No points tonight – it simply isn’t a course that suits me. Had they the stat/finish line on the other, more technical side of the track then maybe but a wide open 700m straight sprint is not a thing I’ll ever compete in.
In summary, the race was very easy, then impossible when the sprint started.
Not much more to say about it.
Lidingö MTB 2016 – this was to be a race where I would show how much I have improved since last year. It’s unlike a road bike race in that you can’t draft. Very honest and shows all the cracks in fitness.
My last recon went well – 20 minutes faster than the equivalent recon last year.
Got to the start. Feeling good. Great weather. Fast fast start.
Last year there was an extremely fast start but I settled down after a couple of minutes. Not so this year. I was redlining it for far too long. Burning matches I probably didn’t have. Finally, after about 8 minutes of madness I said to myself “take your own pace up this hill”. I hit the steep hill, changed down on the front ring and my drivetrain disintegrated.
I have absolutely no idea what happened and I immediately regretted not bringing tools with me. On brief inspection it looked like it cold be fixed. I though that it may have just ‘come loose’.
When I finally got a tool and attempted to fix it I noticed there was no fixing it. The rear derailleur was twisted completely out of shape, the jockey wheel was broken, the hanger threads were sheared and the hanger itself was bent. As they said in ‘lock stock and two smoking barrels’ it was “proper fucked”.
Lessons learned? None. This happens.
I managed to get out for a run later in the evening… it’s been on the back burner for quite some time now. So that’s good that I managed to do that.
I entered the B-Class race tonight… that’s pretty much where I belong! All went well. No problems, never thought I’d get dropped and I even had a couple of attacks off the front. A few times I got stick up the front for quite some time and nobody wanted to come around me – driveing miss Daisy pace.
I was very well positioned on the last lap, half way around there was a mini attack which I also was a part of. Then an Ängby CC rider came past me and I decided that this was the wheel to follow. All excellent decisions.
Next thing I know Ängby CC guy darts off to the left onto the gravel and gets in front of the bunch. I wasn’t going on the gravel so I had to think of what to do. Thinking took too long and I ended up in no mans land. Further brain farts left me coming around the final corner in the wrong gear. This stopped me from gaining any additional places and actually assisted a rider to come by me on the line.
So tactics, smarts and experience cost me big today.
As it happened, my gut to follow the Ängby CC guy was correct – he won.
I came in 8th – 59 points in Stockholm cup.
The first race of the year is complete. I now know how my training has improved my performance from last year.
The race was not exactly the right one to highlight my strengths but it showed some strengths and some areas of improvements.
It was a 1km loop. 40 minutes + 1 lap. Last year the group split in two almost immediately and I was in the second group. I punctured after about 10 minutes so have no idea how I would have done.
Last night I held the front group through the first two laps – so that was already better than last year. The first lap was the second fastest lap of the race – 43,5km/h average speed. When you consider there is two sharp corners in the 1km of that lap you can get an idea of how fast that was.
I managed to hang on through more than a few rough moments. There were four or five really tough laps during which I nearly got dropped but somehow didn’t. Finally, after about 30 minutes the elastic snapped and I left the group. That was after the fastest lap of the race – I simply couldn’t recover after it.
I didn’t train those sprints.
You can see the 20 and 30 second power intervals where then ones that were outside my trained limits. All others were trained to some degree but they weren’t trained in the manner in which they were required last night. I can work on that.
The good part is that I managed to bridge gaps even when I thought I was stretched to my limit. You could say that I found a new limit last night.
From 13:08 in the one above
I still was not feeling 100% driving out to the race – I was sure that I was making a mistake and would pay for it with an even more severe bout of sickness. All that disappeared once the race started. I felt good – so good that I made a lame attempt at an attack after about 12km. There were three riders up the road and the bunch had slowed to 35km/h – I decided I could bridge the gap to the two riders. I launched off the front, held 45-48km/h for the single kilometer I was out there for and, even at that speed, I was passed by a bunch that made it seem like I was standing still. They told me in no uncertain terms that I would not be getting away.
Their capture was so severe that I was very nearly dropped… That thought me a lesson: the gap between being able to sit in a bunch and animating a race is enormous. Absolutely enormous.
Humble pie eaten – Work to be done.
All in all it was an easy race – training rides have had higher average power.
It’s now time to start running again. I’m currently carrying my worst running form in years.
The plan: Run Every Day for a week. Just 25 minutes minimum. No goal pace or HR. Just run without injuring myself.
After a week, decide what to do next.
Simple is best.
