Sunday, August 07, 2011

Le Tour and a good 50

Right, time for an udpate.

El Tour de France was just superb this year, and I normally don't like the Tour that much. The racing was excellent from day 1 and we got all sorts of Drama and Action. Like Cadel winning overall, which was well deserved and no doubt good for Orstrayan cycling. I hope they declare a public holiday and knight the bugger. That's what sportspersons get innit?

I also enjoyed THOR winning a couple of stages, resplendent in the rainbow jersey. To have the world champ win in the biggest race is always good. The one where he chased down Jeremy Roy and just blasted by him in the final kilometres was magic.

Cadel...oh I mentioned him. He can time trial a bit, unlike the Schleck Bros Andy and Fränk (silly place for an umlaut) who apart from being joined at the hip are way too skinny to be any use against the clock.

In my opinion, they clearly need to hit ther local pie shop and cäke haus and start bulking up. I think the addition of several litres of beer and 1kg of Milka each day should do the trick. If they haven't gained 10kg by next year's Tour, they're screwed. And although they will probably be in the broom wagon on the climbs, they'll make up for this on the descents. What goes up must come down and 10kg of blubber makes you go quicker downhill. Another fact. Or fat.

Don't believe me? Look at this story from this year's Criterium International. Frank Schleck, who went onto win, did the final TT with a Camelback stuffed down his jersey. Sorry, you can't do that. If you want a gut, you've got to eat pies, it's the law.

What else? There was Flecha and Hoogerland's crash into the barbed wire, courtesy of a looney driver. If riders aren't safe at the Tour, there's not much hope for the rest of us. Hoogerland is pretty awesome for getting up and finishing the race.

And who could forget Thomas 'TiTi' Voeckler? Nearly 2wks in yellow and only dethroned by his own fighting spirit on the last alpine stage. Had he dropped back to the peloton instead of trying to bridge the gap to Contador and Schleck on the Galibier, he might have stood a chance on Alpe D'Huez. Oh well, more to come from him methinks.

Then there was Evans. Oh I mentioned him. How about Cav? Five more stage wins, green jersey this year and he's still only a nipper. More to come from him too.

Only one positive test too, which is a good sign.

Going fast in a 50

I've been going ok of late and managed a really fast time in the BDCA 50 last Saturday. 1:39:03 (48.7km/h in the new money) to win the event and become the sixth fastest 50 rider of all time (with the caveat that any pro would beat that standing on their head but they don't typically do 50s). A couple of seconds quicker would have put me fourth on this list ahead of Graeme Obree (ex hour record holder) and Nik Bowdler (twice BBAR winner). That's good company.

The A50/6 course is always fast, so Saturday was a showdown between most of this year's BBAR contenders. Julian Jenkinson was there, having recently clocked 3:31 for a 100(!) and I figured he'd win it. Or Studodd would.

But surprise surprise I did, after Stu DNFed (hit a manhole and did something bad to his back) and Jenks managed 1:41:42 (4th). Scott Povey did an excellent 1:40:08 for 2nd, then Derek Parkinson finished third in 1:40:49.

The ride itself was one of those where you knew it was going to be quick. Like last year (when I did a 1:45:08) there was a headwind on the outward leg which given that it's all uphill you would think would really kill the speed. But for some bizarre reason - probably traffic and shelter - it's not that bad. I got to the far turn (35km) in 46'52, a full 2'30 quicker than last year. Then bombed back down the hill, did the flat 11.5km dogleg out to Rocester and back a minute quicker than last year, then went at warp speed for the last 20km, which I did in 22'35! Converting back to miles, I did the final 25 miles (40.25km) in 45'54 and the final 10 miles (16.1km) in 17'56.

Power wise it wasn't a bad ride but not a PB by any stretch. Also although I did it 'flat out' I wasn't spent at the end, it was just that lifting it at any point on the way back felt like it might be a bad idea. But there were several points where I eased up, took time to fiddle with my helmet and skinsuit, freewheeled, waited for cars in front of me to get around the roundabout, took a drink, had a gel, turned on the radio to see if Radio 2 had gotten any better (it hadn't), etc.

From that point of view it was good as I know there's a bit more there. Maybe I'll beat it next year...

Next up for me is the Breckland 12hr, which promises to be both fast and boring. I hope to improve on my 280.74 miles I did last year, but all the signs are there that it's possible.

1 comment:

Pete said...

Nice one on the win! Not sure there will be a home-coming welcome for you like Cadel's about to receive: