I’m Nora, 23 years old and this year I’m allowed to ride for the Everyman Team of Alpecin. In December I applied – and somehow, it worked the first time! I learned from Team Alpecin when I read an article in the RoadBIKE shortly after my first trip: The members of Team Alpecin 2017 reported on their experience at the Ötztal Cycling Marathon. For me that was unthinkable at the time: a race? With so many altitude meters? In one day?
In fact, the redeeming phone call came at the end of January: I’m in! Nearly 7000 applicants – and I was selected as one of 12! I could hardly believe it, in the true sense of the word. I understood that only when I sat in said plane! And my stomach began to tingle: ahead of me is a year full of professional training according to plan, the equipment of the pros and lots of people who are enthusiastic about the same thing: road cycling!
When I met the other team members at breakfast, I immediately felt really well. A luck! Because they are the ones with whom I will have the most to do in the coming months. Whether in the two intensive days in Bielefeld, in the training camp in Caldaro this week, at a motivation low in the training phases at home or in France, when we start together at the L’Étape du Tour! We drove straight away to Dr. Kurt Wolff Institute. There we would spend the next 2 days, the program was namely tightly timed: Team presentation, equipment issue, performance diagnostics, bike fitting, photos, videos … What a real professional just so everything “must” do!
After the team introduced themselves in front of and behind the scenes, we had a first look at our racing machine: The Canyon Endurace CF SLX 9.0 with the SRAM RED eTap and Zipp 303 wheels! My “old” road bike, on which I have covered 4000 km so far, is also built on Endurance. So it was not a problem to drive safely even in winter or off-road! At the L’Étape, a piece of dirt road is also on the program this year – in addition, the wheel manufacturer even recommends the professionals to pay attention to comfort at these distances. The weight, which is not unimportant, is 7.2 KG. With that, I’m sure I’ll get the most demanding climb! And – respect fundamental discussion – disc brakes! I think it’s great, just when it goes steeply downhill.
Afterwards the bike was of course also fitted: I am not only tall but also have relatively long legs. After I was measured (you can imagine that a bit like a photo), team coach and sports scientist Florian Geyer from the radlabor said that I get a frame in size M:
Performance diagnostics & bike fitting
It continued with the performance diagnostics. I have to admit, I could not imagine that at all. Fortunately, Marina was still in front of me, so I could get a halfway picture: The goal is to find out how good the training state is and where exactly the training potential can be found. You start kicking at 80 watts and every 3 minutes the resistance gets 20 watts higher. Both Marina and I broke off at 260 watts. BUT: in the last 30 seconds of each resistance you get a small drop of blood from a small cannula on the ear. The lactate levels in the blood then only provide information about the actual performance. As far as I understand it, it is (on good Viennese) relatively “Wurscht” how many watts you break off, the lactate in your blood does not lie!Long story short: I have to move my anaerobic threshold backwards, which is possible with many GA1 units. That means: Laaaang and go slow! Florian has also explained to us that many cyclists do not push enough, if need be, and too much when it is not necessary. The exact training plan we get explained in Caldaro, I’ll keep you up to date of course!
Of course, many will be very interested in what we got for equipment at Team Alpecin! In addition to our racing bike, the team Klammotten of Katusha, sports food from Squeezy, Wahoo bike computer, electro-stimulator from Compex and of course everyday and functional clothing from SportScheck: this is for example. needed for training sessions away from the road bike. Of course, the pros also have to be in great shape and, for example, make hull training or stretching sessions. In addition, it is very important in races to be well packed after warming up to the start!
2018 will be my first full summer season. My highlight will definitely be L’Étape du Tour, my first bike race – but I also want to perfect some other things. For example, cornering: Those who can not, loses important seconds in the fast departures! But also the uphill start on very steep streets is not yet very easy for me. For both the training camp in the mountainous South Tyrol is the best option! You can follow me on Strava and look at the tracks!
My very first Zwift-Try!
FOTO COPYRIGHT: pixathlon sportfotografie // Henning Angerer