Three Kermesse Questions: Martin Turek Edition
The latest entry in our Three Questions series for those who want to try a Kermesse or two. Enter Matin Turek, Cat 4/5 Podium finisher at the 2011 Ronde.
PruDog: What made you decide to try out the Ronde Ohop last year? And what were you expecting?
Martin: I’ve raced most of the races last season but at the end I decided to skip the ones that seemed to be following the typical arrangement of packed peloton and bunch sprint. Ronde Ohop was to be a completely different race (with its unpaved loops) and reminded me of the challenging Paris-Roubaix and other European one day classics which seemed to challenge racers in many different ways than the standard road races. Difficulty of the terrain, bike setup, possibility of being affected by the crashes and crashing myself, accelerated exhaustion, new effects of the climate, …. – all those made me want to try it and test myself against them.
PruDog: What was the biggest misperception you had about the race before doing it and what was the most pleasant surprise?
Martin: I think my expectations of the race were fully met but I did not expect the race to be so intense and so intense virtually non-stop from the moment we entered the unpaved section till the finish line. As a result of this the exhaustion started to build up soon and fast and I never thought I could sustain such level of fatigue but still maintain the willingness to fight. Passing the finish line on the very last of my physical abilities, with some gravel rush and blood dripping off of my left arm, I had the biggest smile in the world - I never thought I enjoyed getting hurt so much.
PruDog: Now that you've done a kermesse (and done well!) is there any special equipment you plan to use and why?
Martin: My setup was perfect. I did some reading about the gear used at Paris-Roubaix and used this info to prep for the Ohop. I won’t spare the details as it’s as interesting to do that research as it is satisfying to complete the race without a single mechanical.