Course: Sand & Sequoias
Distance: 20km – 1 Lap
Its been two weeks since I rode the CRYO’s Final Table team race and had to be nursed and encouraged round to finish. That race did two things. 1. It fuckin killed me 2. It motivated me to get fitter.
I’ve been commuting hard twice a day for a couple of weeks since and today’s race was a shorter, sharper test to see where I was at.
There were 30 odd in the A’s & B’s pen. I’d left it a bit late and only had 10 mins to calibrate my trainer, get changed and setup my stream. I got on the bike with just under 4 mins to go. No real warm up so I just pedaled hard solid until the start.
It was a fast start as expected but it was strung out up the gentle slope more than I expected so I had to go a bit deeper and longer than normal. I was topped out in red for 40 odd secs until I got to the front down the slope to the start of the TT circuit/loop. Signs were good but had I burned a match?
On the flat and the pace was high. I was sustaining well into 4-5w/kg quite comfortably and my heart rate was under control. Proof I was much fitter than my last race! Rolling along in a blob is quite easy but Titans Grove beckoned which I’ve only ever ridden about 3 times and never raced. That was going to be the real test.
As we came off the sand and hit the gradient into the trees the front, fitter guys surged and stretched the group. The elastic broke for some and I managed to stay in the wheels at the front. The ups and downs are like mini sprints or intervals. The KOM was my fear and as it stretched out up in front I kept my cadence high and managed to top out still in the wheels as the group got stretched again. I’d made the selection but the next shorter drag was my undoing. I’d gone too deep and I just dropped off the back and got into no-mans land blowing a gasket. Behind a small group were about 30m off so I eased and jumped on them to get going again. Recovered I did some good turns but the constant drags were beginning to tell (great training though!). We held it together back into the desert and as we began the drag past the starting pens I drifted to the front and opened the taps and got a good gap but the endurance wasn’t there so I eased up again. I got ready for the sprint I opened up again with 400m to go but I only had 200 in the legs so I rolled in about 15th smashed.
Much better this week. A real sharpener and step up from last time