Lead up to World Marathon Champs

IMG_4112Heading into a hanging Austrian side valley at 1700 Meters was the perfect location to rest up from 4 days of climbing at the Alpen Tour.  It was also ideal to start acclimatizing to the medium altitude (1500M-2200M) which the World Marathon Championships will take place at.  There’s nothing like the power of nature to heal the body and after 3 days of relaxing it was back on the bike for 4 days of solid climbing practice in  the surrounding alpine.

The riding in the Otzal Alps was great as long fire roads  lead up to alpine huts where a guy could stop for a warm drink before searching out some single track for the return.    The weather was iffy with rain and temperatures hovering between +2 to +10 but when you grow up in the Rocky Mountains surrounding Jasper this feels fine and the crisp cool air sure brings one alive!IMG_4121

Heading into Italy the weather turned for the better at the border and with 5 days till race day we are busy checking out the 87 km course with 4700 Meters of climbing.  It’s a real monster and one of  the hardest sub 100 km race courses I’ve ever experienced.  It’s 80 % fireroad and snakes its way around the alpine under the towering Dolomite peaks with some nice single track descending mixed in.

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Last year I raced here in the UCI Marathon World Series with over 4000 other cyclists  and finished 15th in what is a pure climbers course.  This year will be even harder against the Worlds best but with 4 days left to pre-ride the course, the right bike in my Kona King Kahuna, and huge motivation to finish this Euro campaign on a high note I have a feeling it will  be a good one!

Previews of the race can be found at:   www.sellarondhero.com & Marathonmtb.com

 

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