WORDS: EMILIE MOBERG
It’s been 4 months, 1 week and 4 days since we last pinned numbers on in Belgium and raced Le Samyn. Not that I was counting…
Well, I think its fair to say that all pro cyclists are quite eager to start racing again, after having a four month training block and only online racing – I have to admit that I have been pretty excited about those Zwift races, more than I thought I would be. We had just started the Spring season when Covid-19 hit us hard, all of us. The rest of the cycling season was delayed or even worse, cancelled. We did not know when we could race again, so we just kept on training for whatever would happen later in the year.
I always had hope that we would race again in the Summer or at least that we would have some races in the Autumn, but it could also be that there would be no more racing on the road in 2020. In May we could finally see some light at the end of the tunnel as the Government said that we probably would have national races in July. The UCI also published some positive news and a revised but very compact race calendar for the Autumn.
But this evening we will pin our numbers on again for the first-time post Covid-19. The first Norwegian cup race will be held in the mountains of Golsfjellet, and it is a 4 day Stage Race. The stages are quite short in distance, but we will have to ride a lot of altitude meters every day. There will be some Covid-19 regulations like limitations on the size of the peloton with a maximum of 150, no sign-in before the start, limits for people in the feed zone and less media, although not a huge issue at the Norwegian races!
So, Stage 1 is a Time Trial, an uphill Time Trial on gravel, that is exciting. 5 km, 4 % average so no TT bike. Stage 2 is a Road Race where we start on the top of the mountain, race down to a lake to do a hilly loop and then back up to the top of the mountain, with a steep 5 km climb at 8% avg. Its fair to say its one for the mountain goats. Stage 3 is a pretty short 88km but with 40 % of the course on gravel and with 1500 meters of climbing to conquer. The finish is at the top of the same climb that we race the uphill Time Trial on Thursday. The last stage is a flat one, almost like a Belgium Kermesse, 6 laps and 50 km in total. It will be the only stage for non-climbers. Every day and every stage offers fantastic scenery along the route, so there will be plenty of Instagram and Facebook moments for the parents!
Our team is only small but we shall be strong as I will have Elise with me. We come from the same city and raced for the same local club, Halden CK, but this is the first time we have raced together in the Drops colours – pretty cool! We will make a good team, I am the Mama with the experience and she is the youngster full of spirit. We want to race aggressively, enjoy that we are actually racing again, and take the opportunities that come on these types of courses. The field is forty-seven girls and women. The main competitors will be Team Hitec Products who have a strong team and a numerical advantage, but there are also some other strong riders who we will have to watch like FDJ`s Stine Borgli.
Lets get the racing going!