After an unsuccessful frantic search for suncream pre race as the temp creeped up (I knew only to well what the outcome of this would be on my very "uneuropean skin")....and unfortunately thats exactly the outcome I got, tan lines that will last me til the end of the Aussie summer, that and the fact I could have fried eggs on my back faster than the stove post race. OUCH!.. we were off to tackle the 1.2 km swim, 30km bike round the city at the base of the mountain before the 21 switchback climb up the mountain know as Alp, then a 7km altitude run up the top.
A solid swim just off the toes of Morel, my biggest competition, sweet, worst was over for me...I thought!
Straight away she was off and out of sight! Ok wow, "ahh hello legs time to ride now please!" Pushing harder I was really creeping!? What the hell?.. I hear a noise, oh shit my fron brake is rubbing "i thought", releasing that i tried to charge on. Getting pissed off I was still being passed by an uncharacteristic amount of boys, I though wow I must have been wrong and Hamburg must have really taken it out of me after all!
My frustation went from bad to worse when I was caught on the bike by a junior girl! Then another chick, (pride taking a hammering, ) I was struggling to drop them up the hill. Long story short after coming to the conclusion that Alp D'huez is a painful and unforgiving race, harder than I imagined, and wanting to get off and walk, and what a horrible idea to come back and do this again... it was only two km from the summit that the Penny dropped...
A nice young frenchman rode up to me as told me my back brakes were rubbing!! I thought it was a joke! but no, well that explains a bit, "realeasing" them I struggled up the last bit of the climb, before heading out to the altitude run> Strangely the worse part of my body was my stomach! cramped on both sides from straining so much on the bike I plodded the run, after having lost a huge unexpected amount of time on the bike, and kept my position of third.
Funny thing was, until now I thought I had still climbed really shit with a light tap of my brakes to make life a little more difficult...Only when I collected my bike from transition could I just shake my head in disbelief, and kick myself. MY GOD!! my brakes were not only touching but jammed completely locked on my bike so I couldn't even turn the wheel with applied force!!! ...That explained A LOT to me!! haha the whole race I just could not figure out what was going on and put it down to fatigue and underestimating Alp D'huez!....
As if climbing Alp isn't hard enough by itself! In hindsight looking at my wheel I'm surprised I didn't actually HAVE to get off and walk, im not really sure how I made it up! Well a hard lesson learnt, the first time I havn't checked my bike properly before I raced...will not be making that mistake again!
So yes I will be coming back to Alp for sure to tackle the beast again properly! It was an incredible race! and despite my annoyance of my errors I loved the race. Tough, Honest, and Beautiful.