Archive for May, 2015

Porto Sokhna Sky Mall May 2015

May 22, 2015

 

Finally: the queen stage of the season. The stage we were longing for since November when it had to be cancelled due to the Ain Sokhna road cycling ban.

 

We departed this time at 5:30 am, with the usual routine. The long approach to the Gulf of Suez was done with a relatively swift but not hard pace, so that there was a “gruppo compatto” (it’s Giro d’Italia times) in the first two legs. We had not been as early as 8 am in the restaurant at km 75 before. The following leg saw a puncture and a break-away of 4 who arrived at the Ain Sokhna toll booth at 9:30 am, also record. The weather developed relatively favorable, neither awfully hot (at least not the official temperature) nor very windy. In the coastal road things always become very tough (anybody remembers Tobin and Timo pulling, or Sami in need of a break?). Another puncture, everybody waited. Eventually the front bunch was selected to 7 riders coming into Porto Sokhna at km 150.

 

And then the 2,7 km beast, where everybody goes to the limit. Heartbeat of 198 bpm and Power up to 321 Watts were recorded, don’t know about the so called “suffering factor”, but it has to be brutal. And the showdown unfolded like this:

Meg W. is again the Queen of the Mountain, Congratulations!

David Gamal is the new King of the Mountain, the first national to beat all the Khawagas. Mabrouk!

Nick C. takes second place in the mountain only 11″ behind, and also gets an Award of Appreciation for the traditional cold beers and beverages when you most needed them.

Thomas H. completes the podium, after being most of the day in the front with his characteristic “tunnel view”.

Lanterne rouge: Pascal, always attentive to assist riders in need of repairs or transportation.

 

We were in the Sky Mall already at 11 am, not only due to the earlier start but also due to the averages in the range of 31.5-33.5 km/h, from Maadi.  Kudos to everybody, it has been yet again an honor to complete this challenge with this constellation group of riders for the last time, as several of them will be leaving the country soon, too bad. Here are the pictures:

 

Luis

 

Sky Mall finishers, from left: Dan, Nick, Meg, Luis, Pascal, Thomas, Ibrahim, Mohamed Said,  David G.; below: Omar Khairy, Omar Adel.

Sky Mall finishers, above from left: Dan, Nick, Meg, Luis, Pascal, Thomas, Ibrahim, Mohamed Said & David Gamal; below: Omar Khairy & Omar Adel.

 

Koll mabsouteen awy

Koll mabsouteen awy

 

Who said it was hard?

Who said it was hard?

 

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