It is horrible feeling when you realize all the training you have done all summer is going down the drain. That happened to me this weekend as I suffered a puncture 100km into the Tour de Helsinki sportive. Of course you got to be thankful to have made it safe to the goal line, but there is no joy when your season goal is in ruins. To be perfectly honest my preparations did no go exactly as planned so I guess you just have to take it as it comes.
I had done several shorter group rides during the weeks before the event so I knew I was capable of sufficient speeds. Previous weekend I rode half the route in an effort to check the route for potholes and other traps. I punctured and broke a spoke on my reconnaissance ride. The rear wheel needed truing, but luckily LBS sorted it out fast. The day before the event as I was fetching my number I noticed a creaking sound. Luckily I managed to narrow it down to loose chainring bolts.
Physically I wasn’t at my best either. I hadn’t really been sleeping all that well during the week. There has been a flu going around and I did have a headache in the morning. It did not help that I did not manage to eat or drink enough during the ride. Tactics wise I think I started too far back and had to spend way too much energy early on catching up the group of fast enough riders. With the head wind the group I ended up in was averaging under 36km/h so I was counting on a strong finish. I was supposed to start my push on the Nikkilä straights, but then the disaster struck.
I think I hit a one inch rock in the middle of the road and the impact caused a slow leaking hole in the rear wheel. Now looking back I could have just pumped the tire and continued on for a while. With the tube change training from week before the tire fixing went quick. Only problem is I forgot to switch to smallest gear and managed to bend the derailleur hanger and drop the derailleur cable in the process. Next time I will be better prepared, but it is still disappointing when you perform 30 minutes under your goal. At the moment it feels like next year I will just go take photos on race day and maybe ride the free TdH by night.