And there were the riders, that I met from time to time. In the early days there had been more riders, the closer I got to the finish line the less people I have met.
In France it was almost crowded by people and it was not really easy to get relaxed. The more we headed on the more relaxed I got. Also I turned away from the idea of looking at this thing as a race way more to a ride.
I had my three boys from Shanghai and we chatted regularly. In the early days I also met with Josh and Jeff sometimes, by chance. At least for me as I did not know where the other dots had been moving.
For me it is still a bigger things to get rid of the racing gene.
- Taking a rest and someone passes, usually meant to finish my rest quickly and catch him again.
- Seeing some riders upfront, usually meant to eat them. Even this did not make any sense at all. Luckily during the last days I was almost happy to meet people, having a small chat, riding a while together.
The riders I met most had been Jeff and Josh in the beginning.
Also Gerkö crossed my way for several times, but he was already in France talking about scratching from the race, so it is quite possible he did not make it to the finish line.
Already on the second day, I met James. I think we met the most during this ride, had some talks, rests and drinks together. In Andermatt we invaded the cemetery of a church to have a good rest after a rainy descend from Furka. The last time I meet him was the CP04 Durmitor.
Frank was the rider I met second most on the roads, anywhere. We spend longer times together on the roads. We met in almost every of the countries after Italy. During the early morning towards Canakkale I met Frank for the last time really struggling with his tiredness on the road.
With Patrick I met first at CP04. We spent time for dinner together. Then we met again in Greece, for breakfast and he helped my out with his medication, as I was still suffering from my achilles pain. This was kind of salvation for me as I could carry on cycling from this point. The night before I did only stopp to do some lymph leg massaging to relax my feet, but not sleep. Then we met again during the biggest heat close to Viotopos lake for lunch. During that time I repaired my only flat. It had been a great company as we all come down to the level or real persons and not what we used to be in our daily lives. I can only speak for myself, but try to interpret this to some of the other riders.
During the last night ride from Alexandroupolis to Canakkale, I met Dario and also Emily for the first time. As I had a special arrangement with Nico early the next day, I had to carry on. Carl woke me up during one of me two or three short stops in Turkey, but also he carried on.
Bela, I think we met three times, before the race, before and after CP04. He reminded myself that we already knew each other from hardcro, which I did not remember, unfortunately!
I would have loved to spend some more time with all these people in Canakkale but to be honest, I am sure the best and most special time is the time out on the roads!
Thanks to all of you, that made me enjoy these days so much.
A big thank you also to Anna and Mike and all your supporters as Leo, Jamille, John, etc. pp. You all made this experience possible!
I am more than happy to join you again, as soon as you decide to go for the next round!
Thanks a million times!