Battle of the Dinosaurs Stage 6 - 25 mile TT

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Battle of the Dinosaurs Stage 6 - 25 mile TT

Postby Jack Hughes » 04 May 2014 11:28

Birdwell wheelers 25 mile TT, on a course that we both have ridden a few times over the years, and know pretty well.

Thundery showers, and high winds forecast. Not the best conditions.

Over to jon.e


I was really looking forward to this ten days ago, a decent 10mile TT, last Thursday, a couple of decent rides, even a run, so was hoping for a decent time, maybe a PB for the course, even.

I am not a believer in luck, nor fate, it is all just factors, and probability. You turn up at the race, with what you have, it is your choice. Whether the factors dictate you race or not, this is more for my training blog than a race report. The enjoyment of the race, will always out weigh the end result, perhaps stupid is, as stupid does, may be more apt for this race. But I always feel the need to race, and get the adrenaline flowing.

I wasn't shall we say, fully fit, for the race, by the Monday before, I was a tentative DNS, my two programmed training rides on Tuesday and Wednesday were canned due to the lurgy getting hold, by Saturday, an assessment put me in the fit to race category. I know the risks all to well of racing when ill and the back lash that takes place, I wouldn't be 100%, but it would be an all out to get the best time, and try and beat JH, there is a dinosaur at stake after all.

Arranged to meet at 1:30, race start at 2pm, with me off at 2:34 and JH at 2:44. Signed on, quick chat, prepped the bikes, the last minute Mandering consisting of me spraying WD40 on the cassette, and JH spraying GT lube on his face and then the cassette.

A nice 4 mile ride to the start, we know the course, timed it to arrive a couple of minutes before my off, so Jack could check whether they were running on time, they were running a couple of minutes early, quick chat, with Jack asking if the factory that was sending out my new bike part would have it already pre-dirtied it so it matched the rest of the bike, by dropping it in the muddy puddle in their car park.

My minute man was a DNS, so no one to chase, it was going to be lonely today. The forecast was gusty winds and heavy showers, the wind was certainly gusty, but no showers, a small bonus to some.
30 seconds, start my Garmin, clip in, countdown from 5, and off, over the motorway bridge, hit the first roundabout, and into a lovely headwind/sidewind, for the next five miles, there is a local weather saying that it is a ' Lazy wind '. It doesn't go around you, just always through you, as you always seam to head into it.

2.5 miles later, and my minute man passes me, and so begins the common theme of the race, at least I could pass the time estimating when the next thundering disc hurtles past. The route allows riders to see others riders at two points going the other way to gauge time between them.
Point one is just before the first turnaround, a lovely complex roundabout which had me at a complete standstill due traffic, JH hurtles the other way, We wave, a quick slide rule calculation and he is up a minute after 8miles. The wind to the first turnaround reduced me to 20 mph, I thought I could get something back, but a miserly 2mph increase was all.

I wasn't able to get a solid rhythm at all, HR was all over, no power to the legs, left arm stiffening up. At the motorway bridge, it is only a small rise, but out of the saddle, I could bale out now, just 4 miles back to race HQ.
But no, it's a race, left at the junction into a solid headwind, going backwards now, ten more miles to go, muscles are lacking oxygen, not able to breathe efficiently now, another full stop feet down , due traffic, then feet down and a wait at the turnaround, before a last five mile blast with a tailwind to the finish. No power to make use of it, wave at Jack again and he is two minutes up on me with six to go.

The Strava log shows the reduced HR, and falling despite the effort towards the end, so not quite optimum race shape then.
Over the finish, stop the Garmin, start the stop watch, pull over into a side road, get off, cough up a lung, look up to see three elderly people in a car watching me, I try to smile through the saliva and phlegm, they smile back, as a cough up my spleen, I look again and their smiles have gone from caring to concern, back to coughing my last remaining lung up and their are now saying " quickly drive away, it isn't a nice sight ".

Jack appears, and I stop the clock.
He is very pleased, a well deserved course PB, on a difficult day, a stage victory, by over two minutes, and another point in the points classification.

Easy warm down ride back to HQ, dekit, check the results, a lot of DNS on the sheets. Some very fast times by the testers as well.

Another great race in the series, and hopefully I will try and get a better time in another 25 this season.


And now to Jack:


Having done the projections from the tri, I have confirmed that I really need to have a lead of 30 minutes at this stage.

Reflecting on the 16 seconds defeat at the last TT, where I was leading up until about the 8th mile or so, either 1) the wind picked up, or 2) I lost focus and stopped trying. I can't really do anything about 1), but 2) was something to work on.

No way have I done enough training for a 25TT, or at least a competitive one, so this was going to be all about pacing and trying hard. A big emphasis on visualisation. And I certainly didn't want to go in to the race with a defeated mind set. Now, in the week before, jon.e managed to do a 24:09 in a 10. Making my most recent 28 minute effort look a bit shabby. I could take this one of two ways - either he was well above me in performance (glass have empty), or, as we are equally matched, that is the sort of ride that I would have done in the same circumstances (glass half full). Absolutely no way of knowing the reality, it's all about the psychology. So, I spent my time thinking along the glass half full lines, and making sure I wasn't going to be intimidated.

