XCRacer - On Tour

It is quite a way to Dover but it never really feels like a trip has started until one leaves British soil. Ferries are much more fun than aeroplanes and much much easier if you are taking a bike or three.
So, what was I doing on the boat? Well, as I write this I am on my way to Finale Ligure on the north coast of Italy for the 24hr European Championships. I am lucky enough to have raced at Finale before, this is the venue which hosted the 24hr World Championships in 2012. It is probably the best course I have ever ridden and I am delighted to be going back.  

This time however there is a twist. The race starts at noon on Friday and the last lap must be started before noon on Saturday. The reason for starting on a Friday is that at 2pm on Saturday the team race gets underway and continues until, you’ve guessed it, 2pm on the Sunday. 

Only two teams are daft enough to be attempting to do both of these races and I’m in one of them. My companions are Jon Hobson, singlespeeder extraordinaire (yes, he really is going to do 48hrs on one gear) and Elena Novikova, who won the race at Finale last year. Our fourth member is still to be decided (long story) but will probably end up being whichever poor unfortunate soul winds up camping next to us and finds themselves coerced into it with promises of ice-cream. The ice cream in Finale is fantastic, and should be enough to persuade anyone to undertake a task like this. If anyone is reading this in the campsite come and find us! We are lucky enough to Carole Armstrong with us in the pits, looking after us all and keeping us going.

I am going to attempt to write a blog for each day leading up to the race, I’ve never done a 48hr race before and have no idea how to prepare for one so this will a bit of a voyage into the unknown. Whether or not I actually publish them at the rate of one each day depends mainly on whether I can find any internet connections for my laptop. This particular post is being written in a Fench service station somewhere between Mancon and Lyon, apparently there is Wifi at Finale so I should be able to keep you updated with how we are getting on.

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