So it has been more than a week since the first cycling event this season. I have been much off the bike after that, but I hope to get on wheels already tomorrow! The Giro d'Espoo was held for the first time ever, and I have to say I'm pretty pleased with how the event was organized. The weather was perfect, sunshine, +23 and almost no wind. And of course the wind is not that important when riding in big groups of several hundred riders.
We arrived to the starting area at around 9am, and only half an hour later the place was crowded with cyclists.
I also had the opportunity to get a gps device from the organizers and thus it was possible to follow me live during the race. It is still possible to watch the race and the gps tracks online at http://www.tulospalvelu.fi/gps/20120527gde/. Among the other cyclists with this device was the race winner Kimmo Kananen and our Minister for European Affairs and Foreign Trade of Finland, Alexander Stubb. I actually had the opportunity to have a word with him, and because I had a Nokia Lumia, he was also pleased to have a picture with me.
It amazes me how a busy person, having a family with kids, being a minister and travelling a lot, has time to do all this and have time for training too. And not just being average, he is really good at what he does. Last year he finished as 33rd out of 40 cyclists in the national time trial championships (46,2km), and the day after he pulled out a great time in Tour de Helsinki (140km) with an average speed of 42km/h. In Giro d'Espoo, he was one of the pacekeepers in the 35km/h group. A great personality and truly one who inspires us others! Check out his webpage: http://www.alexstubb.com/
We joined the group that kept a pace of 32km/h, and besides a couple of close calls among other cyclists who seemed to be too eager to get to the finish line, the ride was really pleasant. The weather was perfect and the pace was just a perfect early season pace. The route was mostly in good shape, and in the latter part there were some really nice hills as well. The pacekeepers who led the groups turned aside when there was about 10km to go(this was just before the hilly section). There were several breakaways and I ended up in one of them. As I was unfamiliar with the route, I did not push too hard in the end, but still we managed to keep up a good speed with a couple of other riders. I did the pacekeeping in the climbs and the others kept the pace high during downhills and flats.
Garmin data from my ride
There was plenty of people taking pictures from along the road, and here are some links to their sites:
Fortunately there was a cyclist with a cam in our group, and he put up a pretty neat video from the race:
It seemed as he was riding behind me somewhere in the middle of the race (4:27 in the video)
And the official results you can find here.
All in all the race was nice, and I'm sure I'll participate next year again! Pirkan pyöräily is the next event, 10th of June. I'm still not sure if I'm able to pull it, but I'll keep you updated about the event later this week.
Waiting for the summer!