Wednesday, 27 March 2019

How much do Stage Races cost?

I watched the 2019 version of the Absa Cape Epic and got really eager to participate.
But how much does it cost?

Entry fee: USD 6290 (per team). USD 3145 per rider.
This includes tented accommodation and meals.
The flight from Sweden to South Africa seems to come to about USD 1000.

The Cape Epic has 8 stages.

Price per stage: USD 518.

I'm Swedish so for me this means: € 500 / 5000 SEK per stage.

Let's compare this to some other Stage Races

Andalucia Bike Race

Entry fee: € 300

I just booked everything for this race where I'm competing in a little more than one week:

Flight: € 160
Bike bag: € 90 SEK
Hotell Malaga 1 night: € 50.00
Hotell Linares 4 nights: € 120
Hotell Cordoba 3 nights: € 80
Rental car: € 80

Total expenses: € 880

Andalucia Bike Race has 6 stages.

Price per stage: € 147 / 1500 SEK

Beskidy Trophy

Entry fee: € 179
Hotel package (four nights, meals included): € 200
Driving to Poland and back (rough approximation): € 300

Beskidy Trophy has 4 stages.

Price per stage: € 170 / 1700 SEK

Monday, 11 March 2019

Racing as part of Winter Training

Why Race during Winter Training?

I've always been a big fan of racing in the winter season. Why? For several reasons actually:

  1. It's fun!
  2. An outdoor race is THE BEST training session:
    • You're fully motivated so you go HARD
    • It's realistic training. Indoor intervals are good but a 4x8min session hardly matches what you'll be experiencing in real life.
    • You train mountain bike technique in real terrain
    • It's a break from all the static and "boring" indoor training
  3. It's social - You get to meet your racing pals in a casual race.

Power Graphs

Here's a power graph comparison between the last race in Vega Winter Cup that I did yesterday and my last 4x8min session on my stationary bike. Can you guess which is which? :) 

The results of Winter 2018/2019

I had decided before the training started for this winter that I wasn't going to peak in December as I did last winter. I had great results in the winter races last year but then it also felt like I stopped developing after that early peak.

I was going really well in Heino Fall Race in November when I punctured and was unable to get back on the road. It was looking like a top-5 finish, probably my best in that race ever.

In the Danish Vega Winter Cup (six races from November to March), where I'd previously finished third (2017) and second (2018), I didn't place quite as strongly as previous years. I had some fifth and fourth place finishes until the second-to-last race where I placed second. In the last race yesterday I came in fourth. My total score for the cup had me in fourth place in M40 and seventh overall.

I've also done some races in a local cup in the south of Sweden: HCK Wintercup. All races are on the same tricky twisty and slow track which I love but that kind of terrain has always been a weak spot for me. That's why I really like to race there because I know it's good for me. I had some good performances there this winter and placed second overall in the last race.

Power Data from the Winter Races

It's really interesting looking at the power data from the races. Obviously the data will vary both with form but also with the kind of track. Still, there's a pattern:

Vega Race:    Placing:    Avg W:    Weighted W:  Avg H/R:
1             5           288       300          170
2             4           275       289          175            
3             5           223       254          167
4             5           233       247          175
5             2           264       280          175
6             5           261       280          172

The trend is looking good with the watts on the way up!

Upcoming Races

The big one is Andalucia Bike Race in exactly four weeks - 6 mountain stages - BRUTAL! This is where all the focus is right now. I'm doing hard and long interval sessions and trying to lose the last few kilos of weight right now. However before then I have two races:

  • 4 hour Sponz MTB Race in Denmark. Never done this one before. I have no idea what to except.
  • 76km marathon in Slagelse, Denmark. The weekend before ABR and a VERY tough race