Saturday, September 15, 2007

Die letzte Prüfung

So ja, I am not quite being the Jan in the zeitfahren, but I am being enjoying it.

Keen-eyed readers will note that I am brushing up on my Cherman prior to going to Salzburg nächste woche für die journo weltmeistershaften. Luckily I'm staying with the Slovenians, at least one of whom is fluent in the local lingo. So my skills won't be required, which is a mercy. Don't ask me why the Austrians get to host two rounds of the journo worlds in succession, 'cos I don't know. Still, the Salzburg will much fun be making, ja.

Move over Mozart, I'm bringing my very own Rammstein collection. It's bloody triffic for getting psyched up for a race, training ride in the wet or even going to work.

Today, as intended, Robin and I did a round of the Rudy Project national TT series in Bruton. 29.75km, 420m of climbing/descending and very little in the way of flat road. The good thing was that there was almost zero wind and it was sunny. Sehr noice conditions.

I'd sussed out a schedule to average 40km/h, guesstimating what times I should reach the corners in based on our recce ride of two weeks ago. I figured that would be enough to finish between 5th and 10th and lo! I was right.

The first 2km was uphill at about 5%, which was a shock to the system to a few who hadn't ridden the course. Then it was a nice rolling downhill to the first left hander at 8km, then rolling uphill to the next left at 14.5km, then all uphill to 21km - including passing Stourhead House wot did for me in the Tour of Wessex - then all downhill on crappy roads to the finish.

It's a great honest course, but because it's not one of the standard distances (10, 25, 50, 100 miles), not many riders will do it. Everyone wants to get their PB down on the fastest piece of dual carriageway they can find. So there were only 46 starters, but we did have a few of the top riders in the national series including the very accomplished series leader Richard Prebble.

I wasn't going to go flat out, as I'm saving that for next week, but I did manage to stick to my schedule. I miscalculated the second section and ended up behind where I thought I should be, and became Disheartened. But when I did the recce, that bit was a huge tailwind so I should have taken that into account.

I'd caught my minute man after 10 minutes, but didn't end up getting my two minute man. Three and four minutes didn't start, but when I got to the second bit of the main climb I passed my five and seven minute men. The downhill was rather fun, as it's not technical so you can stay on the TT bars, even at 75km/h. The road surface wasn't that great, and I would hate to do it in the wet with all the cow manure everywhere.

Speaking of cows, I encountered one ambling up the road towards me with 400m to go, with a jeep in tow. I figured hitting half a ton of extremely rare beef at 56km/h (my speed) + 5km/h (cow speed) would probably put a dent in my TT frame so I scrubbed 10km/h off and rode through the gap between the cow and the side of the road. I don't think it cost either of us much time. And I almost caught my 24(!) minute man just before the finish.

I ended with 44'17, which was good enough for 5th overall again, 4th in the elite category. Richard Prebble took a bit off his course record and ended with 42'14, then Paul O'Mahoney with 43'14, Ian Dalton (44'03 and best vet) and Richard Simmonds (44'08). I was just out of the money but I got a pair of socks, which made the trip completely worth it.

Robin, alas, was the victim of a late Friday night chicken kebab. He'd been to the footy and eaten one of these things at 1am. He threw up four times during his ride and finished with 47'42, at least two minutes slower than he is capable of. You are taking your life into your hands if you eat a late night chicken kebab. The only way to stop its effects is to drink lots and lots of beer beforehand.

Next stop: Salzburg. Ja.


8.2km: 12'27 (gain 40m)
14.4km: 22'15 (gain another 30m, but hurt more for some reason)
20.8km: 33'20 (gain 140m, including saying hello to Stourhead House)
29.75km: 44'17 (lose 170m, but meet a cow)

Power: 320W (I am being thinking this is too low, but maybe I'm just weak)
Av hr: 178 (normal, but will go a bit harder next week)

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