#MP Spirit
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MP Bike Challenge – Getting 160 km done

At MP we always strive for more: Both in the world of work and in our personal development. And because we like to demonstrate our great ambitions, we have thought of doing something special this year.

It all started with MP’s Christmas party in 2021 when we agreed to prove our “athleticism” in several sports challenges. We decided on four challenges: running, golfing, cycling and an extreme obstacle course. In detail, this meant that in addition to the TCS Marathon in Amsterdam, the Spartan Race in Greece and the Golf Challenge in Valderma, we sent a team to Switzerland to represent MP at the Bodensee Cycling Marathon 2022 – with great success. As an enthusiastic hobby road cyclist, it quickly became clear that I had no choice but to join the team racing around the Bodensee. How would you have decided?

In this blog entry, I would like to share with you the impressions we gained in the period from preparation to race day and how we as a team managed to endure numerous ups & downs next to heavy rain & wind on race day to reach our ambitious goal.

So as the new year began, we had to structure our preparations for the sporting event accordingly. After all, the race included a distance of ~160km with over 1,000 metres of altitude in unknown terrain. Our team was a diverse crew, from road cyclists with respectable racing experience to complete beginners. Tour de France participant and road bike professional Stefan Kirchmair was therefore ideally suited to prepare us for this challenge. He clarified how vital good and consistent preparation for the race is and created individual training plans tailored to our group members’ athletic condition and cycling experience. As the days got warmer and longer, our training shifted from indoor training sessions on the bike rollers to the fresh air. To train riding together in a group – especially considering challenging situations like slipstreaming – we decided to hold weekly road bike jour fixes. Besides the motivation and fun in group rides, it was impressive seeing everyone on the team improve from ride to ride. After just a few weeks, we could already show very decent results. We tried to further refine our training with appropriate changes in diet and lifestyle – with more or less success 😉. In addition, we also realised how important it was to practise other sports that act as a balance to road cycling, be it running, yoga, rowing or any other exercise. Not only does it increase general athletic skills and agility, but it also enhances performance in road cycling.

Faster than many of us would have thought, the leaves finally turned red, and there was no doubt that summer was coming to an end. As the race was just around the corner, the excitement and anticipation for the big day was written all over our faces. In addition to analysing the course profile, tactics and betting on how long we would need, we were also increasingly watching the weather forecast with a wary eye.

Finally, the day had come. Early in the morning of September 10th, the alarm clock rang at 5 am and we set off for a sporty breakfast with porridge. Punctually at 7 am, we all arrived at the start. An indescribable feeling full of adrenaline and anticipation, which even the cold, rainy and windy weather could not overshadow.

The race itself was an absolute pleasure in terms of scenery. The course led along the Bodensee, with short excursions into the hinterland, from Switzerland to Germany and Austria. The atmosphere was excellent right from the start since the positive dynamics of riding in a group made things much more bearable. With a clear goal in mind, the number of kilometres ridden quickly increased.

We supplied ourselves with fresh water and snacks at the few stops with refreshment stations before continuing and finally arriving at the finish line – after just 6 hours – exhausted but full of pride.

Even weeks after the successfully completed challenge, looking back on the race still fills me with pride and wonderful memories. Despite the wind, cold, rain and a thoroughly demanding course, we had made it as a team and thus exceeded our ambitious goals. The cycling marathon not only reminded us how important teamwork in road cycling is but also what a great team we are at MP.

I am looking forward to next year’s MP bike challenge, for which we are already seeking another demanding course. Maybe we can welcome you to the team next time. Until then, Getting Races Done!

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