Friday August 15:th four excited members of Team DVel took a relaxing cartrip to the well known “sälenfjällen” in Dalarna, Sweden, for the 95km Mtb race from Sälen to Mora called “Cykelvasan”. The same route the ancient Swedish king Gustav Vasa once did on a pair of skiis in the 16:th century, although in the opposite direction.
We started early Friday morning at 7:30 in Malmö and arrived at Lindvallen around 06:00 in the evening. After unloading our bikes and settling in the cottage Martin prepared a quick but yet very nice meal for us containing lots of carbohydrates (pasta of course).
After giving our bikes the last rites and going through our clothes and other gear (we excpected Rain) we finally rested in front of the tv for a short while before going to bed.
Raceday Saturday Aug 16:th, and we woke up at 06:00 to 5 degrees celsius and heavy clouds. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day they say, and today that is very true. Shortly after breakfast the rain came over us. We suited up, packed our stuff and went down to the startline on our bikes and backpacks (change of clothes for the finish) the 12 km downhill distance. This was a very comfortable biketrip, yet in wet and cold conditions. Enough to make you wake up and smell the excitement. We were not alone this morning of course, the road down to the startline were full of bikers and cars loaded with bikes.
Since more than 12000 Mtb bikers race this day we started in different groups. We came to the startarea around 8:30 and already there were thousands of bikers there in preparation of what clothes to wear (long or short sleaves), bike tyre pressure, and of course the most important thing of them all, doing your business on the toilette if that has not been done earlier.
Both Martin and Riki started 09:15, Per took off 09:30 and Stefan left Sälen 09:45. Luckily the rain went away and stayed away for the whole day, and the track was not very difficult despite being wet.
The race begins with a 5 km hill climb, and you fight with 200 other bikers in your group to get to the top and finally get some smooth ride before heading into the forrest trails. The first pitstop came already after 10 km and then they are evenly distributed along the way. At all pitstop you can get ”blåbärssoppa” or blueberry soup, a very nutricious beverage, bananas, coffee or cakes. It can be hard to get a hold of some of these supplements since the pitstops are packed with bikers, all trying too get some boost for the next part of the race. Of course, there is no need to stop since we already were packed with supplements in our jackets and in our water bottles. But when aching legs and backs reminds you too much, it might be a good choice to rest a few minutes and get some warm drinks. After 62km there is a hillclimb to the pitstop in Oxberg, where there is also a sprint race for those who still have some strength in their legs (in fact many pitstop had sprint race) and many racers started to really feel the pain and lactic acid in the legs. But at least you know you are close to the finishline and most of the hard hillclimbing is behind you.
Yours truly approached the finish and saw his teammates from Team DVel screaming their lungs out as bystander and gave the last well needed boost before breaking the finishline, happy and a bit tired.
How did we do? Well, Martin spend some 3h:55min on the track, improving his time by 10min from last year. Riki did his race in 3h:45min, improving by 20min from last year. Stefan came to Mora after 4h:08min and thus improved by 16min from last year. Our hero was Per who travelled the distance in 3h:41min and thereby improving his time by 33min.
After a nice and well needed shower we had some lunch in Mora and took the bus back to Lindvallen where a delicious grill barbeque awaited us.
A special thanks to Stefans sister Sara and her husband Jörgen, who joined us in the cottage (and raced as well) and provided a nice company and welcomed us Friday evening with fresh brewed coffee before supper.
By Stefan Davidsson