Prologue - Ślężański Mnich is similar every year.

It is said that "Whoever is not in Sobótka, this new season has not started", that's why we went there for the second time in a row. Although we belong rather to people who do not end the season, the April weekend near Wroclaw is slowly becoming a custom that we will not leave soon. Why? Because it's great there.

Taught last year's mistakes, both sports and logistics, this year we did great. Well ... almost - who could have guessed that women compete in the category of amateurs and not in women-open :) Looking at the turnout is probably everyone but us, which is why the most-titled cyclist of our team did not start this weekend anywhere, but otherwise it's great though.


Over 400km from the house, and on-site friends, friends of friends or future acquaintances.


The race is organized mainly for professionals and allows each of us to feel this way. You can clearly feel the influence of PZKOL from the first minutes when the competition office starts, as the organizer notifies us with a text message and at the same time states that you must TRY to give away the chip after the start. You should also give a number, which printed on paper consists of 60% of the proper number and 40% of the Deichman inscription, thanks to which it is so large that I can not pin it without covering the pockets in the shirt. Well, if I were over 2 meters, there would be no such problems. I do not plan to take gels or magical tubes for a little over an hour, so no problem. In addition, in the package, we get two more agrawki ("why do you need more, two are enough to keep the number on the back") and the previously mentioned chip mounted on the fork with the help of a tritium. Whoever never scratched the frame, cutting off the tritium from it, let the first one throw a stone. For this a bit short distance, because only 3x17km - taking into account almost a thousand required to get here by car ... the proportions do not match.


Saturday is training with Huzar.


We are looking for accommodation as close as possible to the start. As part of minimizing potential stresses, it's good to have a stone's throw to the finish line. So we decide to Dom Turysty "Pod Wiezyca" in Sobótka. It has everything we need. Beds, a piece of floor between them (too small to put a bike), with a thousand high stairs (maybe slightly exaggerated) and shared bathrooms. For 35 PLN per head is a fair price. We have a 2-minute drive at the office (and a dash) with a term of 0, some 10 minutes back with a cadence of 90.

Getting there from Warsaw is cool, even though the route always looks different, because we're lost somewhere. Leaving after work on a Friday from the city center, the place can be reached at a reasonable time the same day. Even hooking under the lead o the best pizza in the area in Mokronos. Unfortunately, we only eat there once, because the occupancy rate is so high that, without prior reservation, it is difficult for a place for 6 people.


Day one - a trip with Huzar, uphill ROADS


On the Saturday collection, several dozen of us are checking in at the hotel


Rides with pros, on which there are more than 20 people always look the same. This time, we were definitely more than 50, which made the first 45km less than 3 hours after leaving the house. We were a little mad, we talked a little bit with friends - a classic Saturday morning. The South is the time for the annual race under Tuczadła organized by SZOSA.


The surroundings of Wroclaw are nice, even when there are no mountains in the area.


Organized in the form of an individual time trial, it includes a route of about 2.5 kilometers with an average slope of 5% (there is little flattening on the way, which makes the route quite difficult). We all start, the next people move in minute intervals. I have no power with me, I do not know with which heart rate these 5 minutes are going, so I use a universal tactic: from taking off to the corpse, and what happens next then I will be worried on the route. However painful it may be for this time, you can survive. Along the way I pass by 3 or 4 people, which works quite motivating. Looking subjective: I am going fast. The average heart rate comes out to me 177, i.e. exactly the one on which I am holding for less than 40 minutes of running for 10 kilometers. Running heart rate and cycling are two different things - I'm dead on the line like never before: the head pulsates, the lungs are bleeding, the diaphragm of wheezing. I estimate the power at about 5.5W / kg, maybe a little more.


Time-lenses are not especially friendly to the lungs, heart and several other organs connected to them


Uphille and time trials are simple. There is no cycling enchantment, planning, technique, strategy and the necessary dose of happiness. The one who presses harder (as much as he weighs himself) also drives faster; whoever drives faster, he wins. It was evil - pure evil, never again. I won. With a 6-second advantage over the other playerbut quite far behind KOM. Let's dump it on weather conditions that did not help. It wafted in the face - although as we know, it always blows in the face. Okay, I'm going back as I said, but I like this competition. It's a bit like running, holding the pace and fighting with yourself. Then just a visit to the pizza in Mokronos, pickup friends from the airport and full squad waiting for the Sunday race.


... but a good result rewards everything


Day two, last - race.

Spring races have one major disadvantage. It's cold in the morning, it's hot in the afternoon. At the start, the man freezes, dissolves along the route. I spend the morning hours walking in and out of the house in various clothing combinations. After debates, consultations, tests and forecasts, we all move briefly, which turns out to be a great choice. We go like this as one of the few. A warm-up moment (which we skipped last year, quickly regretting, when 3 minutes after the start I was already in the "red field") and quickly to the sectors.

I enter goals 20 minutes before the start to set well. Nothing gives and I land in the eye of the 27th row of riders. At the start of several hundred cyclists. Again wrong, always bad. I start breaking all resolutions with the pace "how much God gave in the feet" to get involved in the first group and politely go with it to the last straight, where I will jump out and win. This year it will be easier because there are two ramps at the finish. I like these finishes, because in the memory of youtubes compiling events on the sprint, I prefer to experience them driving 35km / h than 55km / h. A big plus for the organizers that this year's railings do not have internal legs and nobody will stumble over them. At the time I did not know that the sprint would not be there, because we had a group of about 15 people scattered about a dozen or so meters away.




I do not stick to the plan. In the area of ​​5 kilometers, I'm pulling the whole peloton, a moment later, we're going with Adam a dozen or so meters ahead of the rest. Well, we can say that we are going to take photos with the peloton in the background, but as for the anger - there are no photographers. Several times that day I try to leave with someone but nothing comes out. I return politely to the peloton and go in the middle of the group. The plan works until I notice a group riding in front of us, far on the horizon. SKIP. It is definitely a younger sector. I will skip, connect to them, get on the wheel, such a plan. I leave the group, go to the corpse, alone for half a lap, sometimes after some fellows, but it does not help much. I catch them a bit behind the driveway, reaching the reserve. It turns out that it's the M30 head from which I moved. I do not know when I missed their departure. Drama. We are already going to the finish line in a dozen or so people, where everything will be explained on the uphills.


The wind was not as annoying as last year, but it always blows in Sobótka. Ranty on the second part of the loop are certain.


Sometimes I go ahead and slow down a little, then everyone releases and rests for a while. Sometimes I weld someone, because no one else wants to. I have no strength for a daring departure. In key turns, aware of my technical shortcomings, I always enter one of the first - thanks to that I will not break off. I will not commit last year's mistakes a second time.


The last exit, two crazy turns and a long straight line.


I'm riding awfully, but I'm not letting go. On the penultimate hill we drive together, at the end I lose a bit. I see at the congress as my box leaves. I come 13, both in the open and in my category. Our sector was the fastest. It reminds me that the next 10 years in M30 will be tough.


Meta. The moment I dreamed about for most of the race came a bit early.


I am satisfied with the start. You could go smarter and be a few positions higher, but it can be better forever. It can always be faster. The most important thing is that professional experience pays off and the awareness of one's weaknesses helps to prevent their escalation. I did not turn much better than last year, but I can hide it. I am not going much more technically, but the confidence in the peloton covers it. The most important thing is that the watts agree - it confirms the whole weekend. Trainer and structured training (which nevertheless allows for a huge amount of so-called cycling tourism, for example, a 300-kilometer tour from Milan to San Remo a moment earlier) pays off.


For all those who have turned the page to the end: "The dog that watched the bikes".