Pizzeria Espanola in the Peloton

Race 22 – LXIV Trofeo Santa Maria Magdalena Novelda

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After travelling on Friday to Seville, and racing the Vuelta a Sevilla on Saturday and Sunday, immediately after the race on Sunday afternoon we traveled into the evening for 6 hours, from Sevilla to our next race at Novelda, near Alicante – the LXIV Trofeo Santa Maria Magdalena Novelda.  It was a 600Km six hour journey, so luckily I had brought a good book with me, which helped to pass the time on the journey.

We arrived at our hotel near Novelda at 10pm and immediately had a lovely dinner, outside on the patio, at a very old restaurant in the little village, with traditional Spanish music playing in the background.

 

At midnight it was time for bed, but first I had to wash my race kit, meaning that I had to wear damp kit for the race in the morning, yuk. On top of that, we only had 5 hours sleep, so with the hard weekend of racing wearing our bodies down, and the travelling making us weary, I had to really force myself to shake off the tiredness, and to get a decent focus together for the race ahead.

 

Novelda was incredibly hot, and this was my hottest race yet, with temperatures above 40 degrees. You wouldn’t believe how different it is to race in this kind of heat, which is twice as hot as a typically hot summer day in England. Absolutely boiling hot. It’s ok on the flat, but when we hit the climb is when the pure madness begins, with the searing heat.This extreme heat affects your race nutrition, because it becomes impossible to eat. You just don’t feel like it. On top of that, your throat is continuously becoming dry, and so you are continually drinking copious amounts of water for both your throat and for re-hydration, so your belly fills up, and then you eat something and feel terrible, with everything swilling around in your belly. It’s a very difficult situation, and you end up with stomach ache.

 

There was no way that we could replace my damaged gear shifter, so I had to ride the team’s spare bike again, which was awful to ride for me as it was very uncomfortable and has a very short stem and high handlebars. Still, it was better than nothing, and thankfully it allowed me to continue racing, even if my form was compromised. When attacking in the race I was unable to get into a low aero position, and I lacked power due to the high handlebars and the 50T front chainring, so I decided it best to stay in the peloton as much as possible.

 

It was a reasonably flat course with a long drag climb part way through. At the start of the race there was already a break of around 20 riders that stayed away to the end of the race. Part way through the race I quickly ran out of water and dropped back to the team car for more. My team Director Ivan David instructed me to go to the front of the peloton, so I did, and put in a few digs. I drifted further down the group on the climb, and when the peloton split into three groups in strong crosswinds, I found myself in the middle third group in the split.

 

I finished the race in 66th place, in a group of around 30 riders at 4.27 behind the leader, which was not too bad considering the spare bike I was riding and the general tiredness and fatigue from the prior two days racing, the extreme heat, and the extensive travelling over the last few days.

Next weekend there is no no race, but I will be returning to racing in two weeks time.

Ciao for now

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sol Warwick Pizzeria Espanola

Foto: Alvaro Garcia/Pizzeria Espanola

 

 

Sol Warwick on the spare team bike

Foto: Alvaro Garcia/Pizzeria Espanola

 

 

In the Peloton

Foto: Alvaro Garcia/Pizzeria Espanola

 

 

 

 

Results Sheet 1

 

 

Results Sheet 2

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