Thursday, January 21, 2010

Adelaide Stats

Distance: 30km
Time: 1:26:41
Average HR: 176
Max HR: 187
Ascent: 520m
U19 riders overtaken: 24
Oakley Radar Black Iridium
Kenda Small Block 8 tyres (same ones that I used in Tasmania BTW)
4 x 750mL EFS Lemon Lime
1 x Roctane Gu 3rd lap
Would have considered a 1x9 setup - not much use of the big ring

Distance: 8km
Time: 20 minutes (15 minutes + 3 laps)
Average HR: 175
Max HR: 184
Oakley Radar Fire Iridium
Kenda Small Block 8 tyres
1 mouthful of Water
Big ring whole way (pretty flat obviously)

Sunday was cooler than Saturday hence slightly lower HR. Also, Saturday was main objective and the one the peak was designed for.

HR was humming standing on the start line at 130bpm - anticipation plus!!!

New cycling shorts (extra compression), new gloves and new socks used for Saturday

got it

The last weekend was spent in Adelaide for the Australian MTB Titles. Kylie and I arrived in Adelaide on the Wednesday and made ourseleves comfortable in the house in Kent Town just on the City's fringe.
To cut to the chase - as I am super stoked, it was a successful weekend. 1st place Veteran Men Cross Country, and 1st place Open Men short track. All expectations and objectives were met. 2 absolutely perfect, effortless feeling days on the bike.
Back to the main story..... On Thursday we checked out the course, curious to see what changes had been made. The result was pretty good. The course whilst not brutally hard to ride, would be pretty hard to ride fast and continuously. I did 2 cruising laps to figure out the lines and flow, then did a fast lap to see where the exertion was required, how long each climb took and also to see where the fatigue would be kicking in.
Friday was spent riding the super-flat bikeways of Adelaide down to the beach just turning the legs over - same as last year - 2 hours keeping the HR under 150bpm. I cooked up some awesome PadThai, and we then chilled out knowing that whatever happened it would all be good.
Kylie raced first on Saturday morning, and managed to finish 14th in Elite female cross country on a day when she said there was no power in the legs. A great effort. We then drove home and chilled out until the afternoon. I had a shower to cool down and ate some more food, before cruising off to the Eagle on the Hill.
When we got back to the venue, I started my warm up, only wanting a pretty short one of about 30 minutes. I did some tempo spins up to the top feedzone to open up everything but not go too deep. No need to do any sprints or anything.
At 2pm the U19s were started and then we got called up. There were 4 other guys I made a mental note of to keep an eye out for. Andrew Wilcher told me (via Facebook) just to smash it from the gun and lead it out the whole way. So when the gun did go, I got the holeshot and kept on the gas. For the first 2 laps I could see Craig Felix and Stuart Keep around the course via the numerous switchbacks. I knew the course would bite hard, so (try as I may) I attempted to keep the pace fairly high, but manageable for the first 2 laps. Craig Felix, a local Adelaide guy I have known since downhill days where he was ranked top 5 in Australia, was on my wheel for the first 2 laps as we amazingly caught a truckload of the U19 guys. I managed to catch all but 6 of them by the end of the race, and  that was with the 3 minute start that they got!
At the top of the course at the 2nd feedzone, I got word that I had a 22 second gap. It was here that I decided to give it some, and especially for the 3rd lap. This course, with its twisting nature, would assist in allowing me to 'get out of sight' of 2nd and 3rd. This tactic worked well as I managed to put a minute in over 2nd place on the 3rd lap. When the bell lap came, the legs were still feeling good, so I managed to eek out a faster lap for the last one.
The feeling when coming up the last climb and onto the start finish straight was unbelievable. I had secretly dreamt of this feeling over the last 4 years I have raced the National Titles. To get it was just the best feeling. At the end, I was greeted by Paul Aubrey who conducted a finish line interview before we were whisked off to a very PRO podium set up.
That night it was celebration with Sushi and Ice Cream being the Carb and Protein of choice. The pressure I had put on myself had been lifted and the sleep was deep and peaceful.
The next day the short track was on. I love short track as it is a 'wham bam, thankyou maam' style of racing. I entered in Open Male, which is the class for Experts, Veterans and other fast dudes. The U19s and Elites have their own category. Again, I got the holeshot after the gun went and led the pack around for the first 4-5 laps. At this stage of the 15 minute plus 3 lap event, we were only 6 minutes in, so I had a drink on the start / finish straight. The pack had whittled down to me and another guy who had placed 2nd in the Expert XCO the day before. Being a younger guy, he was keen to test his legs at the front, so I let him go through, and promptly got on his wheel. He was scorching it up and was makign the elastic stretch a little bit on the newer rough bit, but was able to always get back on him by the fireroad. At the 3 lap to go sign I attacked past him up the start / finish straight and put in a gap of about 5 metres, this did the trick and I was able to stretch it out over the next 2 laps to have a healthy buffer by the end.
Kylie's Elite female race was a 2 stage affair, with the race being called off after the 3rd lap after a nasty crash. The restart didn't suit Kylie, however she kept on it to finish in 8th place.
More sushi and icecream were consumed as well as some kick-ass Midori and lime chick drinks!! As a bonus we got to watch the Tour Down Under pre-criterium which was being held 300m from our front door. Man I love adelaide!!!
Stats from Adelaide racing to come soon.....

