- Venue: Ischgl (AUT)
- Date: 5 August 2017
- Distance: 79km
- Climbing: 3800m
- Position: 15th
- Time: 4h27
Luckily this race do not come as a surprise for me anymore having participated in 2012 and 2013, but for any newcomers, the two big climbs on the second loop is a real eye opener! Well... maybe not for the boys who live amongst these mountains, but for sure for sure for an African Savana Lion ;)
The Ironbike starts and finishes in Ischgl, very well known for some wild parties and skiing during the winter months, but no party for us this week! The 79km is split into two loops, the first with a mere 800m of climbing and two 'small' climbs. Small is relative as both these climbs are almost like doing two Franschhoekpasses to put it into terms for my Saffa colleagues. The second loop is were the fun and business really starts with two crazy big and steep climbs. Both rising above 2800m with a total of 1500m altitude gain for the first and 1100m for the second.
After two great weeks up in Melchsee-Frutt with Kristian full of focus and bike riding, somehow it never really felt like I was getting into racing mode in the days leading up to this race. It also clearly showed in the start of the race feeling somewhat lethargic, but halfway up the first monster climb I slowly started to get into my stride and caught quite a few riders moving into 8th, but on the first part of the trail I spotted Alban with a mechanical, too bad as he was riding strong in the small second group chasing Kris, we quickly swopped wheels and he set off to catch back to 6th, while I took a slightly calmer approach to the finish after loosing time fixing the puncture.
Kris had an absolute stormer! It looks like the altitude training and climbing did the trick as he seized the lead up the first big climb and never looked back, winning the race with just over four minutes to Porro in 2nd and Kaufmann in 3rd. Another great weekend with the team and staff! Thank you Ischgl and the event organizers for looking after us so well, it is always such a pleasure when invited and events makes the top riders feel welcomed and creating role models!
Video | Event Summary
Pictures | TVB Paznaun - Ischgl