Vätternrundan with Skoda Cycling Team

When things just work, without hazzle and without seen stress. Then you know the planning has been good. Skoda Cycling Team and Vätternrundan is such a thing. Friendly people with things under control, trusting that you also got things under control.

Travelled by bus Saturday morning all together and when arriving in the centre of Motala the bikes where there and the numbers got handled out. Checked the bikes, got dressed and rolled down to the exhibition centre for photos, like selfies with the Pro’s:

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Back to the bus to fuel up, fill up and get ready. Meeting Henrik

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and be cool with Glenn:

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Start ready on time, cheered on by Madde:

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I was one of the last riders rolling through the start on this 20000+ event. Felt a bit cool. Easy in the beginning with a locked train. Got rolling after 10min it felt good. Was going around and taking my turns and it felt well disciplined but not too serious. Down in the tail once but it felt harder so went around again.

Even had time to take photos in Uppgränna:

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A short stop after Gränna where the shoe covers went off and we got company by Tobias Ludvigsson to Kaxholmen. Climbs where I been dead before felt great and I could keep up going fast downhill. So cool riding in a 30+ group with everyone looking the same and with riders like Calle Friberg and Henrik Sparr who doesn’t seem to get tired 😉

Through Jönköping and up Trånghalla feeling great. Down Bankeryd flying and then the first stop. 5min stop with new bottles and Enervit energy. All prepared by the team and all bags the same so no need to look for a certain one. Back on the bike and it felt wise to stay a bit in the tail as it was 180km left.

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Warm and hard and it felt like it went a bit too fast for me taking turns. Tried to keep the tail straight. Took 3 turns the next 90km to the next stop. Now just water in the bottles, a coke and more gels and I was ready, felt more under control than last stop.

The last part where we were ahead of schedule felt good. And the finish got closer and closer. Happyride.se took some nice pictures:

And then the thing happens that always happens. Around 20km left and everyone wanted to be finished. Felt like the tempo went but everyone hanged on and everyone got a bit more happy 😉

Finished at 7h27min (18min faster than the target)

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Happy and really tired, also had a bit of a problem to stand straight 😉

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Map and stats: Strava

After high fives, hugs and some champagne we took our bus to the hotel for dinner and talking about salt, cramps and strange things from Skåne. Massage and breakfast today before we went back to Stockholm again.

An Awesome weekend with great people and a team behind with Skoda making it so easy. 😀 And so impressed with some riders be able to ride so fast and make it look so easy. Maybe some day I can also be such a rider…

 

Lida Loop

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Had a nice setup for todays race 🙂 Very relaxed before the start.

The start up a small skislope went very much under control and much easier compared to Långa Lugnet and Billingeracet. Then it was 9km with runningtracks on gravel, fast, fast and fast. Felt ok and think I had some more speed than before today 🙂 Not the fastest on the singletrack but did my best and first and 2nd loop went. In the end of the 2nd loop I was riding the startslope and turned left, onto some gravel and lost my bike… Took down some tape, got some wounds and messed up my mind.

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3rd loop felt same as for 2 years ago, just get in your mind and get through as fast as possible. Tired and hurt a bit from the crash.

Finished after 2h48min and it got me a 35th place in Men 30, 188 overall.

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Feeding by Patrik today, awesome 🙂

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And maybe I looked a bit fast a couple of times:

Pictures by Patrik, David, Happyride.se, Johan, Jaime and Rickard 😀

Thanks everyone for a great event

Map and stats: Strava

Tempo di Grindsjön

Had a day off work today and usually I’m riding far and enjoying life then. Wasn’t possible in the rain today and as my friend Emil would ride the time trial in the Stockholm road Cup I joined. Less mileage but great training and no need to be out in the rain too long 😉 A time trial with regular roadbikes without tt bars and disc wheels, called Folktempo in Swedish. On a great square course.

I haven’t been feeling so fast lately and it seems like I get passed by many so wasn’t so sure how I would perform today. Not so good getting warm in rain either. A Café du Cycliste merino baselayer underneath my Specialized S-Works Evade GC Skinsuit made the work and it felt perfect and fast all loop 😀 Also borrowed a pair of Roval CL64 disc wheels from work to get some aero advantage 😉 Thought they got a bit heavy when I rode them last year but for a time trial they was awesome 🙂

So everything went according to plan. I maybe could have ridden a bit faster in a couple of sections but wanted to finish too :p

Ended with a slide:

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And managed to get 12th in Men B 🙂 Emil who I went there with also came 12th, but in the A class 🙂 A conversation about wattage all the way home 😉

Results can be found here: Tempo di Grindsjön

Map and my Stats here: Strava

Långa Lugnet

2nd race in the Swedish XCM Cup today and John convinced me (pretty easy) to join so we left Stockholm for Falun yesterday and our superb apartment.

Early at the start today putting our bikes first, talking feeding the 2 guys helping us with bottles. And got som suncream by Emil Lindgrens wife to save my arms from getting burned. Also got a tip from Emil (that didn’t work with my shape).

I may not be the most competitive person but I always push extra on races and like riding fast. Mostly aiming to get a good time, beat my old ones if I have and hopefully beat some friends, like Ronnie who seems to be pretty equal to me 🙂 He started in front of me today and didn’t see him at all.

