Finally the new season has started. My season preparation did not work as I wanted and planned. I already missed 3 training camps, so I decided to do my own training camp, alone in Bodrum/Turkey.   It’s an excellent peninsula. But misfortune was

Burcu Balci-Alanya 2014
Photo : Martin Bernhard

chasing me there too. One month before the Alanya race, which would be my first for the season, a spoke of my rear road wheel got broken (was not possible to fix).  I started to seek a wheel to borrow from my friends for 3 weeks for the time I would be in Bodrum, but I couldn’t find one until the end of my time in Bodrum. Eventually, I gave up to seek a wheel just for the rest 2-3 days. There was the race at the end of 4th week and I went to Alanya without any cycling training.

Alanya is a town-city (of Antalya) in which international MTB season starts every year in Turkey and therefore it’s also a chance to meet friends, also has one of the favorite race courses of TR.

Going back to before the race, I wasn’t doing cycling training for 1 month, yes, but also it was approximately 5 months I had not ridden MTB. I felt myself very novice when I went to the race course for training on saturday. It was like I had lost all my technical skills and in the first km I crashed 3 times, but felt better from the second lap.

The weather was wonderful on the race day; sunny, bright, very good conditions for a race… I knew already that my performance wouldn’t be enough for a good place without sufficient training. So, my intention was to do my best and to get my skill back. Because I had missed so much mountainbiking, the feelings I had on it, racing, to be on courses again. I would enjoy the race, that was what I wanted!

It was good to see many riders at the start. If we look back, last races in Turkey were not so crowded. Well, the race started very fast. I also started very good and was successful to be in the front places which saved me from the bad crash that happened a few meters later. 100m away from the start, after a sharp right-turn a rider crashed badly right beside me. It was a very fast moment. I hope everybody is better now who got involved to the crash.

Of course, I couldn’t keep my place in time and fell back. That was normal. I had no crash, did no mistakes in the race and it was good for me. I was lapped and finished the race on 8th place. Yet, it was a happy-ending race which i regained my skills in every lap more and more and better than I had expected!

Let’s see how I and my new bike will race this weekend!

Yours affectionately!