12
May
15

Tour of the Abberleys 2015

So the dust has settled and I have had time to reflect on this.

Firstly it was another great few days as Mike and his team put on a well marshalled and run event. Secondly I was glad that Em got involved and not for the first time has now seen an event from a totally different point of view.

So lets talk about me after all it is my blog :¬)

The Prologue

Firstly I am an arse, failure to read the paperwork saw me at the wrong end of the course and having to ride tempo back to the start where I missed my start. On the bright side I was VERY warmed up. 3 miles battering yourself silly up and down a few hills. I’m never going to be really fast but I am solid so 7.48 and mid table obscurity.

Stage 1 – probably the flat stage

It’s not flat, would you be surprised if I said I was at the back for most of the day? I have a lack of confidence this year both in the bunch and in my fitness but still was surprised to find myself constantly on the back. That said there were no issues at all and sadly there is nothing to say really. I did with a lap to go have a blast off the front but was quickly found out and with nobody bridging to me the event came down to a bunch sprint. I lost no time which showed progress but left with a sense of anonymity.

Stage 2 – longer and harder than the day before

To carry on from the day before my goal became just to stay involved, this is quite uninspiring really and a little negative but I wanted to have a chance on day 3. A strange day as the first lap was fast and I felt like I was hanging on but I was there and as we approached the climb for the first time I dropped to the small ring. Turned out to be inspirational as I stayed here for the rest of the day and never truly lost touch with the bunch. When it came down to the last climb/finish I even made places as I spun up the hill. Uninspired and anonymous but strangely happy as I had spent less time off the back and lost no time to the bunch up the hill.

Spit balling – you know, some shit talk

Before I talk about racing Stage 3 we need to talk, Mike had suggested looking at the loop as it was changed and harder than before. Oh he wasn’t kidding, strangely the first climb didn’t worry me, the second one however did. On the plus side there were some great descents and I only had to climb things twice. Em had also managed to get another job and this time on the course rather than in the lead car so I would see her. All I will say is Mike was not kidding this loop looked brutal. Taking stock and talking to Em at dinner it was obvious I was disappointed with my lack of exciting counter attacking or chasing but was also happy I had not been losing time. I sat just inside the top 20 with one stage left.

Stage 3 – hell on earth for sure

Simple plan was not to get dropped on the big loop and as we approached the first climb that was achieved with ease really. As the climb started I was there and then bang, bodies in all directions. I went hard but just lack that explosive kick these boys have but crested and went hard. I do however has some descending skills and picking people up along the way a group of us rode back to the group. The flat part however is not that flat and even though on the bunch it was obvious the hard work had taken its toll. Starting the second climb was find and as it levelled off I was just about in touch and then bang again, people just rode away. I tried hard oh yes but I just didn’t have the power. I crested and rode as hard as I could and just before the climb started again I caught one rider. We climbed together and crested and I was hopeful that when we descended as a pair we may be able to chase a few people down. Sadly I turned at the bottom alone, no idea what happened to the other chap. I could see a few groups up the road but never caught them as they connected and 5 V 1 never works. Pushed hard and got it done without being caught.

I finished 20th overall and to be honest a little disappointed, next year will be all about staying in touch over the climbs on lap one. Analysis shows that my last 30 mins were ridden at the best part of 290 watts which tells me my overall fitness is good.

I really do need to prepare better for this event and not use it to start my year, sadlyi think I have said that before.

Thanks Mike and all involved for a great event, see you next year

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