Making progress

Today was Velothon Stockholm. A race both for elite and amateurs on closed home roads outside Stockholm with a finish and start on Södermalm. Have done it twice before and it’s really cool to ride on closed roads where it’s always cars other days and be able to ride on the left side, right side or in the middle without any thoughts of a car.

As I couldn’t ride this year and it felt really boring to just sit home and see Strava and Instagram get filled by nice rides by a lot of friend annoyed me a bit, didn’t want to miss such an event.

So as I’m in the best team this year, Skoda Cycling Team I sent a text and I got a place in their car going behind the Skoda group.

Or in front at the maststart:

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One got dropped, one dropped with illness but the rest rode really strong. They caught a big racegroup that started ahead and passed it, got a huge group hanging on for 110km or something like that.

A great morning even without riding 🙂 And seemed great with different groups as there was very few crashes today compared to last year. Awesome organisation 😀

So what about progress?

After being at Velothon, coming home watching the first big CX race of the season, watching the women’s race in Madrid and seeing that the men’s last Vuelta stage would take a lot of time. I got up on my Colnago a.k.a. trainerbike and pedaled a bit too, almost faster than the pro’s at the Vuelta but for a short time. Started with trainer yesterday and even that my left leg is a bit stiff it feels awesome to get some pedalstrokes and feels like a step forward. A step closer to ride outside with great friends and get back to the life I want to have. But still a bit to go as you can see on my Strava: progresstraining

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Le Peloton #112

The thing I’ve learnt this year is recovery. Last year it was restdays 😉

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I used a lot of energy on Velothon and I think it still was in my body today. Really low heart rate with problems getting it up on the road to Urban Deli. Got a fast start and took some turns to Fisksätra in the great 1st group. Many like me it felt like today. Was hanging on on the road to Sickla and when I went up and took a turn after a Fredrikshofguys non letting off I was dead up to Hellas. Dropped some places on the way down and then they got some meters, I almost caught them but didn’t make it. Alone.

Took the shortcut in Älta after being shouted at and almost hit by a guy working for Vattenfall that was driving too fast passing the school, tragic…

At Flaten I got up to Daniel who dropped a bit after me. We rode together a bit until Magnus and Oscar came too. We 4 rode the last part together and I took the ”sprint”, the others dropped is more right word.

We all had a great breakfast at Le Mond, summer is still in Stockholm, by Magnus:

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Map and stats: Strava

A teaser for tomorrow, I finally got my Specialized Crux frame 😀

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Velothon Stockholm

Riding in Stockholm on closed roads probably makes the cost of riding Velothon worth it. Rode 160km incl 5km master without meeting a single moving vehicle and with good signs and people along the course helping us. The event was awesome if you ask me.

But when you gather the fastest non-racers that is doing their last ”race” of the season and want to press their record even more than it can be dangerous. Never seen so many crashes as today and it seemed like everyone in the 1st group was stressed and wanted to pass. I almost went down twice…

But except that it was quiet awesome. Riding in a really big group in up to 50km/h felt easy sometimes. When it felt slow it was around 42km/h. The hard thing is to sit in right position, cover gaps and to advance, that takes a lot of energy. So after we turned in Nynäshamn and came up to Sorunda it felt like my legs were empty and I would drop any minute. The group had become smaller so it was a bit better but not so far too fall as before.

I’m to bad to drop so I bite in harder and pushed as good as I could trying to ride easy and rest when ever possible to have powers for the fast parts.

After Västerhaninge I dropped the 1st group, people flew by but in some strange way I managed to dig deeper and got a wheel again and we got back up to the group. A bit later a was behind one who dropped and had to try chase up to the first group, enough people passed so I could hang on and get up again. My last drop 😉 In Västberga it was many tight corners and bad roads so the 1st group got split up a bit I think and we were a lot of chasers just behind and never got back up in the end.

Fastest time was 3h45min34sec over the 155km and I came in at 3h47min37sec so just about 2min later. Impressed with being able to hang on with 40,8km/h in average speed for so long. Never thought so before the start. 😀

Map and stats including the ride to the start: Strava

Velothon!

