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…

 

CX with La Chemise

As the cyclocross training in Sköndal changed to an earlier time due to the darkness I can’t join them. But I can join La Chemise going at 18.30 from Cykelcity and so I did. La Chemise is Stockholms answer to Jönköpings Jönköpings CK except it’s not open for anyone. But their trainings are.

Rolled in after work and then we rolled back towards the forest and riding the Le Peloton CX-loop. Met up with some other and became a big group. Background fact is that for almost 10 years my idol has been Fredrik Kessiakoff. Riding with style and was a weightweenie going fast for real. Now he’s not racing anymore but riding for fun and he was with us today. A guy that get respect for real and deserves it 🙂 Fun to have seen him on distance just before and now be able to train together, at least in the beginning.

The beginning was hard as I thought but I was there hanging on. In the first climb I dropped Kessiakoff and got passed by one guy but was still hanging in there. Going downhill a little and then you take a shortcut onto a singletrack with a couple of roots to get the closest way to an uphill. A shortcut that always goes well except today. Came to far out to the left, hit a big thing and my front wheel disappeared, went down but not to hard. Fast up again and let the guys behind me away and got back on my bike. Bent brakelever so had to stop after that uphill and straighten it.

Rode alone for a while until I got company from 2 others. A little later from another guy so was 4 guys riding the Erstavik loop together and it felt good. Hard but manageable. Went well until we came back on the bumpy road and went a bit uphill. Dropped a bit there but was able to chase back. Did the end in front of our group and pushed what was left in my legs.

Hard but good and really like to ride fast with others, having a hard time to go hard alone. met up with the rest:

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Awesome test of my new shoes to. Felt good all the way and only thought about them once while I tightened them a bit extra. Just have to be able to push the little extra to hang on the first (or 2nd) group. Pushing limits 😀 At least I got some personal records today so really satisfied:

Map and stats: Strava

Cold enough to wear my long sleeve jersey from Café du Cycliste today too, important to look good on a bike:

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Le Peloton #33 and Kessiakoff

First things first. Today in beautiful weather and first morning in short-short kit for me on Le Peloton. A big group:

Including Johan who took a picture from above:

Big 1st group but was okay to Fisksätra. A bit stiff legs up the last climb there. But on the way back it happened. The front of about 8 riders got away and was a bit lucky with the redlights and we who got dropped wasn’t as lucky. Was around 25 riders that worked pretty good together and in one way it got better. Now the fastest was alone and instead of having a long tail we (the tail) got to work together. Was really hard but was up in front some times until Flaten where I got dropped at 52km/h. Got up at a turn and passed some guys on the last straight 😉 Super hard, super fun, super good training.

And full house at bikecafé Le Mond:

At work we had a bookrelease for Fredrik Kessiakoff’s My Own Race with some cycling as a start. A fun time in the forest with the guy who indirect got me interested in Cannondale, in Pro XC Racing and in lightweight parts:

Talked, answered questions and signed his book. All after some food from a food truck and great talking at Specialized Concept Store Stockholm 🙂

A long but fun day.

Map and stats of Le Peloton: Movescount

the emptiness

of not riding Le Peloton is a bit odd. Today it was supposed to rain all night and day so skipped Le Peloton this morning. Haven’t seen any pictures from it either so maybe it didn’t happen. But the strange thing of not feeling heavy legs on wednesday is a bit strange. When I also forgot to start my watch when I rode to work made the day even more empty. Got a nice lift home so no riding to report of today.

Also forgot to take a picture of my even more colourfull Allez.

Topping with missing the legend of cycling at work.

A day to forget, a day that just passed, a day of waiting, a day of stress. But it’s not worthless, Heard some great bike news, have laughed at work, have fixed a lot of bikes, have invested in the future. 🙂

Ending with a picture of the guy that helped another guy to learn about weight so he could pass the it forward to a young guy like me many years ago:

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The day started trying getting a PR on a Strava segment right outside my door, failed and still fastest with the Roubaix last sunday 😉

Not as many riding Le Peloton today like last week, maybe the weather was the key to that:

On this picture you can see my Swedish idol in mtb. Had the honour to ride with Fredrik Kessiakoff today (for a while). A classy rider that knows how to ride and when I suffered up to Fisksätra today it seemed so easy for him, but worse for some other riders.

Today I rode with the 1st group, rode smart and felt relaxed. Being stressed is never a good thing when you try to push the maximum. Up to the Fisksätra sprint I was in the peloton, not helping but still there. Back to Saltsjö-Duvnäs I got in the wrong lane and ended up in the front for a short while, that’s when I failed. Was a too big effort for me so dropped just before Saltsjö-Duvn’s. But connected when the slowed down to turn and sat as last rider. Hard right up Ektorpbacken and I got dropped for real.

Rode alone to Nacka Forum before the 2nd group came. Joined them for the rest and ended with some PR and some 2nd and 3rd times. Satisfied with the ride and felt that I did my best. But still learning riding good and is trying to be better every ride. 🙂

Back at Le Mond having a good breakfast and looking down at the elite table 😉

Map and stats: Movescount

Going home after work I was a bit in going fast mood so pushed on a bit and got a couple of really good times 😀

Tobias Ludvigsson @ Giro d’Italia

What a stage today. It’s very fun to see someone you know ride Giro d’Italia, but to see someone you know, in his second season at Pro Tour and first Grand Tour step up and show everyone that he’s dangerous is something else. Today Tobias Ludvigsson was in a breakaway and it held, for some riders. Tobias fought well but hard in the end, ended 4th and did an awesome stage! Love it and like he talked about the last times I met him: ”Living the dream”.

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Results by the man himself and last picture by Eskil Laago. If you in some way missed it like I almost did when the connection in church wasn’t the best you can see some good and bad (Kessiakoff crashed) highlights: