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…

 

200km Brevet

I did my 3rd Randonneur ride today. First one was 1,5 year ago in the middle of the winter. A long long snowy day riding alone around Mälaren. 2nd was last year on my birthday when Sumo Cycling Club smashed a ride from Uppsala with an average of over 34km/h for 200km, but with a bit too long stops and sadly a crash.

Today was a classic ride which many of my friends have done before, Slottsrundan (castleloop) in Sörmland starting in Östertälje. I missed it last year but today on Sweden’s National Day which of course is sunny seemed perfect 🙂

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Got there with my Sumo club with El Gringo, The Joker and the The Dictator.

It all started in a very big group with like 30-40 riders and it was a bit too big. El Gringo thought of attacking and the Dictator wanted the same. Passing Vagnhärad it was an attack and some stopped, a bit messy but they tried to make the group smaller. Dropped a few but not so much. After the first stamp/castle and we turned right into tailwind it changed quiet a bit. El Gringo went up in the front and just smashed it, one line behind and not so many wanted to help out with the pace 😉 People got dropped and into Gnesta we where a fine little group. Stopped at Circle K for some water and a guy complained at the speed, hmm, nothing said about it.

Another group passed but they stopped for Pizza in Gnesta. We started riding again with mostly known people for me. Really fun. Mats got some attacks, a couple of signsprints and we lived life 😀

South of Mariefred where we turned to Åker Styckebruk the road got very undulating and while Sebastian was really strong on the climbs not everyone was.

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In Åker Styckebruk we lost the Dictatotor and El Gringo and the Joker stopped to wait for him. I continued to get some more help from the 1st group.

Ended up at Malsåker castle:

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Back over the water in Stallarholmen and stopped at a gas station.

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The other Sumos wasn’t so far behind so we met up. Johan was pretty tired so me and him waited while the group I rode with before went to finish the ride. Johan was still tired after the break so he rode alone from Mariefred. Just the SUMO group back together:

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El Gringo keeping the pace right, The Joker and me pushed the tempo a bit too high for the Dictator. Have to live up to my name (The Lightweight Lizard) on the climbs you know 😉

A nice pace straight back to Östertälje and the ride was over. me and the Joker celebrated like you should a sunny summer day 😉

Map and stats: Strava

The funny thing is today felt alright, I had no problems with going around (mostly) and take my turn. Compared to last autumn where I more or less just tried to hang on as I thought the pace was to high. Same speed today, more climbing and less good teamwork. Feels good 🙂

Some may think that you shouldn’t ride Brevet this fast but why not. Everyone in the final group today was happy about the speed I think, otherwise they should have dropped to another group 😉 And short stops makes it easier to get back on the bike 🙂

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

Le Peloton #158

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Many degrees, many cyclists 😀 Record this year with around 60 cyclists.

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so many but no ambassadors so I stepped up trying to say something about riding safe, following traffic rules and so on.

It started ok but was a bit further back than I planned to be when coming down to Järnvägspizza but went fine and in front a bit after the tight corner. Didn’t feel awesome up to Fisksätra but managed to hang on and got really happy to tackle the first obstacle. Far back at Stationsbacken then again and saw the first riders go away when half the peloton had to stop for a bus in the roundabout in Ektorp. Ended with a big chase and in Storängen at the red light all was together again. Got a bit too long way to go around in the front and got tired to Nacka Forum. Down to Sickla I got 2 (!) KOMs 😀

Up on Viktor’s wheel up Hellas and after I took a turn I was really tired. Dropped a bit and hoped for someone else to cover the gap. Worked a bit until a car tried to passed and got into the middle of the group. My legs died and I saw the peloton float away…

Got company by Oscar and 4 others. Rode the last part together and it went pretty good. At Skarpnäck I stopped for the redlight like you should but the others just passed 😦 Had to ride the long last straight alone behind and wasn’t as happy as I hoped I would be. Complained a bit and then we rode to Le Mond to be happy again. Eating breakfast in the sun is the best 😀

