28.07.2010, Ulvik-Osafjell-Ulvik (44.0 Km – 1270 m)
[Pictures] Neither yesterday evening nor this morning I would have bet a single Krone that I’d have been ready also for the second stage of the day. After the morning stage, however I felt very well so I decided to go for a try. Just as when it came to apply as an ESA astronaut, I would have bitterly regretted the fact of coming to the Viking Tour and not completing all the stages. So after the group picture on the Ulvik fjord all the racing and some of the touring class riders started towards Osa, where the free speed line was set and the ascent began. The scenery was surely gorgeous, in a narrow valley with a very scenic waterfall, but the climb was unmerciful: constantly above 10% with peaks up to 17%. At 4 Km from the finish line I ran out of water: I thought that one full 800 ml bottle would be enough and I hoped to save something on the total weight to carry up, but I had to realize my miscalculation on such a hard climb. At the minus 2 Km mark, coming along some small lakes, the road became finally flatter just to return to the usual >10% on the last 1500 meters. After crossing the finish line and emptying a couple of water tanks I went to the master car to retrieve the warm clothes for the descent that I had packed up in Vik earlier this morning and that I hadn’t used on the previous stage. Sadly, I had to find out that the master car* had been completely unloaded in Ulvik, so I had to find an alternative solution for keeping myself warm during the descent. A piece of cardboard from a box of bananas and a rain jacket kindly supplied by the three nice girls of the feeding station prevented hypothermia, moreover that during the descent began to rain very hardly. Back in the Ulvik the shower was more than welcome! Yet, I still had to dry myself with paper towels as the towel I’ve bought in town and gave to Christa to bring back for me to the Valhalla was not there.
* hence it is not true that “for everything else there’s master car”