We’ve seen some interesting racing this year, but the real season is just about to begin. The classics will bring the big monuments such as Paris-Roubaix and Tour of Flanders, the nerve-wracking cobbled sections when cyclists fight for being at the front, taking on the legendary short but yet so steep climbs. This is where it all begins.
Despite the fact that 2016 was the worst cycling-wise, it still was an important year. I graduated finally, years late, but graduated. It was also the first summer having a car, which meant day-trips to places on nice sunny days. I promised I wouldn't go into any details, instead I will share some pictures from along the year.
November 9, 2015, that's the date when I last posted something here. I actually took time and read that article, and realized how lost I was. And it seems my writing about it was just a way to get it out and continue on that same path.
Inhale. The cranks turn, pedals absorb the power, finally transmitting it to the wheels, turning them with an almost silent hum. A few gentle clicks and the rear derailleur smoothly moves the chain further on the cassette. Exhale. I grab the handlebars tight and pull myself out of the saddle. I feel the bike respond to my every action. Acceleration is smooth, yet effective. Every move has been exercised so many times, there is almost no energy lost to the thought. Inhale. I gasp for more air.
In August we lost a great friend, a true cycling enthusiast who lived and breathed cycling. Marko Vauhkonen (29.10.1965 - 8.8.2015) dedicated his life to cycling and he was a tireless worker. One wish Marko had was that a charity ride would be organized in his name, where part of the income would go to leukemia research and the other half would go directly to support the Finnish junior cyclists. During last week these events were organized throughout Finland and I'm sure Marko would have been proud to see the so many riders participate.
It's been a while since I've been talking about training and everyday activities. I also have some race-reports waiting to be written. A lot has happened and it feels like summer really flew past us faster than any previous version. My racing season is over for this year, and preparations for season 2016 have already begun. This summer was twofold in many ways. There were many ups but they seemed to be followed most often by immediate downs. We also lost a great soul this summer.
Many of us, including myself, have found our way to cycling watching Tour de France on TV. It has been possible to watch cycling live on Eurosport and national TV channels in some European countries for many many years. Today the services are widespread and it's possible to watch almost any cycling race, anywhere with a mobile device. There has been some exceptions though, including the Finnish cycling races. Fortunately the passion for cycling has brought a change to that.
It has been an odd Summer so far. In June I was ill for 2 weeks, and I'm still not seeing the improvement I've been waiting for. I had a really great spring and in June I felt super good. But then after the illness there is one good day and then three bad ones ending up with 0 progress. Not much to do about that, just continue spending time in the saddle according to plan and tomorrow I will be back to racing.
Trofeo Karlsberg is one of the hardest races in the Juniors racing calendar. It's a UCI race and has the status of a nations cup stage race, meaning the teams competing consist of national teams. Representing 19 countries in total including some strong cycling nations such as Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, France, USA and Italy, just a few to mention. The race consisted of 3 days of racing and 4 stages in total between 5th and 7th of June 2015. Together with part of the Finnish team we started our journey towards Gersheim, Germany on June 2nd.
Last week I got a call and that changed my plans for the upcoming week. I was supposed to go to Pirkan Pyöräily and ride the 217 km long route, but instead I will head towards Germany tomorrow. More precisely, Trofeo Karlsberg together with the Finnish Junior National Road Cycling Team. We will leave Turku tomorrow evening and will arrive at our destination in Gersheim on Thursday.
Yet another weekend behind, a weekend without racing this time. It was a weekend introducing riding in shorties and the first long ride for the year. A long ride means more than 5 hours in the saddle, at least that's what I read, so first one of those this year. Some great weather and first real tan-lines for the seasons are reality.