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All just smiles, and coffee. And bragging Stockholm style about KOM’s, big turns and wattage, or just happy to meet a proper pro cyclist :). Everyone dreaming of sitting there in the sun all day. Happy life

Map and stats: Strava

Le Peloton #155

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Not as aero as on Wednesday but more colorfull 😉

After not so much sleep I was close skipping Le Peloton today but I thought I would regret if I didn’t ride. Really chilly morning and I blame the cold that my left leg got stiff up in Fisksätra. Took the shortcut passed Kranglans väg and joined the first group for the last part too. So 2 intervals you could say 😉

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Johan took the first picture and Roger the last. Sunny and happy day 🙂

Map and stats: Strava

Le Peloton #154

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With this group I did me first full loop of 2017 🙂 Not superfast today but I wasn’t dropped and was in front 5-6 times. If it depends on my speedsuit or not I don’t know but I’m satisfied

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Got in front just at the last climb so worst position for the sprint but that wasn’t in my plan anyway. In my plan was a nice breakfast in the sun:

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A happy start of the day so to speak 🙂

Map and stats: Strava

The German countryside

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I never understood climbing long climbs in rocky alps on short days. Riding the same routes all the time. I’m not a very strong cyclist that loves the flat landscape either. I grew up in a landscape without any real flat sections or any steep climbs. Swedish lagom you could say and put that on steroids and you got the part of Germany I been riding in the last days.

Travelled to Stuttgart to get some variation. Nice was my first choice but not possible with my SAS Eurobonus points. Amsterdam second choice but Germany was nicer I think. On Saturday I went south, into the Schwarzwald to Freudenstadt where I almost rode too at Trans Schwarzwald 6 years ago. Also passed Specialized Concept Store in Herrenberg and saw the new S-Works Epic HT 🙂 (and got an espresso). Most of the roads where really good with some long climbs on 7-10km and some fast awesome descends. Even got some feeling on the way back and just pushed on in nice tempo position feeling strong 🙂

Sunday was the day with a plan. I was going to Bruchsal meeting an old friend I almost met in Germany 3 years ago. Had some tailwind on the way there so even with some wrong turns it felt great. Cruised through small villages (I really like Flacht and Weissach), got to climb passed the Porsche factory and even I who isn’t a Porschefan got impressed. Maxed out at 80,8km/h on the way down to Mönsheim. Got on some small roads across fields where it wasn’t allowed with cars. Out of Bretten and the last part I missed the small road but tailwind made me stick to the big road and just pushing, so fun with some speed 😀 Had a splendid time in Bruchsal and got company by my new friend Lars-Kristoffer back to Bretten with some guiding on small roads.

Then it went wrong. Headwind and got on some wrong roads which made the shorter way home longer and after stopping for a coke in Rutesheim I managed to get a small puncture on my rear tire too. Pumped it up twice but worked without changing tube. Worst roadchoices and getting tired went into a mindgame. Passed a closed road with oil on after talking to the Police to shorten it and got on the worst cycling path possible on a field. But I also got on a really nice cycling path and even being tired with little air in my rear tire and being more or less lost a couple of times it felt like a good day. First day in short-short and my legs felt much better than I thought. Magic misery so to speak.

Last riding day, Monday was just a small spin before the rain came. Nice roads, beautiful landscape and a soft way to end the trip.

All together it feels like my bibs got shorter, according to my tan :p And even I thought of changing my Tarmac for a Roubaix or a Venge Vias a couple of times my S-Works Tarmac Disc have to be the best bike. Except the nail in the tire it worked just perfect no matter if I’m going fast as Sagan downhill, climbing like Contador or just pushing on the flats like Martin. It feels so perfectly balanced all the time and with it’s short chainstays compared to new discbikes it’s so fun standing up accelerating. Just think it’s missing a pair of light wheels like Roval CLX32 Disc Tubular 😉