1.5.2018, 8:30 in the morning, good 12 degrees, in the parking lot of a furniture store: I’m in full racing gear with my racing bike at the start of my very first bike race. Eschborn Frankfurt. A good year before that, I would have drunk my last long drink at this time and left a Viennese city center restaurant to go to bed. But, well, times are changing, goals are changing, and I wanted to try the myth bike classic myself. Together with the team Alpecin and 5,500 other starts, it went on a 100 km long emotional ascent and descent. Because I had no special goal, except to finish well and to enjoy the closed roads, but was very nervous after entering the day before.
How did I feel? You can read this here:
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Soooo as I talked about falling off legs and feeling like dying I had a massive throwback in my mind to my first road race ever. TLDR: I was afraid but finished well. It was @eschbornfrankfurt 10 months ago. I decided to go for the long route as I wanted to get to know the effort you have to put in for long road races before L’Étape. There was this rather steep but short mountain called the #mammolshainerberg after 90 km with something like 24% and the steepest part. I knew that I rode similar stuff before – but with 34/32. As I didn’t take my roadbike with me, I had to work with the stuff the team gave me. Well, they gave me a beautiful bike but with a 28 cassette. I know a lot of you will laugh now because you learned cycling with way harder equipment – but I was really afraid! And fear doesnt go away from someone telling you: Ooooh I did this with 42/52 easily. 🙃 At the training the day before I didn’t manage to finish it without dismounting. Twice. I was cycling since 9 months then – and have always been quite anxious about heights and steep stuff. Long mimimi and a hard time falling asleep (because I was so afraid to ride it the next day during the race) followed. 😬 Long story short , in this picture you see me smiling because I did not only ride it completely without dismounting, but I was also overtaking other people on it. The atmosphere was unbelievable, all the people screaming and pushing me was a feeling I never experienced so far. And in the moment I arrived at the top, they played my favorite song. I couldn’t help but smile from one ear to the other. 😄 Since this moment, I stopped trying to not being afraid but i let the fear be, and just do it anyway. I’m still anxious a lot – on the bike but also in every day life – but courage isn’t never being afraid, it’s being afraid and doing it anyway. So cycling taught me to be courageous 💪🏻 and maybe also to try not overthinking everything so much. If you are quite new into cycling and this whole racing thing seems a bit frightening, I would highly suggest you to try it anyway – just once. You have nothing to lose, just gain a lot of self esteem and maybe a podium 🤪
Now, 11 months later, I signed up for the same race again – so I’ll write down the tips for you that I would have liked to get before my first race:
“Dont shit yourselve!”
Did she really write that now? That’s viennese for: stop the exaggerated fear. You’re not racing with the pros, just the route of the pros. If you’ve set your average speed during registration, you’ll automatically get into a common starting block with others who will most definitely drive at the same pace pace. You’ll not have the feeling of driving somewhere behind at any time.
With 2 large bottles and some training in the food from the jersey bag, even on the extreme track, no break is absolutely necessary (unless nature calls). This will save you valuable time and you will not have to search for a new group at your own pace. Yes, maybe the saddle pushes a bit, or you would like to eat the bar in peace, but you can do that again at all other exits …
Enjoy the closed roads
The absolute hammer! Part of the route even led over a three-lane road, which we had completely for ourselves. Several times I just had to say “Oh my god!” and “That’s just awesome.” call, because it was so much fun.
Take it with humor
… like me and another young lady, who nodded “HER AGAIN!” when I drove past her for the third time at Ruppertshain. To be honest, in my first bike race I was really a desperate descender, quite the contrary to her, who took the curves with such self-confidence that my jaw dropped almost completely. I said to her, “Oh, if I could, I’d trade with you!” – and we both had to laugh. Yeah, it’s a race. But as long as you do not aim for the podium, just have fun. The Feldberg up I had a super nice conversation with a girl from Frankfurt, who was already much experienced in roadbike races – while we heard most men only groan and creak behind us.
By car to the finish line? Not a good idea
I would highly suggest to arrive by public transport or sleep anywhere near. It’s more fun, good for the race and you’re not in a traffic jam afterwards. On the way to the S-Bah I went past a column of cars and over closed roads for the pro cyclists – and I was pleased, because that was nothing I had to worry about.
Visit at the finish line of the Pro Race
After a shower and a finisher beer we went with a fat grin on our face in the direction of Frankfurt, where soon the professionals should arrive at the finish. And what can I say: in the finish area was a bombshell mood and I also met Nhat, whose blog post about Mallorca 312 was pretty much the first I have ever read about bicycle race. (By the way: this blog is incredibly fun to read that I almost spat my coffee over the keyboard, thanks for that!)
I remember the cheering fans, the rattling of those “blow up stuff” against the walls, the excitement, when the first car passes through and then the buzz of the full carbon mashines of the pros so incredibly well that I already scheduled a visit to the city of Frankfurt instead of heading home immediately after the race in 2019.
If you have any questions about the race preparation, feel free to contact me! Although I’m not an expert, I have 4 road and two CX races in 2018 in the saddle. I might not be the right person to ask for a specific training plan for the race, as I don’t have an education as a trainer. Personally, I would not over exaggerate it just in the week before the race and eat a little more carbohydrates than usual.
I also wrote a detailed report about the race Eschborn-Frankfurt here.
So, and now you get really big news: Mary (@qom_at_me) and I will drive this race together in a month! Appropriately, it’s Mary’s first race. And it’s big news because our legs are almost 4m long together. #RiesenTeam
I’m really looking forward to seeing you – and of course the Team Alpecin 2019!
You want to start with us?
Click here to register!
Registration open until 14th April and subsequent appointment possible
#Cooperation: Thanks to Eschborn Frankfurt for the support of the launch site!