Got a good start and up Mördarbacken I felt my 8kg bike made a difference, a climbers bike for sure 🙂 Then it came fast gravel and I lost places, really need to get better going fast on my mtb. my old colleague Jaime came up to me on a singletrack and we rode together on a gravel road. Wasn’t happy seeing him as I want to be faster but a great guy 🙂 Accidentally dropped the group on the next climb…

Wasn’t so fast on my hardtail on the flat singletracks with a lot of roots and rocks but nice places to ride. Felt good when descending, not as affected by not having a rear damper then I think. Rode as fast as I could but after around 40km it felt like I was standing still. 20km to go, just like at Billingen but it was longer.

Had a thought of stop the race a couple of times but can’t when I just felt slow. Kept on riding and then the last of the 3 loops came. Some handbuilt singletracks and wide forest roads for climbing and descending. The climbs started to feel good again and the others seem to start get tired. I started to pass people, it felt fun 🙂 Down a rocky descend the bike felt awesome, up some gravel. and onto a small singletrack with motivation and speed at the right place. Felt smooth but hit a rock with my rear wheel and the hole was there. Sealant streamed out and fast off my bike. Shifter to the smallest cog, off with the clutch and got the axle out with my multitool I had in my rear pocket. Off with one side of the tire and put the tubeless valve in my rear pocket. Opened my Swat box and took out my sparetube. Into the tire and fast mounted it again. In with my Co2 (first time) and it popped. Back on the bike and started chasing again. Adrenaline chock and in some way it was fun fixing a flat fast and not just think about it.

Chased a bit then the adrenaline got down and I mostly tried to survive the last 5km. Fun last part but did some bad cornering 😦 Onto the stadium at Lugnet and one last u-turn before the sprint and finish. Pouff and I had a rear flat again 😦 Didn’t care and kept the speed as high as possible to the finishline 😉 S-Works tires are fast even without air inside :p

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Had a thought of 3h, ended at 3h5min but it was enough to a 32st place, 5 spots better than Billingeracet in Men 30 🙂

Map and stats: Strava

And an Idolpicture for you: Me and John, the finishers today in Specialized Concept Store CK:

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Jennie Stenerhag and Michael Olsson won!

Le Peloton #159 and Djursholms GP

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Started yesterday, Tuesday with riding fast out to an island and back.

Then after work me and Patrik rode out with our fast colleague Oliwer to Djursholm to cheer on him and watch the Crit racing. Awesome racing on a nice course (yes I tried it)

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SCS in the sun, by Jonas Rodny 🙂

The Men racing (women just on my Insta story):

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No victory for SCS CK or Sumo but well done and fun to see. It’s getting better and better for Oliwer too which is great to see. And the power of Emil a.k.a. The Speed Lunatic is awesome 😀

Home and got too little sleep before this mornings Le Peloton:

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Tried to dope with the Sumo jersey:

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It worked a little in the beginning than my left leg got stiff again. Turned around in Fisksätra and rode easy spinning back. Caught by the first group again, took a turn up Hellas and then just tried to hang on. A successful fail I would say about that ride, want to go with them all the way and take more turns. Want to push harder and get the heart work faster like I know it can…

Map and stats: Strava

Then we had a nice breakfast in perfect weather at Le Mond 🙂

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Instead of put the bikes outside and sit inside we did the opposite. Some with better parkings than others:

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Långa Billingeracet

In some way this is my favorite XC Marathon race. It got great atmosphere, many friends, awesome climbs and some beautiful flowy trails. Went down to Skövde yesterday with my teammate John and Mattias to stay at my sister 🙂 1st class.

Not even 5min riding to the start this morning which was perfect but maybe not the warm-up you needed 😉

It all started with a asphaltclimb that went into the forest halfway and I tried to take it a bit easy. Here was also the first time I noticed my easiest gear 34-36 wasn’t working at all. 34-32 as easiest for the rest. Felt good in the beginning except I didn’t have to power on the flat gravelsections or the gearing. Tried to hang on some groups but dropped a bit, got back up when it was going uphill 😉

The trails in Öglunda was amazing and my bike felt really good. The Fox fork works like a dream and I really like the geometry of my bike (and weight). The gravelclimb up after Öglunda went really good with a good flow 🙂

Up on Billingen I got a new bottle from my sister and then it came a really long singletrack part, was a bit hard on my hardtail. Down on the other side on some gravelroads and some great green singletrack felt nice.

Then the longest part, the singletrack section including some crocodiletracks :p which takes a lot of energy without any rest. Started to feel my back and after 57km it started to hurt. Was riding slow (according to a friend I rode with for a while) and a lot of stretching so dropped from some groups.

Finally the end came, 2 climbs which went much better than I hoped for with my back. 8kg bike makes difference and on the first climb I rode with 34-28 gearing and it felt great passing a couple of riders too. A bit singletrack down and some asphalt before the last climb, Strupen. Knew how it was but didn’t remember it got steeper and steeper. 34-32 in the end and standing up trying to have grip and passed some more riders.

It all ended in a small spring with me and a guy riding in a different class so I let him win 😉

Finished 34th in my category and 127th overall. 3h31min so 19min better than my earlier record 😀 Really tired but satisfied.

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Here you can see who’s the fastest :p

And Mattias who never been riding so far rode 5min faster than me:

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Like Benny Andersson said, a hardtail wasn’t perfect for the course. But I couldn’t have asked for more fun on my Specialized Epic HT, really nice with a SWATbox too so I didn’t have to carry a spare tube and pump in my jersey:

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Always improvements to make but as this bike is what I want to have I have to make the improvements on my body instead 😉

Map and stats: Strava

Emil Lindgren and Jennie Stenerhag won!