Arlberg Giro 2019

This year we were treated to a cool but dry start and a sunny and warm finish. The conditions were almost perfect. The race went quite ok but I was a bit slower compared with last year although perhaps this was within the variability you can expect from one year to the next due to things like bunches etc.

My legs were alright on Arlberg Pass and I had a good group up the valley towards the climb up to Biehlehohe. As usually happens though, my legs died on the climb and I was quite slow. It looks like the timing mats weren’t working for the climb as there isn’t anything  listed in the results for this stretch but I guess it took a little over an hour to ascend. My legs just didn’t seem to have any zing. Maybe the longer week of cycling at the Giro delle Dolomiti had something to do with it. It’s a bit demotivating having other cyclists zooming past but it has sometimes been worse in previous years.

At the top of the climb I stopped and grabbed something to eat before descending. I was somewhere in the middle between bunches. There was nobody around. I had had a large bunch on the way to the climb but that had got away. So I rode alone for maybe 15 km(?) before a couple of guys caught up and then later a few more. We had about 15 in the group as we neared the end of the descent.

I usually suffer on the ride up the valley but perhaps I had had time to recover on the descent and the pace up the valley seemed slower than usual. Unfortunately a few km before the finish a huge group caught up and we rode with them to the finish. My legs were so flat that I couldn’t do my usual sprint over the finish line and came in at the back of the group. Still my time wasn’t awful. I measured something like 5 hours 2 minutes but the official time was faster. This was because they neutralised about 6km of the descent after Arlberg Pass due to roadworks. This removed about 15 minutes of the race and meant I descended more slowly than normal. So between this and the slow descent from Biehlehohe I may have lost perhaps 15 minutes meaning I would have had the same time as last year. So all-in-all it wasn’t a bad performance just that I felt I should have been faster on the Biehlehohe climb and was hoping I might be a bit fitter this year.

I didn’t hang around long after the race. I packed up my tent at the campsite in Pettneu and caught the train back to Lochau.

Cris before the race (Arlberg Giro 2019)Brochure (Arlberg Giro 2019)

Above left: This year I was alone at the race. I took the train from Lindau and stayed at the campsite in Pettneu. Here I am at the race registration. Above right: I’ve ridden the Arlberg Giro a lot, almost every year since 2012.

Camp 2 (Arlberg Giro 2019)Camp 3 (Arlberg Giro 2019)

Above left: The campsite in Pettneu is near a small stream. Above right: Each year I take a picture similar to this one.

At the finish line (Arlberg Giro 2019)

Above: Dancing girls have been a feature at the finish line for the last few years. I’m not sure whether that’s a good thing.

Arlberg Giro 2019 Time: 4:47:29,4 (6km less than usual) Place Overall: 286 / 1355 Place Category: 70 / 277

Arlberg Giro 2019 Results

Dreilaender Giro 2019

I rode the Dreilaender Giro on Sunday. As we entered late, only the B Strecke was available but it’s still a good challenge and is 120km/3000m. I was put in the second start block but Leonie was unfortunately put into the 4th.

Eruope was in the middle of a heat wave and the 6 am start was actually quite good. The race starts in Nauders and we headed over the Reschenpass and down to Prad am Stilfserjoch. Our average speed shortly before the township was 42.8 km/h due to the long flowing descent from the Reschenpass. After Prad the long long ascent to Stelvio began. It’s something like 1800 m. I was happy with how my legs went. I climbed at an ok pace not being passed by too many people. My heart rate remained reasonably low during the climb at around 160-ish which was probably good, although it means I could have ridden faster with the risk of blowing out later on. There was still snow beside the roads in patches but it was warm while riding up.

I rode over the summit and the start of the ride down as much cooler, almost a bit cold. There was much more snow on this side. I passed a few guys on the ride down and then I worked with a small group as we descended more gradually back into the valley. The final part of the race was the ride back up to the Reschenpass but on an old side road. The course turned onto a cycle way and by that stage I just had one guy who had better legs in front of me who towed me towards the top of the pass. We had a few people on the last downhill to the finish line and we worked together smashing along around 50 km/h. The finish was suddenly there and I crossed it without any need to sprint.

I waited for Leonie to finish but missed her crossing the finish line. She drove back to our bakingly hot camp site in Pfunds and I cycled back the 10 km downhill. She had placed again so we went to the prize giving in the afternoon. She had got 3rd place in her category and had won the cup trophy. Her boyfriend Christian had placed first overall on the short course.

Dreilaender Giro 2019

Time: 4:42:19.9 Dst: 120 km/3000 m Cat place 25/103 finishers. Overall 66/638 finishers.

Results:

Dreilaender Giro 2019 – Ergebnisliste (nach Klasse) – Netto – Vinschgau (mit ZW)

Dreilaender Giro 2019 – Ergebnisliste (Overall) – Netto – Vinschgau (mit ZW)

TdK 2019 – 6 – Berg(zeit)fahren

Today was the last stage of the Tour de Kärnten for 2019. It was reasonably successful.

The format this year was different compared with the last few years. In the past we have started either in small groups or alone and the course was a pure hill climb. This year it was essentially a short road race with a hill climb to the finish line. Not that this was a bad thing.

As usual, we started neutralised from Ossiach. We headed to Feldkirchen and then took a left taking the same ascent from the Dach der Tour. The first 35km were the same until we reached the hill climb. A sharp left turn and we started climbing.

My strategy for the stage had been not to go too hard to start with as I thought my legs would probably blow up on the climb. So I rode at a moderate pace on the first climb and stuck with a bunch through to the last climb. I bridged a gap at one point but otherwise didn’t do any work.

This proved to be a good tactic as my legs weren’t in bad shape for the last 700 m of ascent. I was feeling like a tasty pie or perhaps a banana could help me but since none were available I made do with my caffeine filled jubes. I rode to the front of the bunch as the climb began. I was worried my legs would die halfway up and the bunch would flow past me again but I got into a good rhythm and started to pass many people. I caught up to a group that must have been the remains of the next bunch and slowly passed them too. Good times.

The road became much steeper, 16 percent according to my cycle computer. I kept puffing my way up. I could see snow further up and it was starting to get a little cooler. The 1000 m sign appeared and then after more panting the 500 m sign. I tried to sprint across the finish line but it was pretty pitiful. Still, I was quite pleased with my effort.

There was snow near the finish line and on the hills. The sun was out though and it was surprisingly warm. I rolled back down after a short break. There was a large group waiting at the bottom of the climb and I jumped on the cycle train heading back to Ossiach getting there in half the time it had taken to ride the stage.

And with that the Tour de Kärnten was over for 2019. It seemed to go quite quickly this time around. I didn’t seem to feel as tired this year. Maybe it was the cooler weather… or did I just ride more slowly.

Tour de Kärnten 2019 Stage 6 Bergzeitfahren

Time: 02:03:50.1 Dst: 41.9 km Place: 180  Cat place: 87