What better way to backup the 24 hr Solo Nationals with a road race the weekend after ...
I'd let Fenner talk me into doing a roadie race to mix things up a bit ... and I figured if nothing else this would be a good high intensity, low volume training ride.
On the friday night I really did not sleep too well - I had no idea what to expect the next day. Was I going to be completely schooled? Would they stop that I was an mtb imposter? Would I be a complete tard in the pack?
So I was pretty tired turning up on the Saturday morning and heading out for a warm up with fellow mtb imposter Aaron "Tommo" Thompson. We both had let our stubble get out of control, and I *may* have deliberately neglected to keep the leg hair under control ... :)
The first stage was a simple 55km out to the Condor Creek dirt road via Uiarra Crossing. My plan was simply to stick in the pack and watch what everyone else did. I hung mid way through the pack, and hugged the road center line ... much to the annoyance of the trailing copper who kindly (and constantly) reminded me to stay in the line with a loud toot of his horn.
I found it quite interesting the huge variations in speed the pack would travel out - feeling like we were almost stopping after each little climb.
We eventually made out way to the final climb to the dirt turn around. I guessed this must be a KOM point so smacked it in the last 100 metres to claim the points. It was a good think I did, as it meant I had a pretty clean and independent run down ... and was no where near a big stack that took out a bunch of riders behind me.
The climb back out of Uiarra was fast, and I did not pick up that there was a KOM point there - so missed a good opportunity. Regardless, I hung with the lead pack and avoiding their end of stage sprint finished 10 seconds down.
The afternoon was the individual time trial. Something I have never done (outside of training and FTP tests). I went out and rode to my power meter. I managed to clean up about 4 or 5 riders in front (20 sec interval release), so I figured I was doing ok. At the end though, my time sucked. I finished about mid-way through the pack. My power for the 30 mins was just a big below my FTP, so I think I rode strong - but without any of the aero advantages of TT bars, helmets, wheels, body position I sucked.
Tommo however nailed it. 9th in the TT on his stock Giant / Shimano 105 bike ... beating heaps of guys on their $10k plus beasts!
Heading into the final stage 3 minutes down (damn you TT), I figured I would have some fun on this 80km stage. I sat in until Uiarra Crossing and punched it up the short climb. Reaching the top first I decided there would be no rest, and promptly set a 300 w pace. Not happy, the pack followed without their little rest. Pulling off I expected this pace to be maintained, but they were not up for it ... so I said stuff it and went back up to keep the pace up.
We eventually got down to the Pierces Creek climb and again I smacked it into a climb I know pretty well. But unlike racing with Gaz, where we race side by side, I had a couple of tails who drafted me to the KOM point and jumped out to get the big points. Grrrrr.
Out into the long false flats I set the pace again, no attacking just a solid tempo, and soon enough I was out all alone! Lazy buggers! I got a few minutes up the road and was wishing for Jase or Gaz to be there with me to take it home. I eventually sat up and waited for the bunch.
Luckily by now, we were into the meaty end of the race, and the race leader was keep to see the pace picked up. A small group attacked Mt McDonald and the cruise back to Uiarra. Heading up the three sisters I dropped off this little group - but was not lone as my fellow KOM buddy was there suffering and fried. We dragged each other back in to finish about 1 minute behind the lead group of 5 or 6 riders.
So, all up an interesting weekend of training riding.
Food wise it was the simplest setup in a long time ... a few bottles of Torq Energy and a few Torq Gels!
Bike wise I ran my Scott Addict RC 2 . The bike is light, fast and responsive. It was good to see a number of them out there too.
Thanks to Tommo for keeping me company on this roadie adventure, Fenner for his daily tips on how to ride each stage and Robyn for her patience in losing another weekend to me on the bike.
Next it is back onto the mountain bike for a 6 hr in Beechworth and then the Paterson 24 hr ...
|Being an embarrassing MTB rider|