Last Thursday this years Donauinsel Cup started. For some reason the first race was canceled so we were all happy to finally race.
It’s a points race over 42 laps and bonus points in every third lap. Christian and Josh managed to collect some of these but we don’t know the exact results yet. Unfortunately Gui had to stop racing with just a couple of laps to go but still managed to join Gernot and take a bunch of pictures.
It´s the end of June, the Tour de France is only inches away and new national champions need to be crown – it´s „championship weekend“.
Not only the austrian elite riders fought for the prestigious national jersey, also the amateur category did in their championship race at Grafenbach in Lower Austria – BBURD sent Christian and Philipp into the race with Josh along their side to support our two guys.
The course of the race was not a typical 20-30km lap as seen on the other races of this years season, no this time it was just a 6km lap with 16 times to go with 3 und 1 minute ´climbs´ – sounds super intense? Hell Yeah! Christian had 360W normalized power after one hour, and still got dropped after 90 minutes.
The race started fast and as said before, it was intense. After every turn the peloton got super long and it was almost an all-out effort to either hold the bunch or to get a better position for the next turn.
Christian clearly lost his mindset in the second round, where he was one lap in the front and wasted energy – “I will not ride in the wind anytime and hide to safe everything” that´s what he said before the race – “I don’t know how it happened, I just wanted to get a better position and somehow I was in front” – that was after the race. Weird thoughts were on his mind “should I try to get away?” - yes sure great idea, try to get away from 80 other people on your own! Well happily the angel on his left shoulder took over and whispered some rational things in his ear like: “just slow down, then they have to pass you anyway”, he did for his own good and found himself back in the peloton.
First people started to struggle in the back of the race and lost contact – which more or less meant – it´s over!
Due this course and the many laps, the time cut was set for only 5 minutes. Everybody who was more than 5 minutes behind the lead was taken out of the race Unfortunately this also happened to Philipp, he fought as long as possible but after 6 laps he had to end the race. But also Christian had to fight with the time limit; after he got dropped at km 55 he had 40km more to ride on his own the finish the race.
After some inglorious DNF´s in the past he decided to not give up until somebody shows him the red flag – nobody did. He managed to stay in time and finished last with a 6 minutes gap to the winner, when he came to the finished the prize giving ceremony already started and he had to find his way to make it over the finishing line, as you can see below, but he made it and was super happy afterwards.
The race was won by Peter Pichler in front of Patrick Hauser and Thomas Osbelt, a former team member of Josh form UC Sonntagsfahrer, awesome achievement. Congrats to those three!
Last week Philipp went to the second ITT of the Röhsler Cup. This was a new course in Lower Austria towards Burgenland, where the upness is defined only by a bridge over a highway. This is the longest ITT from the cup series with 22 km, but pretty much pan flat. One hair pin, 3 fast corners and flat good rolling roads. So this was meant to be fun, and it was. Philipp sticked to his pacing plan, suffered at the end and was more than happy with his ride. The field got bigger and better since the last TT race as the sun was out. But he still managed a good 15th place, just a couple seconds away from another top 10 and to a 5th place in his age group. Philipp now sits 3rd in the cup in his category and his looking forward to the next more hilly TTs.
The St. Pöltner Radmarathon was a big event in our race schedule for 2014. Our team was represented by: Hagen, Christian Lengyel, Gui, and Philipp. Philipp and Christian fought at the front of the group to secure a good position, coming into the first climb of the day. This solid effort allowed Hagen and Christian to make the lead group selection. However, good luck was not on Christian’s side, he found himself in a bad position, costing him his place in the lead group a few climbs later. Hagen stayed well placed with the winning group, earing himself an exceptional 18th place. Christian came in with the second group at 31st place. Cool temperatures combined with a larger and stronger start field, led to the race being 15 minutes faster than last year’s edition. Gui has been plagued with sickness throughout this race season, but started his race really smart and stayed with his group the whole time, gaining experiences and having fun getting his form back. Philipp really suffered during the race, but still came across the line with a smile. The race was a great success for our team’s first racing season. Hagen’s 18th place resulted in him qualifying for the UWCT World Championship in Slovenia this year. He will be racing with Chrstian Lengyel who also qualified two weeks prior in Maraton Franja. All in all, not a bad start into the first BBURD season.
Der Härteste im Osten - The Toughest in the East. Encouraging slogan, but would it be so bad? The reputation of the UCI World Cycling Tour attracted a pretty huge and international peloton to the rather-village-than-town of Sankt Pölten. 300 competitors gathered for the 158km and 2700m elevation gain - amongst them the four bburds Christian, Gui, Philipp and me. After easy rolling in the flat the first climb hit us with full severity. The peloton fanned out and spread up the switchbacks like a pearl necklace. That was the moment we entered the race. Or to put it another way, the essence of the Sankt Pöltner Radmarathon beacame clear - climbing. Fortunately that is what I enjoy most as a cyclist, although joy might not describe what I felt pedalling. So I tried to find my rhythm, did it and could keep up with the pack. First hilltop, closing the gap, sharp left and bam - up again! Threshold. Where was that rhythm from just five minutes ago? “Fuck!” Christian pulled up next to me, not much more to say. The lead, however, did not raise the pace so I obeyed to Josh’s motto ‘stay in the front!’. Up and down. Repeat. How often? I did not really know and still do not. This bad preparation in terms of knowing the course by heart turned out to be quite advantageous for me. I always expected that last climb to come. So even though I was tired, my mind was always prepared for that final ascent. Which did not happen blessedly, and this is how I found myself in the second group willing to catch up to the lead pack. After some shouting and advice we set up a 20-rider Belgian tourniquet and initiated the chase. Succes just before the last climb so we were back in the game for the last kilometers. Back to town in the flat, but this time fast. I did not allow for gaps to emerge because I knew I had to keep my position as the kilometres-to-go were shrinking rapidly. A nervous sharp left and right and all-out over the finish line. Finally. It was over. I did it! So the race actually was one of the toughest. Yet, it was some serious fun as well and a proper last race in Austria for me.