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London 2013; Misty eyed optimist?
London 2013; Misty eyed optimist?
With the season over for 2012, sights are now set on the ITU World Champs in London in September 2013. Qualification race booked at the Dambuster in June, so 7 months of graft awaits!

Vuelta hell!

jamesrunchmanby jamesrunchmanNov 15th 2012
Great day today. Up early for a morning sea swim in Benidorm, did about 2.5km. The swell was a bit high but sea temperature was ok and I really enjoyed it. Starting to get to grips with my sighting / navigation issues! Back to the house and out on the bike.

The weather was lovely again today, sunny and warm with a cooling breeze. Went straight out into the mountains after a quick look at the map. The road we chose looked undulating, turned out it was more UPdulating. Although it was hell and without doubt the hardest bike ride I have ever experienced, It was incredible. I cannot express enough how spectacular this climb was; switch-back after switch-back, relentless! The cycling here is amazing, if you ever get the chance to do it, I guarantee you will love it! We had accidentally found our way on to stage 2 of the 2011 Vuelta a Espana, or the hilly part of it anyway. We were climbing for over an hour and a half before any respite and hitting the summit at Aitana (no photographic evidence as I was in a crumpled heap)!

By this time we were absolutely starving! Yes, our admin had let us down again, we didn't have any food! It took us another hour of up and down before we stumbled across somewhere open for lunch. Its a good job we found it when we did as I was seriously thinking about going off into the woods to forage, or steal a couple of oranges (only we were too high up for fruit growing). We had the menu del dia; bean soup followed by a large salad and calamari with chips and various other fried stuff (I don't know what), a large coffee and a bottle of water. Was very difficult to prize ourselves and our extended bellies away from the log fire and back out onto the roads, but needs must!

Hours of more "UPdulating" roads and a fantastic descent of about 25km all the way back into Benidorm. The final climb to the house was truly emotional, but finally got home in a very bad way. Straight into the pool to ice the legs and then a shower. Now sat in the lounge unable to move after a steak dinner, kindly cooked by Harry and John (nice one lads)! Although I have eaten, the tank is on empty and am contemplating a rest day tomorrow (at least off the bike). Will probably do a swim in the morning and a long run in the afternoon........

Early night tonight, I will sleep like the dead!

Photos below:

1. Photo taken early on in the ride; The peak in the distance covered in cloud is the summit at Aitana (I think).
2. Where we came from (picture taken about halfway up).
3. View of the lake at Guadalest. If we had gone past it I would have jumped in!
Vuelta hell!
Vuelta hell!
Vuelta hell!
 
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