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!

Le Peloton #156

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The ones who understand the picture understands 😉

A really cold morning today too, not proper May weather it feels like. -3° Celsius and many thought of riding gravel instead of asphalt on todays Le Peloton

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I did the CX loop too as I wanted to get more comfortable on my Epic and ride fast on it. Went smart in the first climb and dropped the first group. Became 4 riders in a group behind with 2 mtb and 2 cx with me with easiest gearing which made it hard when it was flat and downhill. A lot of 34-11 today and maybe good for my cadence training :p First Oskar dropped me on a downhill and I had to chase up a climb. Felt good as long as it was uphill or a bit more technical downhill so you don’t pedal 😉

Thomas attacked before Erstaviksvägen and Fredrik, Oskar and me had to chase. Got up to him but dropped Fredrik. After Erstaviksvägen on the way back I dropped both Thomas and Oskar and rode alone almost all the way back. Thomas caught me in the end and we ended it all together. He with a lot of PR and me tired 😉

Was about to give up and shorten the loop when Oskar dropped me the first time but managed to get back and hang on. Did as good as I could and it felt like a good hard training session 😀 Satisfied and it was fun in our small group, so much more fun when don’t ride all alone the hole loop.

Map and stats: Strava

My bike worked fine too, just wanted a bigger chainring :p

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Le Peloton #151 and a small race

It all started with a happy moment:

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My plan was to do the shortest loop on my mtb just as a spin and for the breakfast. Ruined in the first climb where my Epic felt pretty fast. Tried to hang on Christian when he passed me on the next flat section a short while. Changed plan to ride fast uphill and ”easy” downhill. After turning in Erstavik it felt pretty good so changed my mind once again and tried to ride as fast as I could and maybe even get the KOM. Was fun but hard and when reaching Sickla at 6.50 it felt great. I thought the KOM was around 48min and we started a bit after 6. The bad thing was that Christian had the KOM at 44min…

Celebrated my 2nd place with breakfast at Le Mond:

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After a productive day at work with both good and bad things it was time again. Got away a bit later than I hoped as it was a lot of customers in the end but rode to Årsta for a training race.

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29 cyclists on a short intense course. 5 or 8 laps depending on which class, I did 8. Was a real tight course without any rest and always had to have your mind focusing. Did a couple of mistakes but except that it went pretty ok even thou I wanted to be a bit faster 😉 Fun to race on my Epic and get the season going. Me and my faster clubmate Magnus after the race:

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And results:

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Happy people arrange these small events. 🙂 Well done!

Map and stats: Le Peloton and race in Årsta

XC and Sockdoping

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Started the day with riding mtb with some friends. Some fast and some technical trails and for the first time mostly hardtails 😉 Except John. Need to get better in finding some fast trails around here 🙂

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Ended with coffee and lunch at Le Mond.

Then I took a longer route home to find some small roads on gravel, and wood:

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Was a year since I rode down there last time and I got a couple of nice climbs too 🙂

Map and stats: Strava

Today I wore plain pink MB socks in wool. Sometimes it’s the simple that feels right and sometime not. Got a couple of new Gelatosocks so my collection is complete and I have a bigger problem choose socks for tomorrows Le Peloton and race:

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😀 Perfect for me as I really love Icecream, and cool cyclingsocks 🙂

Lightweight Lizard and Speed Lunatic

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For the first time on gravel this year I had a lighter bike than Emil 🙂 He on his Ridley X-Trail and me on my Specialized Epic ht, was nice to try it on gravel too. Emil had some more speed as in his nickname Speed Lunatic when it went fast and my 34-11 wasn’t made for going fast. But an 8Kg hardtail with 2,1″ Specialized Fast Trak tires was really fun on gravel too. We had a great morning in the sun watching animals, talking children and discussing #aeroiseverything

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Also sat some Personal Records and I got top 10 around Flaten after following Emil over some bridges:

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Map and stats: Strava

After we had breakfast the clouds came and the weather turned grey. So happy I got up in time to enjoy the sun this morning with the fastest Sumo.

Berk barcombo

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Finally it arrived, the 2nd part ordered for my Epic. The barcombo made by Berk Composites. 720mm wide with a 80mm stem:

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Saved almost 200g compared to the bar and stem I borrowed and the bike should be under 8kg even with heavy Candy pedals 😀

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Looks pretty fat with 38mm wide flat stem too, almost like a Syntace Flatforce but lighter and with a smaller angle.

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The front matches the rear 😀

Keps Cup Rönninge

The ultimate test for a new mtb have to be in a race. If it’s just as you hoped or if something doesn’t work properly.

So today I went with my teammate John to Rönninge and find out if my Epic was as awesome as planned.

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A bit cold in the beginning even for me. Testrode a lap which was really nice but with some mud and wet roots. Liked the small gravelsections between the nice singletracks and all in all it seemed great.

Down at the start talking shit with nice fast people. Got a little nervous and then the start went. Full speed with locked fork up the gravel. Got passed by some people and finally up the hole climb and onto the first real singletrack it felt hard:

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It just felt like I rode slower and slower but also passed rider after rider who punctured, a lot of punctures today. My bike felt really nice, even better than I imagined. Great stability downhill without any worries when I rode down steep things and super agile uphill which made me smile a bit 😉 Need some finetuning with the fork but worked great, open all the way except on the longer gravelsection where I put it in the middle position.

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Not my best shape after a hard week but was so funny being back in the XCO racing, this is the best. Me and my old friend Johan talked and missed the Västgötacup too, need more great races in this country and grow the sport, not just Enduro.

My teammate John won the hole cup (2 races) and got a cap:

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He also won the race today, a race which I thought I was last but ended 3rd 🙂 and also last as it was 7 DNF riders behind, people need to get better tires or riding skills…

Map and stats: Strava

all pictures except the last one by Åsa Larsson