Muesli bars

I’ve been craving more carbs and less sugar on races lately, so I thought I’d try to make muesli bars.

 

Ingredients

  • 3 cups organic fruit muesli
  • ½ cup almonds meal
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup honey

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 160C in fan forced mode.
  2. Combine muesli, almond meal, eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, olive oil and honey in one large bowl until mixed through.
  3. Spoon into a square baking pan lined with baking paper.
  4. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes or until golden.
  5. Cool then cut into 15 pieces.
  6. It can be store in the freezer.

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Enduro World Series #4 – La Thuile, Italy

Landscape from La Thuile-7

While some went to play in the mud at the Méga, the world’s best enduro riders weren’t too far away from L’Alpe d’Huez. Just across the border in the Upper Aosta Valley, Italy, for the fourth round of the Enduro World Series, organized by Superenduro.

We were in La Thuile, a small village of less than 800 souls, just on the other side of the Col du Petit Saint Bernard if you were in Bourg St Maurice, France. Best known for its ski area with views on the Mont Blanc, the resort has been catering to MTBers, during the summer, for a few years now.

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Unusual for an Italian enduro, but quite normal for EWS, there was only two days of practice. The weather being indecisive all weekend and  with having to race 3 specials per day, all but one with lift access, the choice was simple for most riders Thursday morning to go ride the 6km and 700 meters of D+ to reach the start of Sp2 while the skies were favorable. We had a few flakes over 2400 meters on Thursday afternoon, but nothing that held more than a few hours on the ground. The Sp2 was less physical and less technical than the other stages but it was quite tough after a leg-shrinking transition.

Landscape from La Thuile-6

The rest of the stages were on the bike park, starting high up on the mountain and going through some good ol’ alpine loam with  their fare share of roots, mud and rocks coming out of nowhere.

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Sp1 and 4 were identical, with a 4km transition, but at more than 2200m high with a 10% grade and freezing temps, it hurted like hell. Especially as the stage itself was the longest and most pedally one of the weekend: 7km long with 1000m of D-. In the middle of this stage, it felt like crossing a swamp for over 400m that could easily swallow your shoes if you unfortunately. At the exit of this quagmire, you had to hammer up a 10% grade fireroad, which seemed endless but should not have been more than 200m. It is on these two parts that the race seemed to be lost or won.

Stages 3, 5 and 6 were more DH oriented with a few kick-ass climbs to max out your HR, with a sweet finish on the dual slalom at the end of each day.

Landscape from La Thuile-2-2

To sum it up, four days of EWS with 2 days of practice and 2 days of racing hurt your shoulders and quads so bad. But as the tracks were so awesome with amazing views and food was so yummy, it was probably one of the best enduro races of the year.

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I got a solid Top 20 and beat my usual competition which is a good thing but still have a lot of room for improvement, especially on the pedally parts.

Here are the full results:

EWS4 La Thuile – Day2- Women

 

Here are the datas from each stages:

Stages 1 & 2

Stage 3

Stages 4 & 5

Stage 6

 

Next Superenduro will be Sauze d’Oulx on September 6 & 7 and the next EWS for me will be in Finale Ligure on October 4 & 5.

 

Action photos by Matt Wragg and landscape pictures by myself.

Apricot and almond bars

With racing season in full swing, it’s nice to have some extra bars stached in the freezer so I don’t have to worry come race day. I’ve been making a bunch of different bars to fuel for day-long races and this one is one of my favorite as it’s easy to bake, tasty and nutritious.

 

Ingredients

  • 1½ cup almond meal
  • 1 cup dates, pitted
  • 1 cup dried apricots
  • 1 tbsp coconut butter softened
  • 2 tsp mandarine juice
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

Instructions

  1. In a food processor, pulse the pitted dates, dried apricots and sea salt until the dried fruits are mashed into a paste. wpid-psx_20140705_213517.jpgThey may try to ball up in the processor, in which case you’ll want to stop and break up the mixture with a spoon before continuing. wpid-psx_20140705_213650.jpg
  2. Break up the fruit mixture and pour into a ball. wpid-psx_20140705_213950.jpg
  3. Add the nuts to the dried fruits mixture.
  4. Mix with a wooden spoon until the almond meal is incorporated evenly into the fruit mixture.
  5. Add th juice and softened coconut butter until smooth.wpid-psx_20140705_214149.jpg
  6. Line an 8- or 9-inch square baking dish with cling film.
    Transfer the mixture to the baking dish, and use your a jar top to press it into an even layer. wpid-psx_20140705_214534.jpg
  7. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top of the flatten mixture and fold in half. PSX_20140705_214843
  8. Reflatten and wrap in cling film.
  9. Chill the baking dish in the freezer for at least 30 minutes, then use a sharp knife to cut the fruit-and-nut blend into squares or bars. Wrap each bar tightly for individual servings.

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