Racing in the Bike Algarve colours..
Okay, fist things first, I’m slowly turning less Irish over here! The evidence of this was that I was able to race a long marathon in 40 degree sizzling heat… without any problems! Well, apart from seriously running out of water after two hours.
I started with two big bottles of USN Cytopower to keep my energy / electrolyte levels up. After I ran out, I stopped at every feed station and guzzled down every bit of water I could find! This meant I lost more time to the racers who had feed support at each stage! It was chaos, I loved it, and I felt strong.
Portuguese bureaucracy issue No.1
Race sign on proved to be seriously difficult. I have an international racing license which means I can race in top level mountain biking events around the world. But, on this occasion, they decided to be difficult, and not allow me to race the Elite race!!!!
This was annoying, but I still remained positive, as I knew I could still race the ‘B’ race.. Which was the same distance but started 2 minutes after the elite‘s went off. However, they made me start at the back of 300+ people… this was the next challenge.. But it still motivated me.
The elite’s went off first, then slowly the 300+ B racers followed suit, albeit, a couple of minutes later. I decided to go banana’s at the start and try and get past as many riders as possible in the hope that I would catch up with the Elite’s.. I got caught up in a barrage of ‘b’ racer’s after many, many hairy moments of going in to the red and nearly crashing, but eventually I started to catch up to the top 20 overall. Amazingly, the USN gels were incredible in the marathon, I guzzled down my 5 Vooma gels each 25 minutes and each time, I got a boost of an extra gear, it felt amazing and got me to the end with a fair bit of force left in the tank!
Bureaucratic issue No.2
In the end, they somehow added an extra 10 minutes to my overall time, lowering me to 2nd place in the ‘B’ race.. This isn’t correct.. I’ve emailed the organisers.. But with no response.
My actual finishing time would have put me Top 5 in the Elite category….. 4th to be exact.. This is frustrating, but bureaucracy is common here, so ill learn from it. It was a motivating race at the end of the day, that’s for sure!