What's Cool In Road Cycling

Homeboy ESPAСA: Seaside Vacation & Hot Racing

The latest dispatch from Spain has our Homeboy Nathan chillin’ in the summer heat, then racin’ in the summer heat – and you can almost see the heatwaves in the photos…

After the Infierno del Sur, I took some time to recover and then got back into the swing of training, until I started to get some sharp pain in my right knee. In the end, it was nothing to worry about, just working too hard. I took advantage of the rest time to go to Madrid with my girlfriend, Irene, to pick up some documents related to making my mechanical engineering degree equivalent in Spain.

It was a nice trip as we stayed with some of her friends and the weather was nice and cool. As for getting my degree equivalency, it looks like a long battle ahead; apparently the Spanish govt. is going as slow as possible to discourage me. Unfortunately, as far as I’ve been told, this all has to do with the work visa that Spain is reluctant to give me too.

When we got back from Madrid, we decided to continue our vacation and went to the beach for a week. My girlfriend’s family has a beach house in a small beach called La Antilla, about 20min from the boarder with Portugal. I decided to take my bike, just in case I felt like doing some easy riding. After two days at the beach, I had to get on my bike. The first day I just went for short spin, mostly to see if my knee was feeling better. Everything went ok, so the next day I decided to go a little further and do some exploring. I ended up riding northwest from the beach and found a little town on the Spain-Portugal border called Sanlucar de Guadiana. The river Guadiana separates Spain and Portugal there, and on the other side is the town of Alcutim in Portugal. They are picturesque little whitewashed towns. The most interesting thing was all the mini yachts docked in the river. There were boats with flags from the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and even Canada.

Back To Racing
We finally made our way back to Sevilla on July 18th. I had a race that I knew about on the 25th and later found out that I had to race on the 26th too. I did a hard workout to start the week, followed by pre riding the route the next day. On Wednesday my legs felt like they were full of lead, so I backed off a bit. Then on Thursday it hit, the heat. The wind started blowing up from the Sahara desert and it got way hot here. I proceeded to take it real easy going into Sunday’s race, which actually rolled out of town about 5min from my apartment.

Sunday rolled around and when I got up in the morning to go to the race, it was already 88degF out. Not very encouraging when you have to race 115km against some of the best in Spain. I got ready at my apartment and rolled to the race on my bike. It was a pretty cool feeling being able to ride to the race start. The race was rather uneventful for me, as I was trying to make sure I didn’t completely blow up in the heat. I was lucky to miss a big TdF style pile up due to some road furniture at the beginning of the race, and after that I stayed tucked in the pack as much as possible. In the end I had a less than stellar finish, although I was happy to have finished without heat stroke as it was about 118degF at the finish.

Riding Into A Hairdryer
On Monday we lined up again to tackle 130km. Luckily the race was much flatter and it was only 72degF when I got up in the morning. Today’s race took off from the gun. There were attacks left and right. Then a group finally got a way, but that didn’t settle down the peloton.

We kept attacking each other during the entire race. Little by little riders were spit out the back. It heated up quick and “agua” was the word of the day. It honestly felt like we were riding into a hairdryer. I don’t know what was going on but the team cars weren’t coming through. It looked like the race judge was blocking them. Going back for water was tough because you ran the risk of getting split from the group.

With about 30km to go, two my teammates and I were in a group of about 20 or 30 riders. Jose somehow jumped up off the front of the group and only one guy went with him. Then my other team Eloy bridged across without taking anyone with him. I was on the front of the group, attentively waiting for someone else to try and go. Then a guy from a team from Valencia jumped and I got his wheel. When I realized it was just the two of us, we started to work together and made it across. From there, we picked up a few guys that had been spit out the back of the group in front of us as we drove our group into the finish.

It was a fast day today as we averaged 41.8km/hr (26mi/hr) over the 130km. I was happier with today’s result because I raced more aggressively and I felt good. I’m looking forward to my rest day on Tuesday and then it’s back to training for next Tuesday’s 170km slaughter fest. Hasta la prуxima.


P.S. I’m heading back to the States next month for a change of scenery, more on that next time.

Nathan Deibert is a 27 year old, young American living in Sevilla, Spain, riding for the Campos Lorca Elite-Sub23 cycling team, and living a dream every day. Drop him an email at [email protected]

Gratuitous Sponsor Plug Thanks to:
Campos Lorca-Miсa Car: My new team sponsors. Campos Lorca is a great local bike shop in Mбlaga, Spain.
Mike Kuhn: My coach for the last 3 years and counting. If you’re looking for a great coach in the central PA area or around the world, send him an email: [email protected], or take a look at the website: www.endurancenetwork.com

Holmes Cycling and Fitness: The best bike shop in all of central PA. They’ve got everything you need from serious race equipment to great recreational equipment. Check them out at: www.holmescycling.com

My Parents: for never telling me I was crazy through all the years of chasing this dream.

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