Now it’s time to report back with the next chapter on the way to the 2021 Badlands Bikepacking Race. A lot has happened over the past few days.
On the 26th of June, the MTB Ultra Marathon European Championships took place in Vielha, Spain. In the small Pyrenean village near the French border, 213 kilometres with more than 6,000 metres of altitude were waiting for riders. The highest point of the race with 2,268 metres altitude was the Coll de Portella Blanca. The longest climb up the Coll de Triador was over fourteen kilometres and the average altitude was around 1,600 metres above sea level. Extreme conditions for sure.
It took me about 10:30 hours to cross the finish line as the new European XCMu champion. “The race was extreme in terms of the conditions. In the morning at the start it was still cold, at noon it was really hot. Some of the trails were very rocky and stony. But, everything went perfectly.
Together with my coach Fred from Wattwerk I had worked out a plan long before the race. I stuck to it at all times during the race and was able to achieve the targeted wattage. The nutrition (this year from Science in sport /SIS) also worked really great. My companion Karl was at his place in every feed zone during the race and so I was able to take in enough food. Of interest, I burned about 9,000 calories in the race!
But now it’s “After the race is before the race” time. That is the motto now. Although my phone hasn’t stopped ringing since the victory and I also have a week off from training, I’m already thinking about my next big highlight, the Badlands Bikepacking Race in Spain in September. A completely different challenge awaits me there. With 750 kilometres and around 15,000 metres of altitude and gravel roads, Badlands will be the longest race I have ever done. The biggest change will be the switch from my open cycle mountain bike to my 3T gravel bike. Apart from the identical Garmin wattmeter pedals, everything is different here.
At Badlands, there is a pre-set route. This leads us riders through three different deserts in the Spanish hinterland and the highest point is the Veleta Pass in the Sierra Nevada at over 3,200 metres. That will be a really extreme challenge that I will face there. The competition won’t be bad either. I don’t know if last year’s winner Lachlan Morton from EF Education First Pro Cycling will be at the start. But from a German point of view, Paul Voss, another former World Tour pro, will be there. Whether he is up to this kind of race, remains to be seen. Whatever happens, I am very excited and looking forward to this duel.
In the next few days, I have to figure out how to get to Granada in September, where the race starts and finishes. I’d hate to fly, but there aren’t many alternatives.
I will also have to take a closer look at the technical aspects. Tyres, aerodynamics, bags, food and everything else that goes with it. I’m starting from scratch because they are such special requirements.
If you would like to find out more about this race, please visit the website https://www.transiberica.cc/badlands/
And now I’m enjoying a few quiet minutes, walking my dog, drinking coffee and watching the Tour de France. Amazing…
Ride more and worry less,
Sebastian – Please visit my Instagram profile (@Seb_Breuer).