Season start-up at Riva Marathon
Normally I go for the Ronda Extrema at Riva Bike Festival to justify the loooong travel to lake Garda but this year a crash on the wet and slippery rocks of Monte Brione two days before the race required a slight adjustment of a) the race distance and b) the gear changing (from trigger to grip shift) as my right thumb was sprained and looked like a blue sausage. Nevertheless I was happy being able to start anyway (thanks to the guys from SRAM at the exhibition area).
As usual, after the first 5 km of the race which are always in sprint modus due to a narrow following immediately, I was nearly collapsing asking myself what the hell I am doing there. However, I recovered during the first climb and found to a comfortable rhythm at heart rate 178 bpm ;o)…
I was overtaken by some girls during this first section which could have been my daughters so I didn´t mind, all the more as I did not know which distance they were doing. After around 17 km the race groups were divided into ronda piccolo (44 km / 1600 hm) and ronda grande (72 km / 2800 hm). From that point on I did not face any women again but nevertheless tried to keep up speed, all the more as the last 20 km are mostly downhill fun apart from some short and steep climbs. The trail released me as a lonely rider at Varignano and after a short sprint to Riva I finished as the first women of the WOMEN MASTER category and was overall in 7th position of 70 starters at Ronda piccola.