Last weekend the me and the OSPA bike successfully participated at the Tortour Cyclocross 2017 – a three-day event with a prologue on Friday plus two crispy stages on Saturday and Sunday.
I participated with my best bike body Nello, we always enjoy to race in a team of 2, having a lot of fun and support each other when it gets difficult. As Nello races with a typical cyclocross bike we have a very different setup, while his strong suit are the fast flats and slight speedy ascents, I can profit from my big tires when the ground gets really loos, in steep uphill and especially in technical descents.
Prologue – Friday 10. February 2017
Characteristics: 8 laps with total 24 kilometres and 680 m elevation gain
Highlight: Nice to pass the finish line 8 times
Lowlight Very fast, so we suffered the first 3 laps, due to insufficient warmup. We arrived a bit late before the race (I came directly from a week skiing with my family in Austria.
Ranking 10 of 21
Stage 1 – Saturday 11. February 2017
Characteristics 85 kilometre with 850 meters’ elevation gain
Highlight: Nello started fast and lead us to a fast group that we could race with and finally overtake. Good mood during the race, excellent teamwork and great finish.
Lowlight: No lowlight – it was partly colder than expected, but no problem.
Ranking: 7 of 22 (yeapheee… in the first 30% - that’s always our goal ;-)
Stage 2 – Sunday 12. February 2017
Characteristics: 76 kilometres with approx. 1500 meter elevation gain
Highlight: arriving in Glattfelden – nice landscape and the snow on around the “Lägere”. The final 20 km Nello was our locomotive – unbelievable how strong he was after the hard time he had in the hills before.
Lowlight: We knew it would not be Nello’s day, as he was suffering from a cold and didn’t sleep well. Already in the first ascent we couldn’t keep up with the teams we had around us the last days. Our team mates from Radsport Marquart came to watch the race, but they missed us on three occasions, so we only learned from some of our competitors that we had the biggest supporting group on the track.
Ranking: 11 of 21
Overall ranking 9 of 21
It was a great weekend, but me and my team mate Nello were very happy it was over. The Sunday was extremely exhausting, we are tired and need some rest. The event as such was extremely well organized and the nice bunch of local, national and international riders create a extraordinary atmosphere. It’s very easy to get into contact with other riders and the support for each other during the race is cool.
The OSPA bike was an exotic apparatus and received a lot of compliments. I was really surprised, how well the big Schwalbe Rocket Ron tires (27.5+ / 2.8) worked in the fast parts. Ok, I was unable to make speed for my race mates, but could follow in the slipstream. This was extremely important, not loose contact. I was afraid, that the total weight of the bike would waste too much of my energy but I felt good on the bike at all times. The Pinion gearbox turned out to be a real treasure, I always had the 100% right gear, especially important while pushing Nello with my left hand in the last ascents, where I could smoothly change the gear with my right hand. The Lauf fork worked extremely well on the course and is probably the best fork for any race of this kind. I doubt to ever build or buy a real Cyclocross bike but if, the Lauf fork (www.laufforks.com) would definitely be my first choice.
The next Tortour Cyclocross (www.tortour.com/cyclocross) will take place in June 2018 in Gstaad, Switzerland. I hope to see you there.