Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Sudety Challenge, 6 day stage race, starting SOON

  • 6 stages
  • 320 km
  • 11 345 m total ascent

The race starts this Sunday, 22nd of July!


First Time Ever

I've raced a few different stage races over the years but this will be the first time I compete in Sudety Challenge. Sudety is sort of a sister race to Beskidy Trophy, which I've raced many times. They both take place in the same area of Poland (though they don't share any actual locations). I'm expecting the same kind of fun and challenging terrain as in Beskidy meaning: Few gravel roads and mostly singletrack. Each stage has around 500 fewer meters of total ascent compared to Beskidy, while length-wise they are similar.

There is one big difference between Sudety and Beskidy and that is that you change start/finish location for the different stages, meaning you need to switch hotels. The good thing is that there are not six separate locations, only three. It makes sense however as finding six unique sections of trails for all the stages that all start and end at the same place would be impossible.

The race takes place in the mountains in the south of Poland where its borders meet the Czech Republic and Slovakia.




The Stages

The first stage is a time trial stage with cyclists starting individually. My start is at 14:50 on Sunday. The stage is 20 km long with a lot of uphill.
The rest of the stages are 'normal' ones.








Equipment



I'll be riding my Trek Superfly 9.9 SL RSL. I haven't used it that much since Beskidy Trophy. I've replaced the rear tire, put in new brake pads both front and rear, and topped off the Stan's fluid in the tires. Front tire was still fine.

Gearing:
10-50t in the rear, 34t up front

Tire setup:
Front: Schwalbe Rocket Ron 2.25 Snakeskin
Rear: Schwalbe Rocket Ron 2.1 Snakeskin

Tire pressure: 1.6 bars

Expectations and Form

Form has been going up lately. I came back from Beskidy Trophy a month ago feeling slightly unmotivated towards racing. But that passed the last couple of weeks.

I did my standard benchmark 9 x 9 minute session on my stationary bike last week were I managed an average of 326 watts. That's a new personal best.



Weight was a bit of a struggle and I was at 75kg four weeks back but I pulled myself together and as of this morning I'm under 71 kg. About the same as at Andalucia Bike Race and Beskidy Trophy this year.



It's hard to say something about what kind of expectations that I have on the race. I checked the list of starters and what surprised me is that perhaps 80% of them are from outside of Poland. My weight and power figures are about where they were before Beskidy Trophy and I finished that race in third place so perhaps something similar...?


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