Sally had a tough time in May and June with illnesses, but July has been amazing and it seems that all her bad luck is behind her! The month started well with victory at Dolomiti Superbike. The race was 119km with 3800m of climbing and includes some spectacular mountain passes through the heart of the Italian Dolomites.
I really love the mountains in South Tirol; it’s a special place for me, because it was the location of my first international race in 2008. I won there in 2012 and 2013, so defending my title in 2014 was a great feeling and even more so after the problems I’ve had the last couple of months.
Last week was the Transalp, starting in Oberammergau (Germany) and finishing 7 days later in Riva del Garda (Italy). I always think that racing a stage race is kind of like being on a treadmill that’s set at pace slightly too fast and it’s not possible to slow it down or to get off it until the finish line of the final stage! Together with my team partner Ben Thomas (GBR) we won 6 out of 7 stages and took the overall title in the Mixed Category. It was a nice change for me to race mixed (normally I race the Women’s Category) and I enjoyed racing on the limit every day, in fact our time of 30 hours and 5 minutes would have placed us 16th in the Elite Men’s Category! Never an easy moment…full gas the whole time 😉 Consequently I consumed two boxes of TORQ gels, two 1.5kg bags of TORQ energy and 1.5kg of TORQ recovery over 7 days. Maximum fuel (80g per hour) = full power 🙂
Over the 600km and 20,000 metres of climbing we had a perfect race, all apart from some challenging weather conditions ranging from 30+ degrees Celsius to less than 10 degrees with thunder and lightning! In fact, the weather seemed to alternate between one day very hot and the next cold and wet – at least it gave us chance to clean and dry our waterproofs!
The race was great training and perfect preparation for my next goal, which takes us to the Rocky Mountains for the Leadville 100, where I intend to defend my 2013 title. Tomorrow we travel to the US to begin acclimatising; racing between 3000 and 4000 metres is pretty tough!