Saturday, January 9, 2010

that sounded like it had feet

This was what I thought this morning when doing Stromlo Big Dog grinds after I heard a sound of rustling in the weeds at the side of the road. Better than seeing a wriggly stick any day of the week. I pushed out 7 of these enjoyable climbs with 10% of tightness between fastest and slowest. The last 2 blew out a bit due to the headwind that picked up on the first half of the climb. 1000+m of climbing on the one hill will either make me insane or mentally tough that's for sure.
The final prep is being done before the Australian Mountain Bike titles in adelaide next week. On Thursday I raced a local dirt crit and finished behind Dylan Cooper, who smashed us all. My lap times were identical for all 8 laps at 1 minute 30 seconds. The average speed was a shade under 30km/hr and the 'hero wind' up the 'climb' (big ring and 5th on the back) was sensational. An average heart rate of 184 for the last 2 laps was pretty cool also. This is at 97% of max, and things were still feeling ok in my brain!
The last 3 weeks I have done 55 hours of training and over 1500km in the mountains. I have been happy with how things are going and the build has been sustainable and I have been able to hit every ride feeling fresh enough to hit it up with some quality - no junk miles!. Will it be enough for next weekend? Not sure, but there is nothing more that I can really do to enhance it legally. The only limiter might be the 2pm start in Adelaide in January! It could be hot. Same for everyone though.
Goals for the XCO are the same for every race. Mainly to execute a defined process and then see what happens once it is all over. What other people bring on the day is out of my control and just how things go. The course, I have raced on before (if they decide to run the same one) - not hard to ride, but hard to ride\race fast. If it is different then we'll see how it goes.
I had my first ride on a Cannondale Flash on Thursday. This was the Flash 2. I was mainly interested in the frame. And it does not disappoint. There is defintely some good stuff happening in the back triangle. Well, at least from the carpark and grassy tufts that were ridden over whilst wearing thongs! I can't wait to take one off road - maybe end of January. No new stuff before big races!


Saturday, January 2, 2010

back in action

Well for the last 2 weeks I have been riding the roadie a fair bit. I haven't touched the MTB since Hobart. The first ride back on it will be next Thursday at the dirt crit at Stromlo.

Highlights of the last 2 weeks include lots of riding around the Brindabella Ranges, falling asleep at 10pm on new years eve, eating lots of watermelon, doing big ring climbs in the rain, working on my cycling tan, and generally living the drem whilst on 6 weeks leave from work.

An interesting race has been brought to my attention -

It is a super D down Mt Wellington in Hobart. This will include 1000m of descent (or thereabouts) - this one may need to have a special trip planned for - it is on the 7th February, just before the Thredbo National round. Should be good.

There is also now only 2 weeks before the Nationals in Adelaide. It might be a little warm in Adelaide this time of the year, but we will see how things go. I am slowly acclimatizing to the heat of summer, but at the moment in Canberra it is a little humid, as well as being warmish. Still, it is up at 6am every morning to beat most of the heat.

Tomorrow's ride is set to be a standard out to Condor Creek, followed by a sprint out of the Cotter to the base of Mount Stromlo, then a leisurely spin up to the top of Stromlo, for some water followed by some tailwind hunting through the badlands of Gungahlin. That should put about 4 hours into the legs.