Heeeyho Readers! Last race was insane!
Let's call it a butt-wrecking, quads-ripping, calves-burning race.
The Serra do Rio do Rastro hillclimb challenge happened on Nov. 6. You can find more about the race here. I raced again after the challenge, which basically resumes this year's competitions — thank God, because my body is showing signs of fatigue due to intense training. Now it's time to light bikepacking trips if money allows.
Saturday, November 5th
Race starts at the foot of Serra Geral, in southern Brazil, at a lovely campsite named Sítio Esperança. Sleeping near the ground and smelling the grass eases the mind before a tough competition. Elevation is modest (400m above sea level), although the finish line is shy of 1400m. That means gaining 1000m in 25km, being the last half brutally inclined.
On cycling events, Saturday is generally reserved to preparations, track inspection, and racing kits distribution. André and I rush to get our kits as soon as setting camp.
Town is burbling with cyclists from all over the country. This competition happens twice a year (March and November) and the objective is to climb as fast as possible. Or face it as a personal challenge for those who don't take cycling as seriously.
On the way to grab lunch we spot Serra Geral looming on the distance. The race is headed to the green wall tomorrow. It's my first time racing here, so not sure what to expect in terms of difficulty.
Typical full-of-carbos meal with lean chicken breast and salad. There's a bizarre mix of pasta and rice — who cares?! At night I ate tilapia fish and more carbos (no pictures this time, I was hungry, sigh).
Sunday, November 6th
Alarm is set for 4:30 to give enough prep time (race starts at 7). At 1:30 I wake up to pee. At 3:30 I jump out of the sleeping bag, ready for breakfast, but it's all dark outside and there's nobody around. Obviously, I woke up one hour early by mistake. Back to bed.
Breakfast consists of cake, bread, fruits, sugar-beet juice and black coffee. By 6:30 we are already lined up at the start.
This is the last picture together before carnage. André is climbing on his own pace, while I plan to fight for positions all the way to the top.
There are hundreds of riders scattered around different age groups and two main styles: road cycling and mountain biking. Around thirty riders compose my age group (30 - 34 yeas old). From the start on it's full gas.
When you are racing there's no time for photos. It took me 1h42min to climb the 25km course, placing me 10th on my category. Had I pushed harder — and I had the energy to cut 10 minutes of my time — I'd be among the top 5. Wasn't bad, and now I have a target for next year's.
The view from the top pays off the pain.
For the cycling geeks out there, a few stats. I weight 62kg @ 185cm and my bicycle is near 13kg (heavy). If I had the money, a 10kg bicycle would make a huge difference. Race starts at 400m and finishes at 1400.
I also didn't choose to go with thinner tires, though that makes no significant difference other than saving some grams. Most of the time I wasted at the start, trying to navigate through heaps of slower riders. Also, I didn't know how hard the course would be, so I saved more energy than I should have.
Next year I plan to fight for at least a top 5 and maybe a top 3 podium. Let's hope for a miraculous crypto moon so a I can get a new bicycle. Or maybe a whale support xD
I hope you've enjoyed this post and don't forget to exercise!
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Disclaimer: The author of this post is a convict broke backpacker, who has travelled more than 10.000 km hitchhiking and more than 5.000 km cycling. Following him may cause severe problems of wanderlust and inquietud. You've been warned.
I already did it in that comment before but let me congratulate you on this great success again! Very impressive. Next year, you will be aiming at the podium. Are there any prizes for the winners?
(TipU prize for this post coming tomorrow! :D)
Yoo thank you! Prize is a trophy for the first 3 of each category. Not sure if money is involved for the top 3 overall. Next year I need a way lighter bicycle, but that's kinda far right now =/
My thought exactly, and I do care!
Anyways, congrats on the finish! 10th is a good spot too. You did way better than at least me 😀 You should be proud of your body that dragged your arse all the way up.
We can never get enough carbs \o
and there's not much left of my arse after this year's competitions =/
Congratulations on your 10th place, well done… even if you wanted to be higher up.
Thanks for sharing the race with us. Before and after… very cool.
To bad you got up 1 hour to early hahaha 🤣 maybe it was the excitement. 😎
Up to the next one.
Have a great evening! 👋🏻
Better position will come next year, 100% sure xD
totally, anxiety kicked in wildly hahaa
That’s cool @mrprofessor 😊👋🏻 You have a whole year to prepare.
I used to do… and I mean many many manyyyyy moons ago, cross country and races on the road, both competition. 🚲
I so can imagine…
Happy day to you 👋🏻😎
That's awesome! Why did you stop?
It was… back problems made me stop.
Initially I thought pasta and rice is a Brazilian thing, but apparently not. Maybe it provides sufficient carbs for cyclists. Anyway, congrats on finishing at 10th place, seems like you have plenty of opportunity to move onto the podium next year
I think it's not uncommon though, just like pasta and beans. It does provide a heck ton of carbs! Plenty of energy before the race and as a glycogen repository after the race. Next year gonna be wild \o\o\
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