I managed 11th place in the senior womens category riding for the Rapha Condor Club, with a time of 2 mins 36 , which was a bit lame as I have gone faster than that up Swains previously. However, I failed to warm up and im not really firing on all cylinders currently due to work eating into training time, so I gave it my best, alas coming up a little short this time. It did however feel quite exhilarating to be climbing and having people cheer me on all the way up the hill. Rollapaluza printed every riders name and number in a programme, so lots of people including some excited kids were shouting out each rider by name, giving a nice little feeling of being a famous rider for about a nano second! I also decided to ride my bianchi and not the condor, mainly due to it being a shade over 7kg, and I needed all the help I could get!
I saw some truly epic powering up that hill, it seems like all the competitors bought their A-game to the night, and sure enough registration sold out in the blistering time of 4 minutes this year. Iv decided im totes entering again next year to better my time! Claire put in a strong performance for 5th in the ladies category which was smashed by those whippets from Look Mum No Hands team, those girls are F-A-S-T.
Wow. Im sure everyone felt as awful as I did watching yesterdays events unfold at the tour. To see Flecha and Hoogerland cast across the road like ragdolls left me with an awful lurching feeling in my stomach. These guys turn themselves inside out for the love of the sport – day in, day out.
The men, whether they like it or not, through their brave actions become heroes to everyone who consumes the races – the fan that emulates them on every backyard climb, or the daydreaming office worker, lost in though of battling one of these giants of the road for the finish line.
We care and we love these strongmen, applauding their most courageous acts and appreciating the style and panache they execute their craft with.
Watching the below video of Hoogerland really resonated with me, I saw a vulnerable young and BRAVE man, and what a man he is. Awarded the combativity prize after Flecha refused it as a gesture, and also the KOM jersey, he can take a small amount of comfort in the fact he was amazing. To remount and finish the stage after that crash was spectacular. Well done Johnny, and rest up today.