After a night without sleep, we got up at 4:00 to get breakfast at the hotel. Just as last year breakfast was excellent.
Meeting up with the guys from the other appartment and Stefan we rode towards the starting lines.
Stefan and I were allowed to start a Grid earlier, as we met the requirements of having riden the Full course under 8:00h.
The rest had to start in the last grid.
After a cold wait, Stefan and I started and raced after passing the start line towards Corvara and the first climb of the day. The passo Campalongo.
This first climb we were able to stay quite together, but Stefan, who is a better climber was at some point further up the mountain as me. In the descent I was able to pick up and overtake him.
In the Pordoi climb we again came together, but after that we only met at the finish line again, as Stefan would ride the Sella Ronda and not the full route.
So the rest of the sella Ronda, which ist the first part of the Maratona I was riding on my own with only a couple of hundred other rides around me :-)
The climbs went very well and it looked like we were going to get a dry Maratona.
After the descent of the Passo Gardena I passed by Dionne, who was standing at our Hotel to pick up clothes or give new bidons and food.
As I did not need anything I passed her by without stopping to continue my ride towards the 5th climb of the day, the Campolongo again.
It was not the Campolongo that I feared, no the dreaded Passo Giau was the climb I worried all day for.
And just as last year it was the hardest climb of the day, but with all climbs it will have an end. I noticed that I did not arrive as wasted as last year at the top of the Giau. I guess I did something right in the training this year.
Next stop Passo Falzareggo, which is the longest climb of the day. During the climb I noticed that if I kept going as I was I probably had a good chance to improve my time from last year. That gave me an extra boost. When reaching the top of the Falzareggo you get an euforic feeling as this was the last real mountain climb of the day. now it's just descending back to La Villa. There one last hurdle awaits. The Mur dle Giat. This is a short climb but with an 19% ascent.
Last year I did get cramps just before the Mur, but that was not a problem when I did arrive the Mur. This year this was different. Somehow I did again get full cramps in the descent of the Falzareggo, and they did not go away before the Mur. With both upperlegs in full cram I somehow did manage to stay on my bike and ride up the Mur... Quickly after that painfull experience the pain and cramps faded. Now it was time to speed up full ahead towards Corvara and the finish line.
My time this year was 7:17h. Almost half an hour faster as last year. So I was a very happy biker.
Sun, 02 July