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!

Soon racing time

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Memories from old and not so old times gets back to you when it’s time to race some awesome races again. The 13th May is it time for the XCM Långa Billingeracet again, didn’t race it last year as I failed but this picture is from 2015. A sunny day where I did a good race and met a lot of old friends and nice people, a day I still remember. Have been riding 30000km since that day, hopefully I will be a bit faster 🙂 And my Epic is a couple of kilos lighter than the Camber was, but with less comfort.

The day after it’s the Nordic XC Championships for Masters and an UCI race for the fast guys in Vårgårda. I did the race latest in 2010. Started in front of the 2016 U23 World Champion Jenny Rissveds:

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But she passed me pretty fast in the mud, like most of the others 😉 Thomas Rissveds got another good picture of me then too:

Vårgårda mtb

Looking forward 😀

Långa Billingeracet

Thought about blogging yesterday but didn’t have anything to say really. But today I have. Went down to Skövde yesterday with the best team (SCS Racingteam) to race the first race in the Swedish XCM cup today. Långa Billingeracet is my favourite I think as it’s 3 nice climbs up the mountain Billingen, it has some technical singletrack and a lot of flowy trails. A great mix of terrain that makes you just wish to lay down and die in the last climb.

I had some goals today, maybe didn’t mention everyone before but in my mind I always have goals. Have a hard time fight and ride hard when sometimes being alone if I don’t have goals. So today:

Biggest and hardest goal was a Personal Record in time: Time to beat 3h48min.

2nd was to beat an old friend Fredrik Winberg.

3rd was to beat the two fast girls I was travelling with, Jessica and Carolin.

4th was to beat a good customer Johan R who beat me at Lidingöloppet.

Fredrik was like usual before not as good as I am so it was easy. Johan R passed me in the first climb but I had a good pace. Went hard the first 10km and when I was alone on a long gravel section another old friend named Johan G caught me. We rode together for a while and even had time for a chat about where he lived now and so on. (like Billingeracet extra because you meet so many nice friends) He dropped me in the forest a bit later. But then another guy caught me and did a huge job letting me sit on his wheel. Daniel who was raceleader at the National XCO last year and a guy that dropped me many times training with my old club Jönköpings CK. The sad thing was that he flew over his bars in a downhill section and then I was alone again.

Found a good group to ride with and rode together more or less for around 20km which was really good. Including Johan G who lost the group in the end. I passed people and I had learnt that I had to find people and groups to ride with so did some efforts joining people to get the speed up and the effort down. Tried to ride smart, and as fast as I could.

After like 50km my legs started to feel bad, started to think I would get cramps but I held it in schack and rode as fast as I could but not too fast. Enjoyed the trails except the ones with a lot of mud. Felt happy about the sunny weather and that my bike worked perfect.

In the second last climb trying to get one specific wheel I passed a guy that always win over me at Keps Cup earlier this year and it gave me a boost. A boost which I really needed in the last climb called Strupen. It is steap and I never thought I would manage to ride up. But I know how it is to ride on the lowest gear and the feeling of almost not going forward after living in Bergen so I never gave up. I even missed to gear to my lowest gear so rode 34-36 up the climb and seeing the end was maybe the best feeling this year 😀

But failed with the time, 3h51min today but the course is a bit longer than when I rode at 3h48min (2007) and more mud today. Was satisified and it can be a really great cycling year this year 😀

And finish and meeting this guy was awesome deluxe. Axel Lindh from SCS Racing Team won!!! today and he was absolutely worth it. So happy for him:

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Men elite:

1. Axel Lindh – SCS Racingteam

2. Mikael Flockhart – CK Norrtälje/Pedalogerna.com

3. Lars Bleckur – Cykloteket Racing Team

Women elite:

1. Emmy Thelberg – Härnösands CK

2. Ivanda Eiduka – Kvänums IF

3. Sandra Backman – Team Rudy Project – Suunto/CKX

4. Cecilia Thomasson – Östersunds CK

5. Jessica Clarén – SCS Racingteam

6. Carolin Holmqvist – SCS Racingteam

Me, I got 37 in Men 30+, would have ended 36th if I had ridden in men elite.

Map and stats: Movescount and all results: Billingeracet 2015

And last but not smallest. My biggest thanks to the guy helping everyone with driving, collection clothes, feeding and so on. Jaime Palou is the man!!!

running for Axel:

the car of the weekend: