The Transcontinental: lets race Europe! #TCRno4

The last weeks leading up to this Friday have been a bit troubling: I have been suffering from a tooth infection which made me feel quite crap the past three weeks so the number of training sessions have been a bit low. Finally discovered the source of my low energy levels and cold symptoms last week, followed by removing two molars last friday. Quite a risk to do surgery a week before heading to Turkey but the day after I already felt a lot better since the infection got a chance to cure. And two teeth out saves me some weight, everything for a faster time! Next to that we all have seen what happened in Turkey: besides the political situation which I already considered when signing up for the race, I have no problem racing through Turkey as long as my safety is not in danger. This isn’t the case and the race director has asked us to prepare an alternative finish in Greece, Alexandroupolis in case the situation changes in the upcoming weeks. I’m really looking forward to cross 12 countries and tackle all the challenges on my way. Route planning has been challenging, especially in the countries where Google Streetview is not present but I’m sure my Mason will take care of me on all the unexpected gravel roads and fight of chasing dogs in Bulgaria 🙂

Checking out Geraardsbergen

While feeling bad I did do my last training: I rode my fully loaded bike to the start line in Geraardsbergen, just 220km. After 70km I was totally done: no power in the legs, cramping and spiritless so I thought about turning around an go back to my bed. Luckily my mind didn’t allowed me to stop and after a coke at a 24/7 gas station I decided I really needed to finish this ride since the TCR will be raced in a similar state but then for over at least 10 days. I left Utrecht at 20:30 and arrived at 05:00 just in time to enjoy an amazing sunset at the top of De Muur, where cycling history has been made:
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Paris Roubaix Challenge – And back to the Netherlands!

Last minute I decided to take over a registration for one of the toughest 1-day cycling challenges you can do in Europe: the 175km Paris-Roubaix Challenge; including 52 kilometres of paved cobble sections. At friday  I took the train to Roubaix via Antwerp: depending on my fatique and the weather I would try to ride back home saving 70EUR of train tickets 🙂 I was able to crash on this beautiful couch the night before, thanks Yuri!

couchsurfing

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Trip: Cycling in Tenerife – El Teide

After spending a week in Mallorca earlier this year, I was curious about Tenerife from a cycling perspective. Pro riders from Team Sky and our own Dutch hero’s Kelderman and Kruijswijk seem to enjoy the island and the weather (almost no seasonal influence) so I booked myself a nice apartment in the small fishers village El Medano in the southern part of the island. Had two great flights (via Madrid) with Air Europa in business class and after picking up my rental car at the Tenerife North  Airport it was an easy 45 minute drive to the southern part of the island via the TF1 highway. Clearly this highway was not suitable for cyclists and I got to learn that later on during the week again…

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Expedition Drenthe200: a 200km mountainbike race

After a few jokes with my coworkers about the crazy idea of spending 200km on a mountainbike during a day in December with unpredictable (probably bad!) weather, I competed in a competition to make chance on one of the last 10 entries into the race. Last week I got an e-mail from the organisers: “you’re in and have to prepare for at least 14 hours of cycling in unpredictable conditions!” Challenge accepted 🙂 There are 400 participants, I have set the goal of finishing within the top 50!

The Drenthe 200 is an ultra marathon for mountainbike, fatbike or cyclecross bike. And yes, you will experience 200 ultra-tough, but very beautiful kilometers running underneath your wheels.

So the first thing I had to take care of was getting a new mountainbike so this weekend I went to the Giant store in Utrecht and came home with this beauty: a Giant XTC Advanced 29er

giant xtc advanced 29er

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