It’s all over. Quite an experience, certainly nothing like I expected! When Adel Tyson-Bloor mentioned this, I initially thought this event was an enduro stage event not a full on endurance xc stage race! I only looked at the finer detail about a fortnight before it started, but even then, I thought how hard can it be? For me, very! I am a novice at stage racing, and possibly now converted, I know plenty of people who do them regularly, and I can see why.
For the final stage on Saturday, Max was pretty badly with D&V over night. Despite it being the last day, they still hadn’t made it easy. The steepness and relentless of the climbs was unreal and with 100s of kilometres on your legs, they were near impossible to climb on the bike. It’s was back to basics of simply keeping the bike moving, one foot on front of the other. I actually didn’t mind the walking anymore, my right quadriceps had given up on me from being over worked on my overgeated set up and I figured the 3 Peaks training starts here!
Max plodded on, little food inside her, head down, no energy for words, no energy for braking either, her downhill speed increased dramatically as she just wanted to get it over with! I just had to keep it all travelling in the right direction, checking she was still moving at every turn or up hill ramp.
We were blessed with stunning views and more cracking descents, though cooler now as we headed towards the Atlantic, it was still topping the twenties in degrees Celsius. I hadn’t really put on enough sun cream and was burning, not quite expecting to be out until 18:00!
After a 10 hour day, including short breaks and a puncture, a few tears, a few Nutella sandwiches we made it. Not sure how Max made it but she did and it was emotional.
The event management was ace, to me it appeared slick and most bases were covered. It was very personal with all the staff knowing your name and all very supportive. The food could perhaps have been better but was ok really. I met some lovely people and I have fallen in love with the Spanish.
Looking forwards, I’ve got lots of food to eat first. Then it’s the World Masters Champs in Andorra, Vallnord. I’m here now. The course is steep but fun. I have no idea how it will go!