Last weekend I took part in the 297km Vättern Rundan cyclosportive and I’m quite happy with the result. This time I rode with TUT-EIK group and it proved to be a good choice. Their jolly company and the much better 2:52 start time gave me a real chance to better my dismal result from last year. The weather in Motala was just great and the bike worked like it should. Of course there are always things to improve upon, but I couldn’t really hope for a much better trip over all. Even though I’m not blown away by the end time of 9:54 cutting almost 3 hours from last years time is still a great success. There are several factors contributing to the end result, but most importantly starting later it was just much easier to find similar paced company. I also had better wheels, the wind was reasonable and I took shorter breaks. I managed to hold average speed of 32.8km/h for 9 hours 3 minutes so I think I could have done better.
The biggest challenge was that I still spent considerable time riding alone. Sure a group would come along eventually, but I spent lot of energy riding up front just to be caught up. It would have been wise to stick to a group from start to finish. I could have taken more clothing off earlier or even had less on at the start. I think I could have been way more aggressive on the hills. So in conclusion I did good, but next time if the weather is this good I could even consider joining a sub-9 group. The event is fairly expensive and takes four days of travel, but having done it twice it just begs to ridden once more. Sure there were lot of crashes and carnage once again, but it is just so well organized and the atmosphere is pretty special. The whole city of Motala is filled with cyclists and local people make a point of encouraging participants all along the route. It is a big festival with wonderful side shows. For example it was really fun to talk with some vintage guys from Cykelhistoriska Föreningen. Many thanks for the company: Jaakko, Paul, Robert, Janne, Anssi, Mauno, Timo and all the friendly people whose names I didn’t manage to catch. It was fun being fully induced in cycling culture for a few days. Kom igen!