Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Bad Goisern isn't that far

Last week, me and my team mates want it to go at the Balkan Championships in Montenegro. Due to some facts we ended up to go at Bad Goisern, in Austria at the Salzkammergut Trophy, a long tradition race.

<= Landscape near Bad Goisern.

We didn’t know what to expect there so all the team were very excited and motivated to do a good race. We got there Friday morning (about 1a.m.), we installed our tent next to the football field and got some sleep. After getting up, we made our groceries, eat well and after that me and my team mate, Eli, got on the bike to see a bit the area and the last part of the race course. We couldn’t miss something like that, because we don’t get every day a chance to see something similar. Not long after that on the road we met the 2 times winner of “Il Giro”, Gilberto Simoni and the ex-world marathon champion, Thomas Dietsch. We realized that we will take part in a big race with a lot of big names.

<= In this photo I was training with Eli on the race course

For me after the National Championships, I was pretty tired and I’ve decided to run at the 54 km distance (with the kids and old ladies), not to force myself too much. I took this race as a preparation for the World Cup from Schladming. So far so good...

<= The second block at the 54 km distance. I was near the Nissan gate.

<= in the race.

In the race morning the rain started to fall pretty hard at 9am when my mates Oli and Eli had the start at the 100km distance. ‘till 10:30 it didn’t stop…At 10:40 I was at the start area but I had a big surprise, the sun was rising, but… it was full of riders (a lot of great riders, I even saw a few from Duke Im Park from Vienna)… so I’ve ended to start with the second group (considered much slower).

So the race was a difficult one, even if the distance was pretty short. After the start, I’ve started with a guy from Australia, but after 25 minutes he remained behind and I was all alone. I was passing so many riders… I can’t even count how many. It was obvious that I got the start in the wrong group. I couldn’t find anyone to stay with. On descends I was pretty careful not to fall, when I was passing other riders, but on the climbs I was pushing me so hard. I even stopped once to refill my bottle. Finally, in the last 12 or 15 km I got next to a guy from Austria and go with him for almost 10 km. It was great, because I had someone to keep the pace with it. After that he made a mistake and he remained behind and I’ve decided to push harder. I didn’t catch up other riders to stay with, but in the last 3km a group of 3 riders got me, and I pushed very hard to stay with them and I’ve make it ‘till the finish line.

The photos bellow are also from the race.

After the race I was speechless, I didn’t find my words to describe the course, the organization … everything was amazing. The long steep climbs and the technical and fast descends and also the landscapes were great. If you are an adrenaline junkie, this race is dedicated to you!

I was very impressed to see a lot of Cannondale bikes, from older to new models, from the low entry to high end. I was very happy to see that is much appreciated.

Finally I’ve finished on 36th position at M AK1 category (my age cathegory) and on 73rd position on the general, which is a good position, regarding the start, the fatigue on the last weeks. My mate Oli finished on a surprising 36th (118th general) at 100km and Eli on 50th (169th general) at the M AK 1. At the 54km run also Voicu, our driver for this race. He finished on 229th (915th general) The winner at the 100km was Gilberto Simoni and at the extreme distance, 200km, the winner was Thomas Dietsch. In the evening all of us went out even if it rained for the pasta party , talking about the race and our impressions. Of course everyone was amazed...

For the opportunity to go at this race I would like to say a big thank you to Tudor Maros from MarosSport, for supporting the costs, to Voicu for driving us there, to all my sponsors for the material suport, to my parents and Simona for the motivation, and not last of all Gabee my coach, for training and preparing me!.

<= Before the race, watching the landscapes.

Now I am resting and trying to recover for the next race, the Marathon from Baia Mare. I’ll run again at the short distance, trying to prepare myself for the World Cup, and because I am not fully loaded to run for a 100km distance race in such a short time.

If you would like to see the whole gallery, please click here

You can also find the whole results here for all the classes and the categories.

Wish you the best and see you at the next races.

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Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Romanian National XC Championships

This year location of the National champs was changed from Paltinis to Izvorul Muresului...but it was not the best choice. Even if the landscapes were amazing I guess that here the organizers made a mistake because the last 2 years course was amazing and this one wasn't that great...

Now let's skip this and get to the point. The course wasn't so technical, but the climbs were pretty steep and it was hard. An important issue was the setup of the bike - compression and rebound of the fork, the sprockets cassette combination, the tires and the pressure on it, everything.
This time I was lucky, I didn't had any major technical problems.
I didn't feel that good because I was pretty tired from the last 2 weeks training and I didn't recover at time.

Finally I've finished 3rd at Under23 which is a good result for me; my goal was to get 20 UCI points (that was meaning to finish on 5th place) to go at the World Cup from Schladming and I have accomplished. I would also like to congratulate Tudor my team mate, for winning the 3rd place at Men Elite category and Eli for the good run, even if he finished 5th. Oli the other team mate finished 7th.

I would like to thanks to my parents and Simona for the extra motivation, to my good friend and coach Gabee Imling for getting me prepared for the races. I would like also to say a big thank you to the team sponsor Maros Tudor (from MarosSport), to the guys from Cannondale, Met, Continental, Selle Italia, Xpedo, Sapim, Syntace, VDO, Sponser and to the rest of my sponsors and collaborators for the great race material and motivation that they are offering me. And thanks to ciclism.ro for the photos

You can find all the photos here

Wish you the best,

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