As I had to find a way out of my situation yesterday just before entering Alexandroupolis, I lost my mind and a lot of time.
The sun really shot me down yesterday while I tried to get out of this hot pot.
After I finally found my way to Alexandoupolis I laid down on the street and fell asleep immediately for about two hours. The sun was just dawning and the clock was ticking. It was almost 2100, Nico and I had plans for next day 0900. 12 hrs left for a little more than 200kms. It got clear that this is going to be a chase as I would need some shorter rests in between.
After only three hours of hard pedaling, 2357, I reached the border to Turkey. Polite officers proceeded quickly although the Turkish border crossing contains five check points.
On the ride to the border I met Dario, Frank and also Emily. I pushed forward as Nico was waiting. So literally the last two nights had been sleepless.
After my second rest I started my chase to Canakkale. Nico let me know that there were no re-booking options for the evening or next day, so no alternatives available. Preconditions had been not so bad, slight tailwind and not too many cars. The Turkish dogs -that are pretty big- had been relatively lazy at night, but well organized. The lazy one barks, the others can be prepared. Longer legs means higher max. speed.
The motorway from Ipsala towards Canakkale was desgined in cooperation with my navigation planning skills; it took every peak in sight. As the battery for my front derailleur dropped pretty early after the border, means no good climbing ratio.
So the chase began when the sun came up. A disgusting nescafe was basis for my staying awake. Still tired from the second almost sleepless night, I slowly raised my bpm with help of my cadence. Some parts of the roads were in an amazing shape, others the direct opposite. I was really astonished that I still had reasonable reserves. I shouted a rhytm to myself and paced me up to velocities I did not ride during the entire race before, only downhill.
Getting to the border and the chase to the ferry at 0800 had been the fastest section of my race; the last passages of the race.
Just got on the ferry at 0755, with breakfast. Arrived in Canakkale at 0820, welcome committee (Kristof showed me the direction, standing in the middle of the roundabout, thank you) and a huge kiss from Nico.
Quick shower and then directly back onto the ferry. Our transfer bus to Istanbul was waiting on that exact same ferry.
It is some kind of unfortunate as it would have been great to talk to the riders, again. As we do so during riding it is not so bad, not being present! Enjoy your party tomorrow. We have just landed in Frankfurt. The plan worked out 100%!
I gonna update the last days here, as in between riding had the major focus and feeding the blog is not just some work for seconds. It requires your concentration, either less on the road, less for eating or less for sleeping. That is the choice you have to make. Sometimes typing things into the blog is an equal to talking to people, for example if you are lying anywhere outside at night!