The Ride Dolomites | The ultimate suffer test versus great adventure
We are back home and life is nearly back to normal again. Relaxing a bit, finishing off the summer season, making plans for autumn and winter and already thinking of a new goal for 2019.
The Ride Dolomites was truly epic. The fantastic scenery all week long, meeting old friends and getting to know new ones, the endless enthusiasm of the volunteers, the strict morning schedule and most of all the tremendous suffering. But it was suffering with a smile. I knew it was going to be tough, as I did not have the shape and stamina like last year. My crash in April had had a bigger impact than I ever could have imagined.
The first 2 days were hard long days on the bike. There was this feeling in my body I had never felt before. ‘ Why don’t these legs work as I want them to’.
Shut up legs as Jens Voigt would say. But I survived these first 2 days and thought I would only get stronger in the course of the week. But on day 3 I became ill, nauseous and a stomach ache. So after 45 km I ended up in the support vehicle.
To be quite honest, this was some sort of victory for me too. I never allow myself to give up on anything, always keep going, not allowing to fail.
And then day 4 came, the Queen’s Stage! But…. there was also an alternative route, and we formed a nice grupetto with 5, went for a lunch with a view, enjoyed the climbing and descending and made fun. The perfect ride for a perfect recovery. Still 2.400 altitude metres, but the pressure was not there anymore.
And this gave me inspiration for the last 2 days. I began to enjoy the climbing, found the right mind set and suffered a little less.
And then there was this last big climb on day 6. I still wasn’t going very fast, but at least I was smiling again and felt heroic when I reached the col and heard people shearing at me. I did it!
These 6 days of pretty hard cycling also made me think of why I am always so strict with myself. Just let it go and enjoy more and take it easy when necessary. Nienke and I had some nice talks about this issue. Is it a typical women’s issue….. it certainly looks like it.
The finish party on the 6th day was fantastic. Hugging, kisses, compliments and lots of beer!
Yes, I fell even more in love with the Dolomites. But when I return to the beautiful environment I will make sure that I am in perfect shape and will climb these great mountains with a little less suffering and a little more smiling.
Thank you StrongHer for giving Nienke and I this awesome opportunity, wouldn’t have want to miss it for the world.
Photos: Eppo Karsijns
About Maan Klomp
For the last few months The Ride Dolomites had been a little black cloud on my racing calendar. The starting date coming nearer and...Read more
I love sport. I love following athletes in their pursuit of excellence at whatever level that may be. I love stories of adversity, overco...Read more