The first major event in German Cycling Cup (GCC) and the first big amateur race of the year. the Tour d'Energy (TdE) really packs a punch and despite this - or perhaps because of it - they are over 3.000 racing bike maniacs on Sunday, April 23, 2017 in Goettingen in front of the Sparkassen-Arena 100km to torment over the mountains around Göttingen. At temperatures between 0 ° C and 5 ° C with hail, snow, rain and squalls it was definitely not a recovery lap. Great organization and a terrific route nevertheless caused great enthusiasm among all participants.
Preparation and departure to Göttingen
I've been looking forward to this for weeks Tour d'Energy. It was my first participation in this race and also my first participation in a race with so much altitude. Yes, yes, I know! What are for you already 1000Hm? That's quite a lot for me as a lowland biker. I made my way towards Göttingen on Saturday evening and stopped to stay at my sister's, from there it was only 30 minutes to the Sparkassen-Arena. As you know, every minute of sleep counts. I arrived at the start of the Tour d'Energie at around 8:30 a.m. and there was already a lot going on there. I got off my cozy bus to find that it was damn cold, grrrrrrr. So I decided not to change my clothes but first to get my starting documents and to treat myself to a coffee in peace.
The starting documents were given directly in the Sparkassen-Arena, which was simply converted into a supply point. In addition to coffee and tea, the organizers also provided cold drinks and breakfast for the drivers. There was bread, rolls, cold cuts, scrambled eggs and I even thought I smelled bacon. I had already had breakfast and I always have my own ritual there.
On to the start
So I finally had everything ready. So I went back to my Bully and got my racing bike ready. As the number of races I drive increases, so does the experience. I even had my feedback stand with me, which makes it much easier to attach the start numbers - and btw: The whole thing looks a lot more professional : )
I had already wasted a lot of time and so the moment came when I had to move, which I had successfully delayed until now. But there's something about a Bully: close the door and then it's not so cold anymore. I had been thinking about what to wear all morning, it was so cold as hell. After wanting to ride without a rain jacket at first, I hurried back just before the start and put on the rain jacket, which turned out to be a very good decision.
Start of the Tour d'Energy 2017
So at 10:40 am I was at the starting line, I had to wait another 10 minutes, and then starting block by starting block was sent across the starting line. So it started and something between freezing and excitement made me pedal. There was a neutral zone for the first few kilometers and the actual start, including time measurement, was to take place a few kilometers later. The first climbs were not long in coming and as a beginner, I pedaled a little too hard on the first climb. I was determined not to exhaust myself too much on the inclines, but to ride at my own pace and save the strength for riding on the flat.
course of the race
Unfortunately, right at the beginning I threw my good intentions overboard and exhausted myself too much, which I noticed after about 15 km to 25 km. I now had to get back into the round step and restore my strength. In fact, I managed to mobilize my muscles again, but I still noticed an overload throughout the day. From now on, however, everything went according to protocol. Nice round kick in the flats and relaxed up the four fat climbs, as far as you can do it relaxed.
So I slowly worked my way back up a few groups, knowing that on the next climb, riders I'd just overtaken will overtake me again. But as the saying goes: Two steps forward and one step back! This strategy worked quite well.
The characteristics of the mountains
The question I had been asking myself all morning: What should I wear? Also settled during the Tour d'Energy don't answer definitively. While I'm with the driveways sweating like nothing good, it felt during the Departures at as if in some places in my face freezer burn get. wind between 60 km/h and 70 km/h can be really cold. But I didn't want to brake either, the gain in time and speed was too valuable for me, and it's also great fun to race down the hill at almost 70 km/h.
Hoher Hagen mountain classification
As you could certainly see in the course of my report, I had with the mountains Classification nothing much to do. But the High Hagen is sort of that Highlight of the Tour d'Energy and in the literal sense. The incline is long and one has the impression that one ramp is steeper than the other as the ascent progresses. The nice thing: Once you have managed the Hohen Hagen, it only goes downhill afterwards - or at ground level. The level section of the route proved to be very wind-prone, but it was a blessing for me and the prospect of reaching the finish line in a timely manner gave me some additional strength.
Finally, finally, finally, it went through my head. The finish event was really successful and the clapping spectators gave me some strength, but I was happy to finally have reached the finish line. I parked my racing bike on the guarded parking lot and treated myself to a small portion Bolognese pasta, which was kept by the Red Cross for all finishers. I don't think pasta has ever tasted so good.
In the end, I had an official time of 3 hours and 47 minutes on the stopwatch. I had previously set myself the goal of staying under 3 hours 40 minutes, I didn't quite make it, but for the fact that I had no experience or reference value, the estimate was really gigantic. Next year I will tackle at least the 3 hours 30 minutes. I think I could have reached my goal this year if I hadn't exhausted myself so much at the beginning of the race. Would have, would have bike chain,.... All in all I'm pretty happy with myself and the season started well for me. Now it's time to eat up kilometers for the next few weeks to get fit for the Vätternrundan. In order to make the 300km I have to train a bit more.
The very good organization, the hard-working helpers and the great audience make the Tour d'Energie an experience. In every village people stand and wave and clap. Whether it's the starting numbers or the TdE gym bags that we drivers got, everything is a bit fancier and you can tell: The Tour d'Energie is not that commercialized yet such as The Cyclassics. I'll definitely be there again next year, hopefully a little better trained then. You are only as good as you have trained and I just didn't have enough of that until now, that makes it TdE but also so attractive. Being properly trained in April is difficult for everyone. This year I will definitely go to the region around Göttingen and the pre-Harz a few more times to measure myself against the mountains there. See you: At the Tour d'Energy 2018