RAS 2013 in a 2-person team

After 6 years of participating in Race around Slovenia in solo division and I believe it is time for some change. I will do this year's RAS as a part of 2-person team with one of my longtime friends Iztok Melansek. This decision was in fact made a pretty long time ago, but we kind of kept it secret so the competition wouldn't find out about the threat they are facing... ;)

With Iztok at a short weekend preparation camp:

 

As soon as my decision to try and win RAAM one more time was taken, I've decided that I won'd be doing the solo RAS in 2013. There is only 4 weeks time between the two races, which is way too little for the needed recovery. The testimony of that are the results for the past two years (let's not include Jure into the debate, as he was an extraordinary guy, and by the way, he would have turned 48 today, RIP). In 2011 I was in top shape for RAS and failed miserably at RAAM, last year it was Cristoph's time to shine at RAS and didn't succeed to repeat the victory at RAAM. By all means, it would be possible to race the both races, but only with doing RAS only as a training ride. I think you can understand why that would be impossible for me. So, I am putting all the eggs in one backet for this year and it is called RAAM! You could see a week or so ago, that also Cristoph cancelled his RAS participation, so we will get the new and fourth winner of RAS in May. In my opinion the favourite has to be Ratschob, I will be cheering for Slovenian guys from whom Rok and Bayer should be at or near the top.

After I decided not to do solo RAS, I started thinking about the possible partner for a 2 person team. The guy I was looking for was supposed to be fast and with lots of endurance, because I want us to go for a victory. Among the first that I could think of was Iztok Melansek, a friend with whom we raced together in 90s in Cyclint Team Merx Celje. Without exaggerating I can say that Iztok used to be one of the top Slovenian cyclists for stage races, he even won the Tour de Croatia and I was happy to assist at that time. Well, after a decade of non-cycling, he returned to competitive ranks as a Master a few years ago. He was improving very fast and already last year he was among the best masters in Slovenia. Suprisingly, no hard convincing was neccessary, he was up for a challenge at no time. Even better news was that his cycling team (and mine this year) CVS Mobilni supported us from the get-go, for what I cannot thank them enough

Looking at the start list, you can see that this year's 2-person team race will be fascinating! The main favourites remain čast year's winners Blatnik & Komac, but we want the victory, too (and all the rest of 19 teams also). So, they will have to go a lot deeper for a victory this year then ever before. Our tactics? Start fast and finish even faster... ;)

The 200km brevet in Koper last weekend was the first test (even if the opponents didn't now that at the time) and it showed we are pretty evenly matched. All four of us cam to every climb and also the finish together. I am expecting the fight for a victory will be amongst our teams and it will be fast! I think that it will take a new course record to win this year, I believe we will have to go under 38 hours to win (last year's winner team's time was 38h 46min), maybe even under 37h?? I believe that with Iztok we are capable of going that fast. The decider will be the second night and who will have more power for the fast finish of the race. However, it will be an excellent preparation for RAAM for me – a fast 600km with some resting in between, in excellent company and highly motivated, at the end it is a race and only a victory counts!!!

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