Skoda Tour – Frankfurt/Eschborn Classic

I haven’t raced for a while, as you can see by my lack of race reports. Training is kind of going well, I am cycling well and running is a bit on and off, but generally good too. Swimming isn’t where it should be, but I have a base and should be able to build from here.

So where is the problem? Well my recovery has been really bad all year. I do some harder training and I have DOMS for days afterwards. Here’s a good example. We did a 10x800m set in run training. It went okay, but all the next day (Thursday) I was very sore in my quads. We had arranged a bike ride on Friday to Feldberg and I could ride well, but that on top of my pre-existing DOMS really knocked me out for 3-4 days.

Anyway, enough of that, this is about Eschborn. I decided to sign up on the day this year so I had some rest time on Tuesday. I had to get the 6:39 train from Kastel though, so I was up early! I ate a bucket of oats and was on my way. I had bought myself a speed suit for this race along and my upcoming Time Trial in Wörrstadt. I felt a little silly stading around in it before the race, but when were riding, it felt comfy and fast.

I set off just after the first starting pen and with the Team Skoda boys. There were a few of them who were really strong and wanted to push the pace from the start, which I was happy about! After getting into a rhythm we were moving well and after 38 minutes of hard work, we caught the/a main peleton. I made a stupid mistake of not moving to the front of the peleton.

Pretty soon the course started heading up, not steep at first, but soon it hit Feldbegr proper. My problem was that the peleton was falling apart, and I had to keep bridging to the next group. On Feldberg I was passing all the people who were falling off the groups ahead, but only slowly reeling in the big groups. Near the top I finally caught them, but decided to kick on at my pace, knowing that my decending skills are not the best.

At the top my average speed was 33km/h, last year it was 29km/h if I remember coreectly, so I was much faster. I also decended well for me, I could keep my place more or less, I mean some were faster, but I passed some people too.

On the climbs I generally seemed to be one of the strongest riders near me, often riding away from the group that formed on the flats. The tarmac on the roads was lacking quite a lot of the time, I don’t like hitting potholes at 70km/h!

There were more small uphills on the decent of Feldberg than I remembered, but nothing too hard. I was still feeling strong when we headed to Mammolshain, home of the famous stich.

This time I didn’t leave the entire group behind, but was still one of the faster riders. Very steep climbs aren’t my forte, but the 17% stich was still fine for me, even though I lost a lot of gears on my Merida compared to my Canyon I rode last year (36/28 vs 34/32).

At the top I knew it was all fast and easy to the end. A group formed again, but it didn’t work well together. I, and others, were shouting for people to take short pulls, but all too often they would get to the front and stop working, or try to stay at the front without having the legs to do it.

Anyway, I crossed the line in 2:48, which is about 30 minutes faster than last year, but the course was slightly different. Looking at Strava segments, I was much faster on every part of the course this year, so I am happy with how it went.

Post Race:

I headed to the Skoda VIP tent and ate some pasta and cake, then drank some Apfelschorle. I felt good and waited for Marco to finish to chat with him before heading home. After a while I headed off with rucksack on back and soon found that I felt like dirt! I couldn’t breathe, I think I had eaten too much or something, but as soon as my heart rate reached 130, I was in trouble.

I rolled home very slowly, and pretty disappointed after a good day up to that point. I guess it might really just have been a digestive problem, as my stomach wasn’t good for the rest of the day, but wheezing like that isn’t a good thing…

Anyway: next up is the results of my blood test to see if I have Diabetes (no need to get into that too much, long story short, I am sleeping badly because of a dry mouth, could be diabetes, probably isn’t) then Mainz half marathon on Sunday. I should run between 1:19-1:30 there, more exact I can’t really say, things seem very variable at the moment!

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