28.07.2010, Vik-Ulvik (114.2 Km – 1825 m)
[Pictures] I’m amazed from my recovery ability! Yesterday evening I was aching everywhere and had a body-wide rigor mortis. Most of all I feared for my knee which was still sore from the ascent to Tindevegen on stage 3. Of course the anticipated initial climb of the Vikafjellet did not help to raise my confidence. Fortunately, despite the drizzling rain, the ascent was less hard than I feared with a steady gradient around 7-9% that allowed me to find the right pace and to arrive at the top with an older Dutch guy, Johan (nr. 140), as together we caught up a belgian rider in the last meters. First of the touring class… we believed, until we found a couple of other riders down at the feeding station. It’s already the second or third time that I’ve the feeling of being in front just to discover then that someone has been faster than me. Not that it matters, but I never see these people between me and the motorcycle leading the bunch, so I suspect that they’re breaking up earlier than the rest of the touring class. We were blessed by the weather and rain stopped right on the last meters before the top, so that the road was fairly dry on the descent. The main road to Voss and ahead had a little too much traffic for my taste. Right before the city there was however a detour on a nice, but exhausting rollercoaster-like secondary road. Fortunately, we were a nice group of four riders (Christa, Johan, Svein, myself) collaborating to cross this relatively flat part of the stage. After about 90 Km we left then the main road to climb a 300 m hill, a very nice relief for my butt, since standing on the pedals allowed my ass (at least for some time) to lose contact with the saddle. After a nice descent we came finally to Ulvik… ready for some rest? You’re kidding! The next point on the agenda was another stage centered on the climb of the Osafjell. Of course, as a member of the touring class, I could have skipped that, but to tell it in the words of George Mallory the main reason to climb a mountain is because it’s there!