The 2012 edition kicked off with a demanding uphill starting in the marvelous spa city of Kudowa Zdroj traversing the Table Mountains. It was mainly to score a good position for the first stage. The long lasting rainy period left its marks and traction was imperative.
Odds are good that this edition of the Bikechallenge will provide a great battle among the usual suspects that are: Erik Skovgaard [DNK], Tomáš Vokrouhlík [CZE] , Martin Horák [CZE]. And the time trial ended up just in this order, albeit with marginal distances.
I lined up with very reserved expectations suffering from a virus. I must be satisfied if I can just accomplish all those 6 days as that’s been my season plan. Much to my surprise, though, right after the first couple of hundred meters the sensation was more than positive. And as always, one has the notion to have good legs; it’s hard to back off. I must be utterly humble with my expectation so top 30 would be more than awesome.
The time differences are rather hilarious, chiefly in the range of seconds. But as experience teaches us, if you are pushing it way too had in the first stage there is no way to regain this intensity, what’s more, the GC placing trend tends to be negative, meaning chances are, you can’t recover from this first outburst any longer.
The astounding spa venue of Kudowa Zdroj had us charge our mental batteries with great expectations, all seemed to be just as fresh as eager, that’s mostly due to the high temperatures already at the start.
From the get go the first groups went and Skovgaard set a high pace to eliminate the still decently large group. Vokrouhlík and his BMC team partner Horák meant to decide the race in the more arduous part of the stage, though the Danish Skovgaard kept e relentless pace even downhills so that the first leg went to him. 8 minutes later the BMC riders crossed the finish jointly.
I have got the notion that the race matured over the years and lost its carnage nature insofar as its trademark as a relentless race, which is far beyond the usual European well known races. It’s useless and not appropriate to categorize either as benign or hard or whatever, as a tons of folks will prefer the new Bikechallenge , thus the popularity among these bikers – mostly from Germany and Austria – will gain on popularity. I am an advocate of the newest edition, as it boasts a balanced mixture of those feared track sections the race has been famous of ever since, simultaneously its has a ton of relenting parts too, where there is a good opportunity for those that prefer the rather forgiving characteristics, thus comes in their favor too.
The 1st stage was just exactly this. There was plenty of demanding ups and downs but also a playground for tacticians.
I had a decent day; the virus seems to leave my body and the aches being associated with cold is diminishing. I was how I ended up, and must be really content with the outcome. I’m still in the we-will-see-how-it-goes mode so every accomplished stage, is half the battle won. It has [to be not totally healthy], obviously some positive sides as well. It teaches me [the hard way] how to back off, to ride intelligently, save as much power as even viable, and how not to get carried away with some opportunistic moments and possibilities that a race sometimes presents.
I scored 11 in my category which is evidently far beyond I have envisaged.