First time we have Velothon in Stockholm and what a benchmark event. To be able to ride safe on closed roads in the middle of Stockholm is awesome. To be able to ride a super course and then see the pro’s do the same things afterwards is cool too, they ride a bit faster.

The start:

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Through Stockholm passing the castle without cars 🙂

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Almost at work 😉

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Was riding with friends a co-workers a bit. Hard to be together with big groups and me and Magnus a bit stronger than the rest of us. We dropped them at Årsta Havsbad and after going easy for a while after Ösmo we decided to stop and wait in Nynäshamn. Rode together up to Sorunda, attacked with a couple of guys from Haglöfs up Kessiakoff’s climb, it’s easy if you’re not attacking 😉 and after been waiting for the others we ended up in a small group in the front who rode away. Was around 7 guys going around for a while but when we came back to Stockholm we where 5 left with one a bit more tired then the rest of us. Was magic to pass the traffic on safe closed roads through the beautiful town.

Was really tired in the end and when I noticed we had to go around Gärdet and Kaknästornet instead of straight to the finish I was more tired. In the second last corner I went in the front and then it was full speed to the finish, last straight was full speed for real and hoped to be first in our group but Jonas from Haglöfs passed me 😉 Fun sprint that killed my legs. Me, Jonas and Magnus after finished at 5h11min official time:

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Map and stats: Strava

170km and it felt good, the distance was never a problem and thinks that all my long riding makes a difference. Learning by doing so to speak 🙂 Fastest of the amateurs was Nils Penton and Eva Lindskog, two pelotoners 😀

Fun day in the saddle representing Specialized Concept Store Stockholm and after some food and talking it was time to watch the pros:

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Marko Pump – Adria Mobil won ahead of Daniel Hoelgaard – Team Joker

Gärdescrossen and Parlee

It’s in Stockholm it happens this weekend. GP Hasse Mård CX yesterday, it was Hammarby Hill XCM this morning and in the evening it was Gärdescrossen CX on the same place as the race and ride Velothon is starting tomorrow. I was there with a flag stopping people and cheering on cyclists like Camilla:

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And Lisa Nordén who won the women race:

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Also cheered on the big mens field:

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A grassy course that was pretty flat. And the end of the Stockholm CX-Cup.

And as it’s evening I share this beautiful video from Parlee about gravelriding:

Tested Velothon

Today I had the opportunity to ride the track of Velothon together with She Rides, a couple from Velothon and some others. Skoda Cycling Team rode at the same time but a bit faster, unfortunately they seemed to have had a crash and went home earlier.

Our goal was to try the course and Milla from Velothon should check it out and wanted company. With an average of 27-29km/h. Easy through Stockholm:

Mattias, our guide and the Event Director:

Down to Ösmo we had a much lower average than planned and while sitting in the front all the time it felt a bit too easy but we rode all together and it was a couple of riders who wheren’t as fast. In Ösmo we got ”fika” or pit stop by the great Maria Kullberg:

Then we split our 11 riders in two groups. We where 7 riders who went a bit faster, the others also stopped for lunch in Nynäshamn. We just stopped in Sorunda for filling up water and ate while riding.

I was still in front, wanted to get some training too 😉

After some time we got the ”big” climb of Velothon. Kessiakoffs Climb. I should get up first but Mattias was hanging on my wheel. It was steep for a short part in the beginning (think full speed with 52-14) and then it flattens out and even goes downwards before it goes up again. Not so steep but pretty long. Felt like waste in the last part and had to gear down a couple of gears and thought Mattias would pass. I stood up and pushed as hard as I can we he tried too and got the win 😀

After that Linda and Amira started to sprint in the small climbs, felt a bit crispy for a while but went okey. It’s hard to change rhythm from easy to hard while riding I think, so much easier to go fast if you done it all the ride.

I didn’t take all sprints but sat in front all ride and felt good. Good ride for the confidence and it was really fun 🙂 And a great course

Map and stats: Strava

Ended with a coffee and carrot cake at bikecafé Le Mond with Linda: