Thank f*** god, Switzerland is behind me! The country is wonderful, but the route through it was absolutely ruthless. From where I started it was only about 40km maybe to the Italian border, but it took me all morning to get there, thanks to the Fluela pass and the Ofen pass that each climb up and over 2000 meters above sea level. Together with the Oberalp Pass, the Furka pass and the Grimsel pass I’ve now climbed 5 2000+ climbs in three days. If all goes well, I should be able to make it to CP3 tomorrow, and by then the worst of the climbs should be over.
Physically all is still OK, although I’m clearly not fresh as a daisy. The Fluela and Ofen are passes that should usually suit me well, long but not too steep, they hardly get over 10%. And I still think I did OK, but by now I can’t manage them anymore without an occasional stop by the side of the road to take the tension off the legs and bring the heart rate down. I guess that’s what added luggage, and fatigue from riding 1500km in a week will do to you. No, believe it or not, and this is such a first world female problem to say, my main physical concern right now is a ripped nail on my left hand. Due to the numbness it has happened more than once that my finger shut off the shifter when trying to shift, and that caused a painful rip quite low in the nail. Obviously there’s no way I want to scratch due to a broken nail, so I’m just trying to keep it from getting inflamed by cleaning it up as best I can and find a band aid somewhere.
Spirits were also way up again today. I felt well rested and the weather was great to ride the bike. And I was really happy to get to Italy, another country to check off the list. Only thing that very sometimes crossed my mind is that I could also just give up and get to my family at the Garda lake and continue my holiday there. But then I remind myself that the thing I looked forward to most was cycling in the East European countries, so I owe it to myself to at least get to Slovenia. And if, God forbid, nothing serious happens, I see no reason why I won’t, because the mind is in the right place again. That being said, it seems like a lot of people have had to scratch the past couple of days. I think it’s because a large variety of reasons, but it goes to show, this edition is again hard as hell!
And lastly, today’s ride will be dedicated to the Dutch female road racers and especially Annemieke van Vleuten, who had an extremely nasty crash. I haven’t been able to watch it of course, but the road race has been on my mind the entire day and I’m extremely proud we got to take home gold again! Well done, girls!