Earlier this week the weather had been nice and cool, after a few weeks of intense heat. This is my advice to you when you’re new to living in very hot weather… buy a fan! It’s a no brainer!
Yesterday the temperature increased, and it will be getting even hotter in the next few weeks. The 145km race in Arevalo started at 5pm which is the worst time of the day to cycle or to even go for a walk, it’s just so stupidly insane!
However, the course suited me, as it was pan flat, with a very long section of cobblestones on a 3 lap course.
While waiting at the start line, I drank a cold bottle of water in a few seconds! and already I was needing more.
During the first part of the race, I followed some attacks to make a breakaway, but it didn’t work. Eventually 3 of my teammates managed to make a 12 man breakaway. Then I was following one of the strong riders, when he attacked, and I followed him. Eventually we made a big chase group, but this time I didn’t do any work, due to my teammates being in the break, so it was an advantage for me.
After sitting in the group, we were catching the breakaway as we could see them in the distance, at the halfway point of the race. But the peloton eventually caught us, then we slowed right down and let the breakaway go.
Because the team car was with our guys in the break, this meant that the rest of us in the team couldn’t get any water. Some riders did get more water from their family from the side of the road, but my family were hundreds of miles away, so no water for me!
I was hoping that the team car would come back to us, but unfortunately it didn’t happen.
I continued to follow attacks, but it got to now 1 hour without water, in over 30 degrees heat. I was dying out there!
We did make another 2nd group, and it was a good strong solid group, but I was suffering to hang on, and my throat was dry. I asked some fellow riders to give me a bit of water, but they refused as they needed it. Fair enough, I would probably do that same!
I was praying that the team car would come back to give me more cold fresh water! Water, water, water!
We arrived at the 2nd cobblestones section, and there was a group ahead who had earlier attacked from our group, so I attacked on the cobblestones, and I managed to bridge over before the section was finished. My head was spinning like hell! We were passing through the town where there were people handing out the bottles.”AGUA!!!” I yelled! I knocked the first one over, but I managed to grab the second one. I literally downed a bottle in what seemed less than 5 seconds! I needed more!
I was in the top 20 with the 2nd group with about 40km to go. I tried to stay there and hang on, but I felt like my head was so heavy and I was losing power. Then I popped, even on the flat without doing any work. I pulled over, as I thought I was going to vomit.
After a few minutes resting, I got back on the bike. Felt better, but still feeling pretty dizzy. I was going easy until the last group caught me and we continued to ride to the finish line, but unfortunately it had ruined the race.
Soon I found out that my teammates came 3rd and 7th, so I was happy that we got something.
But I was totally spaced out after the race, with the after effects of dehydration and heat stroke. I tried to recuperate myself with drinking a lot of water. Eventually I felt a bit better and I got my head got back in place. I needed to sleep, but I had to travel back to Madrid on the train.
I Got back home in Madrid at 1:30am and I totally crashed out, then woke up at lunchtime the next day!
Feeling much better now though. My next race is on Saturday, so I’m looking forward to it and I will make sure to tell the team… WATER!
Adios for now!