Yesterday was the world cup finals in Schladming Austria. I have been here all week drooling over the endless amount of epic exploring that is to be had here. I am here to race my bike around a 5.5km course for six laps chasing other crazy fit dudes wearing tights. The course is a real "hilly cross race", it isn't very technical, but it is a course of pure fitness. I had a solid start jamming hard with the rest of the 180 men. The sky was blue, the temp was strangely warm and that was different than what weather we have had for the past week and a half.
Lap 1 I felt decent, passing a couple riders at each opportunity. I went into lap two feeling much better, taking more and more riders all the time. Almost at the end of the second lap, some anaerobic dude crashed in front of me, I slowed down to avoid piling into him, when some other anaerobic dude came barreling by me crashing into the dude who was scrambling to his feet and he had to put a foot onto my chain almost taking my rear derailleur out. I got untangled from the mess and got going ahead of the guys that were literally killing them selves to be where they were. A couple of minutes later I noticed my chain starting to come apart. Ummmhmmm, you have got to be kidding me? Why, and how is this happening? I felt good and was moving through a solid field of riders. I didn't really know what to do? My bike was still pedaling, but the chain was getting really bad starting the third lap, which was just after I noticed something was wrong. I finally blew it apart on one of the steep climbs and scrambled to get it fixed. Now as many of you may know, one of the hardest things to fix while under race conditions is your chain. Especially when you loose your power link in the long grass. I even had the camera men helping me look for it. We (me and the camera men) were then resorted to trying to put a old pin back in the chain. It was freaking hard and my hands were shaking way to much. I suddenly got spooked by the silent battery operated dirt bike, as he all of a sudden appeared behind me and gave me the option to either run the whole lap or dnf. I started to run, all 4km of the course. I finished, chainless and all, running the climbs and coasting the descents. I was honestly bummed about the ordeal. Like I have said before, Mechanicals suck, they suck less when you are having a off or hurting day and really freaking suck when you feel good.
Next up was a big day on Sunday following a OK night of beer and wine. Peter and I just got back from a mountain climbing day, which entailed a 4000ft vertical 1.5hr ride up to the point where we hid our bikes and changed into running shoes. We then ran another 1200ft vertical to the to of some mountain that I cannot and probably will never be able to pronounce. It was a great view and fun day out. I am now slouched here on my computer surrounded by euro smoke at a great little outdoor cafe on round two of a delicious tasting cappuccino.
I really wish yesterday went a bit better, but that's the way it goes.