At the start of the week we introduced you to our male representative at the 2013 Andalucia Bike Race, which starts this weekend. Now we have some pre-race thoughts from Matt’s team-mate, Melanie Alexander, top level XC racer and Yellow Jersey winner from the 2011 Tour of the Himalayas.
If you haven’t already, read Matt’s introduction here and then read Melanie’s below.
ANDALUCIA BIKE RACE PRE-EVENT
36 years old
8 years racing (at first endurance – stage races then 24 hour solo and now cross country)
2011: 3rd overall in British national XC series, 1st Mixed pair Sudety Mountain bike Challenge and 1st Kielder 100, Women’s Yellow Jersey Winner of Tour of the Himalayas.
2012 : 3rd British national XC Champs and 2nd overall in British XC Series.
Sponsors: for 2013 I will be racing in the women’s mountain bike team: Team Scott Contessa Syncros. Team sponsors will also include Torq, Schwalbe and Fibrax. Personal sponsor: Exposure Lights.
This Sunday I will be teaming up with Matt Page for six days of stage racing at the Andalucia Bike Race. Right now I am excited about the possible prospect of a bit of sun and a week of riding fantastic trails. I am also a bit nervous; I know it is going to be tough as racing always is, the legs are going to ache and at times it is going to be a mental test to hold on to Matt’s wheel.
Matt asked me four weeks ago if I was interested in pairing up as team Bike Magic and of course I was. I had heard good things about the race from many of the participants from the previous two years with the main point being the amazing trails. My training, although focused on XC for the 2013 season, has been very consistent over the winter, with quite a few long rides included and I am at a point now where I feel ready to race.
The Andalucia Bike Race starts in the historic city of Cordoba which in it self looks like a fantastic city to visit. We race from Cordoba for the first part of the week before moving on to Jaen, which will host the concluding days. We have two apartments booked, one in Cordoba and then one in Jaen, both of which are very reasonable. This I am particularly happy about. I have over the years raced the Cape Epic, Trans Rockies, Trans Alps twice and Sudety Mountain Bike Challenge and this will be the first stage race in which I will be sleeping in a bed! It will be bliss and it will be interesting to see if this helps with the aching body.
Reading the profile of the race it sounds like we will be racing varying terrain with it becoming hillier as the week progresses. The toughest day looks like stage 4 with over 3000 meters of climbing in 68km. The first 5 stages are 66 to 76 km in length. The sixth stage is a long time trial 45 km. In total we will cover 400 kilometres and over 13,000 meters of vertical climbing. It is going to be tough.
This will be the third edition of Andalucia Bike Race and it has already built a good name for it self. I am really pleased to be representing Bike Magic at Andalucia.
Find out more about the Andalucia Bike Race here.
Good luck Matt and Melanie, enjoy the race and bring it home for Bike Magic!