And this year I have (amazingly) managed to win a bike and a bells and whistles trip with BMC to do the full 244km sportive. All for 150 words about my love of beer, cobbles and Belgium with 5 photos of me (all on off road bikes). Credit to BMC for putting faith in a cheery cx racing female 40 something as one of their six winners.
Cue a lot of frantic pedalling - what was a 'I quite fancy doing the full Ronde' turned rapidly into 'I need to finish, and smiling, to uphold BMC's faith'.
Luckily, the bike is amazing. It's a BMC Granfondo GF01:
Carbon light, super speedy with (green-eyed-envy-inducing) Ultegra Di2 gears and designed for the cobbles of the Spring Classics.
Alone, though, not even the bike will get me 244km. So, in my effort to live up to the fabulous bike, I've been training. More than just 'riding a bit extra' (which is what my actual CX race training has consisted of so far). I've done intervals twice a week. Ridden to work (a hilly 40 miles carrying a back pack between Todmorden and Buxton) and even back some days (I've blogged these separately).
Cycle commute. It's not always that sunny.
I've dragged Chipps out on my first century ride. He's started proclaiming that 'if it's not 120km it's really not worth doing'. He stuck to this on our fortuitously booked holiday, in the last week of March. We rode a few stonking Spanish loops, taking us over the hundred mile mark again and also into the realm of bonk, reminding me that half the battle will be to keep myself fed.
|Setting off on my first Century - Cheshire loop devised by Si|
Hopefully this will prepare me for the Ronde. I've not managed to ride 150 miles in one go yet. Flanders will be my first time. But I have cobble practice under my belt, and a reasonable time in the saddle and a lot more climbing in my legs than I'll need on the day. I'm excited and nervous. But the forecast is good, fingers are crossed and I'll report back on how I do!