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…

 

Tour Mediterreneen stage 3b with Tobias Ludvigsson

We got this great tips from our boss today. Watch Tour Mediterranean live on the way through France to Barcelona. Of course as I knew Tobias Ludvigsson was racing and a prologue like he can win. Also saw the Swedish Champ Gustav Larsson at the start

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And Tobias at the same place

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Tobias is a kind guy so let me go with them in the teamcar. So here from the start which was a pretty long climb

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Impressive to ride 39km/h uphill sitting on a time trial bike. Then a tight downhill where he really impressed on me. Not just the power but he can descend really fast

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And a short flat section in the middle. Beautiful landscape

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Turned right and up a new climb where he caught the rider in front of him. On the second descend and second left turn he rode a little to fast and went of the road a bit. Stayed on his wheels but punctured. Thought he punctured both wheels so they changed from his Giant Trinity to his Propel road bike. Was much harder and you saw that he wasn’t happy at all. But put in a huge effort and did a great race in the end too. Passed to guys on time trialbikes with his road bike and not so high rims, fast Propel.

Was second when he passed the finish line after BMCs Stephen Cummings. Cummings won the stage and when everyone finished Tobias ended 6th. 6th with a bike change on a 18,2km course is impressive. All results from today here: cyclingnews 6th overall too

After that we met Vegard Breen in Girona and now staying at a great hotel here in Barcelona with a view like this:

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1 day, 3 winners, 1 Swede!

Most important rider first.

Étoile de Bessèges ended today with a short time trial with a steep climb in the end. Tobias Ludvigsson – Giant/Shimano won the stage!

But not just that, after beeing 21st in the general classification he passed the other 20 guys to and won the hole thing!  The tall guy that ruined my legs on a winter training many years ago (16 feb 2008) starts the season with winning the first time trial 😀

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Then it also been Superprestige CX in Hoogstraten. Hoped for Tom Meeusen but didn’t have the legs today when Niels Albert attacked. But Tom was great or maybe best in the sand. Albert seemed good until Nys flew by and Vantornout also passed. Then Albert crashed with a pole and started wave around with his bike, happy that no one was close 😉

Sven Nys rode to victory alone with Klaas Vantornout second. Niels Albert 3rd.

The womens race was won by Nikki Harris, great with a good victory for her 🙂