Magnus Backstedt Diary: Giro TT
The email from Magnus was titled “Better Late Than Never” – as he sent us his last installment from his Giro diary. It’s great reading as Magnus storms the final TT on a new rig, and then ftakes us to the start of the Tour of Germany …
Today was the last mountain of the Giro. It was also the longest stage of the tour. We covered 239km and there was only one climb, and that was the one up to the finish. Saeco was controlling the race the whole day, so there wasn’t much happening until the final climb. At the inter giro I was up for a bit of a sprint and so was Svorada. I had Julian helping me, and Svorada had one of his team mates leading him out. With about 1km to go Julian opened up full and I got a bit scared that he went to early, so I dropped back behind Svorada just to let his team mate do some work after Julian pealed off. With 250m to go he opened up his sprint and he gapped me just as he went but I still had a bit of slipstream off him and was able to get back
in to his wheel with 150m to go and I was coming fast from behind so I just stepped out in the wind and went past him quite easily. It felt nice to win one more sprint even though I was close to 100% sure to win the inter giro competition. It felt like I showed everyone that I was a worthy winner of the blue jersey. At the end I just rode up the climb with my team mate Rene to finish some 10 min down.
This was going to be a short and fast stage. I was hoping for it to be a sprint finish, but with 40km to go a big group went away with Scott and Julian, so I sat back and waited in case we would catch them back. We didn’t. Scott broke a spoke in his front wheel on the last little climb of the day and Julian got the wrong line in the sprint, so nothing really good came out of that break. I was feeling good the whole day, so I‚m really looking forward to the time trial tomorrow.
Last day of the Giro.
I woke up about 0700 again like I have been doing the whole race, and went down for some food with Julian. Then we went for a 45 minute ride just to get the feel of my new time trial bike that I have got from our sponsor. I have to tell you about this bike, because it is something very special. The frame is built out of carbon fibre and is made in one piece. They call this Monocoque. The frame it self is ridiculously expensive, to get one of these you have to fork out with about Ј5500. I can tell you that it’s worth every
penny of it. The feel on this machine is something out there. If you compare it with cars it’s like driving a F1 car instead of a good sports car. So you can imagine yourself the smile on my face when I got back from this little ride. The circuit today was really flat and had a few corners, so I choose for a 55×11 gearing with a disc in the rear and a 3 spoke in the front. When I was warming up I could feel that I was on a good day again and couldn’t wait to get on to the start ramp in my blue skin suit. Kim was sitting in the car behind me and he was getting really exited as I started to wind up the big gears. We were travelling at around 60km/h the whole time on the straight road. When I got past the first split time I had the fastest split
time with about 40 sek. Up to this point I had a 50.5 km/h average. For the next 10 km I was picking up the speed all the time, and by the time we got to the second split time I was averaging 51,8km/h. Then I said to myself “Go on Maggy you only got 13km to go of this years Giro”. So I shifted up a gear and really dug deep. Then with 9 km to go I went over a rail way line and my back wheel hit through. As I went in to the next corner I could feel my rear end starting to slide, there it was a puncture. I had to stop and change my bike for my normal bike which didn’t have disc wheels in it and no special handlebars either, so I wasn’t able to keep the speed up as high as before. All in all I lost about a minute on this incident, and that of cause put me out of contention for the stage. I still finished 11 on the stage, but I was on a good enough ride to maybe pull off another podium finish, so I was really disappointed with that. When I had calmed down after the ride I was still happy with what I have done in this Giro, and to come away with the blue inter giro jersey. I think the team has done a great Giro, and we have done better than anyone expected with Kurt winning a stage and Scott being up there in the mountains. All I can say is CIAO and see you soon on the road somewhere in Europe.
Tour of Germany
My tour of Germany got a bit shorter than planned. I did the first stage and was feeling quite good. I had lots of energy and ended up laying 5th on GC. Then I woke up in the morning before the 2nd stage and was feeling really drained. I got on the bike and was hurting straight away. I was struggling to keep the wheel in front of me. When we got to the first little climb of the day I got dropped, and I decided that enough was enough. I told Kim on the radio that I had run out of petrol and I was stopping at the
feedstation. I had nothing left in me, and my max hart rate was a very low 145. I didn’t want to dig myself in to a hole and struggle to get out of it later on. I have good form, so it’s better to get a couple of days easy and recover than just keep on riding for no reason. Now I can profit from the kilometres I got in the Giro and hopefully build on my form for the Nationals. I still have a good feeling in my legs and I got a very positive picture of my racing.
See you soon