Uncategorized, グラベルバイク, グランフォンド妙高2020, チームIMEZI, ニュース

gran fondo myoko inside report

 

on sunday team imezi won the solo and team categories at gran fondo myoko
Ito chan wrote about the race
so I will give you the inside report

「the team」

last year Tzaki san was in the team
this year the UCI niseko classic and mt. fuji hillclimb champ was let off the leash to fight for solo victory
☆the christiano ronaldo of japanese amateur cycling

Ito chan is drafted in
and training hard for the event

「the training」

a year of big gravel rides
we are ready
the week before I tell the guys they are riding too much
they tell me I’m not riding enough!

「pre race meeting」

these days it’s all virtual zoom!

the guys are drinking in the race parking lot

I’m drinking in the bath!

we know the plan

「salt candies and beers」

captain TNG is always stealing salt candies from my pocket
☆the artful dodger of amateur cycling

but Ito chan was surprised to find the beers from his car swiped in a similar fashion

「are we racing?」

I arrive at 5am
a husky voice
like a chain smoking mama from a japanese snack bar

“hey andy, are we really racing?!”

「air pressure」

raining at 6am
I want to talk tyre pressure

but they are only interested in sausages on the bbq

“can we be serious for just a minute?”
“put in 7 bar!”
“oh, f@#k off!”

「where’s your fender?」

all week TNG has been messaging me to put on the fender
it’s a pain to install
and needs a gravel test ride too

they are laughing
really laughing
as I pull my bike out of the car

both their bikes have no fenders!
“I’m going as light as possible” laughs Ito chan
I even end up carrying his bottles!

「race nerves」

everyone deals with races differently
Ito chan is a little nervous


Tzaki is in the zone

riding up and down the start area

captain TNG is in a mess

“where’s my toothbrush?? I can’t race without cleaning my teeth!”

「chasing teams」

in the team category we start last
the job is straightforward

catch all the other teams
and then party to the finish

「Momotaro ride」

Ito chan is struggling on the long togakushi climb
TNG and I are urging him to eat something

eventually
from his handlebar bag
he pulls out the biggest rice ball I’ve ever seen
☆the momo taro of japanese amateur cycling

“you’re gonna eat that!?”
TNG the monkey,
me the pheasant

「TJ rocks」

the niigata downhill champion
going uphill!

a colourful personality
yoroshikuuu!

「pinarello man」

on the hakuba gravel climb
I find myself behind a guy on a dogma
but he’s climbing more like a snake!
momentum dropping with each turn of direction

eventually he collapses
so exhausted he can’t unclip
I pull his shoes out of the pedals
prop his bike against a tree
“walk it, promise me you’ll walk it!”

「the last climb, the hardest climb」

Ito chan is suffering
he wants the two of us to contest the KOM
but I fear if we leave him here he’ll get caught

or worse still
climb off at the ice cream stand halfway up the climb

「Lennon and McCartney」

he has the cold sweat of a man on death row
and the glazed expression of a “thousand yard stare” vietnam vet
he won’t eat
we consider force feeding him
but this is 2021


so we sing to him instead!
“you like beer, you like pink, and everyone loves your bum in those shorts…”
is that a smile or a cringe?

「trek lady」

happy to chat with Kikumi san
we first met at the japan TT masters

a representative for TREK japan
genki on the last climb of the day

「cramp man」

just one more guy on the 20km, 1,000m final climb

just before the tunnel

he is walking
both legs cramped

I stop and give him my last two salt candies
they work their magic
at the finish they’ll be worth two beers!

「goal feeling」

finishing with a thrilling 8km gravel downhill takes all the pain away!

free at last
TNG puts minutes into his rivals to get the downhill KOM
when necessary he put his friends first
a true captain

「the awards」

great awards
a finishing medal for all
as winners we got a beautiful trophy (Runwell)
a champion jersey (sportful)

a back pack (thule)
and bike cleaning goodies (muc off)

「epitaph」

we’ll be back next year for sure
this event is all about comiarderie
and good vibes

they trickle down from race organizer Adam

every time I meet him

I greet him in the same way
“how long have we been doing this s#@t mate!?”

but we know why we do it
we do it because we love it
see you all at GFM 22!

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