The 100 cycling challenge is a stretch of 100km’s worth of road heading from the Dead Sea 100kms down south towards Aqaba. The Friday morning wind had no mercy. Headwind going at about 25km/h was not ideal. Put endurance aside, the road race was all about strategy & tactics and it really showed how I have zero experience when It comes down to road cycling races in comparison to triathlon.
I had two main race goals this time. To finish with the main pack and to finish first in the road solo category. Going into the race I was tired having just finished my epic 4:37 half ironman in Bahrain 5 days beforehand with no recovery time in-between. I had my usual race day wake up routine. 3 tablespoons of granola/oats with hot water, a hot coffee alongside a banana and some good tunes.
The race was really the oddest experience I have ever had. I was completely lost and I don’t think at any point I knew what I was doing. Everything was odd and different. We started off with this weird 10km’s of warmup before the race officially started. Starting my Wahoo during the warmup got me a little lost in terms of the statistics as I should have probably lapped it as soon as the warm up ended in order to find out what my real normalized power value was. We had to follow this stupid Harley Davidson till the race officially started and the massive amounts of wind made us feel like it was no warm up from the very start (it was cool to try to draft behind the Harley though).
During the most part of the race I was at the top end of the peloton going all out against the wind. This was also totally against my plan but somehow I felt like I had no other choice. The whole week before the race everyone was telling me to not take charge and to keep resting for as long as I could. This is exactly what all the others did. They were being extremely careful with spending the minimal amounts of energy whilst keeping within the group. It was a little crazy to be honest. I was stuck at the front the whole way and for some reason I had no idea how to get back. Even If I tried going really slow no one was kind enough to help me out. If I had decided to go super slow in the hopes of letting people pass me they would simply keep cycling behind me. It was damn frustrating.
There was a very funny time (above) where the national team got really pissed off at their coaches for some reason and they kept shouting curse words at anyone and everyone. People were also driving like maniacs swinging left right and center without giving a single shit. A couple of pile ups also resulted. It was the most stressful ride of the year. Things got really frustrating, they were also scary in terms of safety and for some reason I decided to sprint everyone just for the hell of it. It was funny. I have no idea what was going on in my head but It was a complete waste of energy and frustration was key to doing these weird ass mistakes. There was no time to take water bottles from the support car even and I just relied on gels the whole way. I think I ended up having a total of six gels, one sports drink and one water. Things were mixed and different.
At the end of the race i took a left hand turn towards the finish being first place in my category. For some reason I was not in the mood. I was so frustrated and just in such a bad mood. What a shitty race it was and I had zero energy mentally to push myself. We reached the end where everybody is supposed to sprint and I just did not care anymore. I let them all pass me knowing that I will podium as third. I really don’t know what went through my mind but It was not my day.