishers overall, 2400 m climbing

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