I commented that my chest was sore ofter the race on Friday – citing the lack of training and extreme effort as the cause. That may well have been the case but that chest pain turned into a cough, fever and sore throat within 24 hours… I skipped the planned race on Sunday and yesterday, though feeling dizzy and feverish, I decided to do a test MTB cruise to see how the body felt. Initially I felt bad but started to feel better and better with time.
Today I woke up feeling pretty good and now feel 90-95%. It’s probably not wise, but I will race tonight. 54 hilly kilometers.
I’ll know within 10 minutes of starting if it was a good idea or not.
I’ll know this time tomorrow if it was a really bad idea.
tick, tick, tick…
This was the best fun I’ve had in a long time… I was extremely nervous and full of self-doubt on the start line for this race; the lack of training and my trip to Egypt involving five days with no training had me on edge. Some might say that I had nothing to loose since I put nothing in. I believe though that once on the start line all those excuses mean nothing: once you put yourself on that start line there can be no excuses … it’s quite lame to do so.
The whistle blew, or the bell rang, I was so nervous I don’t recall, and off we went for 10 pretty fast laps. The course was pretty technical – see image below – and the fact that there was no traffic made people take more risks than I’ve seen before. On three occasions I was behind a potential crash that was caused by stupidity and saved by a mixture of skill and luck.
I started at the back of a bunch of around 90 riders and found the technical sections difficult, however, with each progressive lap I found good lines on some of the key corners and was gaining positions on these key corners.
Skip forward ten laps and I did in fact try to make a gallop for the finish line; the home straight was probably 20 meters wide so technically there was no problem finding a path to the line. Unfortunately my 780w was not nearly enough to make an impression on some of the horses I was racing against. Results to follow but I’d say I finished top 1/3 or better and felt pretty good about that.
Today as I sit here and type I feel my chest is pretty sore – 32 minutes of supra-max effort combined with no training has taken its toll. It remains to be seen if I will be able to race tomorrow. Seven laps of a 10km loop is the scheduled race – a race that will surely expose my lack of time on the bike… no faking that distance.
After the race I managed to get ‘some’ training in.
Thursday: Short Swim.
Friday: Short Run
Saturday: Short MTB ride.
Then off to Egypt for 4 zero days.
I’ll be sitting on the stat line of Arlanda Test Track tonight with 5 zero days in my legs.
We will soon see if that is a formula for failure – it’s already pretty obvious that it’s not a formula for success!
Bike race number 4 tonight.
I started out feeling good and actually thought the first lap was too slow… I was thinking about asking my friend if we should have a go off the front on lap two but decided to sit tight instead. Lap three I lost patience and decided to give it a go on the small hill at the start finish; i didn’t get away but I did manage to string out the bunch in a straight line. Before that point it was getting a little crowded and chaotic.
At the end of the third lap I found it very easy to position myself up the front and was in good position for the sprint… it seemed too easy I thought. After I took the turn off to the finish line I realized why gaining the front position was so easy: it was a four lap race and there was still a lap to go.
I swung the bike around and chased hard and -probably my most proud achievement of the year- caught the bunch.
This was hard… I very nearly didn’t manage it but I did. The next hill after I caught the bunch was also very hard but after that there was no problems at all.
With the finish line actually approaching it became very difficult to make it up the bunch and but the tie the sprint came I was too boxed in to manage a real sprint. I was top 20 in the end and surprised to see the average speed was 40.4km/h.
Good day. Good race. Very pleased.
Tough race last night. A tough and technical course made holding the elite group impossible for me… my fitness also played a significant part in that failure.
Nonetheless, I finished in the second group – a good strong group and even took a few pulls on the front. There was a short sharp hill that was a 90-95% effort each time and two slow corners; one 180 degrees and one over 90 degrees – both these corners were more difficult to me than the hill. I had to sprint for 100m out of each of them to catch/hold the group. This was hard but felt OK until it wasn’t.
All felt good – there were good times and bad times but at one point, sprinting out of the 180 degree turn the legs went… For the first time in the race I felt that I would not be able to hang on until the end. At this stage I took the one and only look at my computer; it read 42 minutes as we powered up the long drag to the finish line. This meant that we had 4 laps to go (the race was planned to be 45 min + 3 laps).
The next time into the climb I was positioned badly and I also took a bad line cornering into the climb… I had to dig deep up the climb and even deeper to catch the elasticated back of the group. In my mind I let myself be dropped then but the bunch compressed, the speed stabilized and I caught back on before.
Next time lap I planned to hit the climb first in the group. I did so and found it much easier.
The second last lap I nearly lost the group once more on the spring out of the corner but apart from that all went well. The sprint to the finish was a joke… I shouldn’t have contested it but I couldn’t help myself… my mind wants what the body can’t give it.
Great night. Hard race. Can’t wait until the next one.