Waking up while knowing you could have a easy warm-up by descending 80 kilometres into Italy was good for the mind. After 60km I bumped into the Belgian TCR veteran Rudy Rollenberg and we agreed that we deserved some fresh cake, coffee and coke. Felt good being able to talk Dutch and exchange a few thoughts about the race.
4 days have passed since I left Geraardsbergen and the upcoming hours would determine the outcome of the race. Since I knew it would be a tough and long day in the mountains I got a few hours of extra sleep and made use of the hotel breakfast. I knew many riders were already up and tackling the first pass of the day. For me, the dots on the Trackleader maps were targets for the upcoming 24 hours. The scenery was awesome and within two hours I had finished one of the steepest climb of my route towards Turkey: the main part averaging 11% over 7 kilometres was conquered. Holy sh*t, that was tough on legs. I was literally crawling, meter by meter getting closer to the summit. At 60rpm, 9-10km / hour I was happy my knees didn’t break down.
It’s over 8 weeks ago and finally found some time to start writing a few lines about my experiences and more important, my learnings for next races. After finishing, I immediately knew I would race again, no doubt whatsoever. In the past few weeks I’ve been medically struggling: during the trip to Turkey I managed to pick up some parasites and a tinea pedis (athlete’s foot) and to finish it up I had multiple surgeries to my mouth removing my last wisdom tooth including a benign tumour. That’s done so time to reflect on the most intensive two weeks I have ever experienced.
Sometimes life gets a bit boring and you need a decent challenge to take everything out of it. After having some great experiences last summer, making solo trips of 250km and more I decided to take the next step. As a former 300m sprint specialist I could never imagine I would like hours after hours on my bike, but I did!
The Transcontinental Race 2016 #TCRNO4
At the end of July 2016 I’ll compete in a race across Europe*: starting in Belgium and finishing in Turkey. This results in around 3900-4000 kilometers of Europe’s finest asphalt, combined with around 60.000 meters of climbing. Like in the old days of the Tour de France: one stage and the clock never stops, riders are averaging 400+ km’s / day, no support vehicles, no support teams, no rules. Just 4 checkpoints in between. People that know me, know I’m fit for it psychologically so the biggest challenge will be getting my body in shape during the next 9 months.
On this blog I’ll share all the challenges I will face during route planning, dieting, training, equipment choices, what to pack and which legal issues I have to take care of during my journey. Follow me via Twitter @jbobbink or add me on Facebook
*Only 250 people of approximately 350 people will be able to actually contest. If I’m not assigned to one of the 250 spots on the roster, I’ll be racing across the United States, West to East coast.