Having missed out on the chance to enter the Trans Provence, I was on the case like a rat up a drain pipe when I saw the Trans Savoie advertised on Pink Bike. This particular multi stage enduro race caught my eye because of the claimed amount of descending squeezed into 6 days, 21,000m to be precise. Taking place in the Savoie region of France starting in Val D’Isère and finishing in Chamonix, this race promised to be something quite special. Anyway, filled to the eyeballs with enthusiasm for a challenge I signed up and despite the race entries filling up in 3 seconds, I was lucky enough to get a place…
Queue the Rocky soundtrack and training montage.
I stepped up my riding, ran up steps, skied as much as I could and even joined a gym, despite having to overcome a deep rooted hatred to do so. This all went great for a few weeks and I was feeling confident that I could get to a high level of fitness within the six months I had until the race started.
Then I broke my finger.
It was a mild over-the-bars crash while riding early season downhill at Dorenaz, but the result was a small yet complicated tear fracture and ligament damage in the central joint of my middle finger. So there I was, supposed to be preparing for a big mountain bike race but couldn’t go mountain biking. Spanner. In. Works. OK no problem, I thought, I can still train on the bike in the gym. I did it once, discovered it was the most depressing, soul destroying fitness experience I have ever endured and vowed never to do it again. Next up on the list of exercise you can do without using your fingers – running. I used to be good at this when I was 16 but quickly remembered why I gave it up, its just not very exciting. However, I discovered trail running was a bit more interesting and managed to keep it up until I could start riding again, which was only about 3 weeks ago.
So in 4 days I start the biggest bike race/endurance test I have probably ever done with a fairly minimum level of training, most of which was not even on a bike. Should be interesting!