At a running race, and a triathlon, you can always tell the star performers from the physiques - runners are lean and skinny, triathletes tend to be lean and muscular. Not so in a TT. You get all sorts of slouchy, running to fat, old folk. Who suddenly transform into themselves into uberfast speed freaks. I am sure I have the same sort of power. OK, aerodynamics is important, but I must also have closed the gap a bit, now I have a TT bike. But there is still a vast gulf between my times and theres. So technique must also be important. However, technique is pretty simple - basically just pedal. The only thing you can really vary, is gear and cadence.

A few very heavy range showers on the way over (a 115 mile round trip in the car!), it was promising to be wet. Space on the bike means either a rear light or spares. Rear light. Then, what to wear. Didn't want too much, in case it was wet, so just went for a warm base layer tee under the skin suit.

The course is an "L" shape, with two out and backs. The wind was from the South East, so it looked to be that the second "out" section, was going to be the worst.

Ride out to the start, about 4 miles, for a warm up, the wind was quite ferocious, saw jon.e off, and then a bit more of a warm up and then back to the start (jon.e was 10 minutes ahead).


Get held by the starter, start the watch at fifteen to go. The watch was displaying elapsed time, HR, and time of day (so you don't miss the start). Set to auto lap at each mile.

A number of objectives:

1) A course and all time PB (road bike, 1:09:53 to beat)
2) An 1:08
3) An 1:06

Objective 3 was looking out of place, as the wind was not really that favourable. I was expecting an 8.

Count down from 10. Check traffic again. And away. Up over the motor bridge, down to the first roundabout, and turn into the wind. Not a great way to build a rythym.

Then just pedal.

Normally expecting my minute man to go past at about 7 minutes. But managed to hold him off until minute 8.

From about 4 or 5 minutes, I could see a figure up ahead.

Interesting.

I've only ever caught my minute man once before, and that was when she was an 83 year old.

Usually, when I gain on some one, it usually turns out to be someone on a training ride, or going for the Sunday papers. But this is Saturday afternoon.

More wind. More pedalling. HR is up at race speeds (150-152), cadence up into the wind.

Guy in front gets closer. Is that a flourescent number on his back? Or am I imagining it.

No sign of jon.e. Beginning to think I have missed him.

There he is. Now, I have to get to this point in 10 minutes.

As the turn approaches, minute man gets closer. Looks like I am going to catch him at the round about. I can see the number. Exciting stuff!

He is all over the place though, very very uncontrolled riding. He must have travelled an extra mile over the course with all the sideways motion. On a road bike with aero bars.

Decided not to overtake at the roundabout. It is very large, with two give ways on it.

Oh dear. A car comes up. I have to give way.

It takes me another four miles to catch him again.

Tail wind now.

Big gear time (53x12 is the biggest, I use this and 53x13).

More people go past.

Lower cadence feels more comfortable. HR goes down a bit. Still keeping the same relative speed to the other riders.

Finally go past the minute man. Need to focus now to maintain the effort.

Get to the point where I think I saw jon.e. Not really anything in it (hard to tell exactly).

10 mile goes past - a long 27 - not too bad - and a good measure as this is an out an back - with most of it into the headwind.


I am basically riding this at the same intensity level as a 10. Vaguely wonder if this will be sustainable. But no way am I going to stop.


Back to the turn, and swing into the wind and over the bridge. Want to cry at this point. Starting to feel fatigued. No sign of rain, and it is getting hotter. Wondering about whether taking a drink would have been sensible after all.

Wind feels awful.

Decide it is easier to push a big gear, and just keep it turning over.

The only clue I have is the auto laps at each mile. I basically try to do them in less than 3 minutes (20 mph). On the way out, I had a few that were over. But only just. Interestingly, even though the wind is strong, and I am feeling tired, I am still doing all of the miles at less than 3 minutes. This is quite impressive. Heart rate has dropped right down to 140bpm. Well below "normal" race speeds. But the speed is still there. Interesting.

See jon.e. Turn is not that far off. Pretty sure I am up at this point.

Round the turn. Come up onto the side bars. Dizzy head. All blood is in the legs. Gentley round the roundabout as don't want to make a mistake. Finally, the wind is behind, and just about 5 miles left.

After 3 minutes per mile, the next marker is the 2:24 (25 mph) marker. This is where I have to make it count. Big gear all the way. Push harder! Push harder!

Yep, some 2:20 miles are coming through. Nice. No where near the 30+ mph (2 minutes) of the big boys though. But good enough for me.

No slacking now. Keep trying hard.

Suddenly, there is the chequerboard of the finish. And over.


01:07:44.

New PB and a sub 8. So pretty pleased with that.


Ride back to the HQ and car park.

End up about 50th out of 60. But a huge gulf with the first 25 ranging from 53 - 01:00. So, in the scheme of things there is a lot to do. I also need to experiment with gears and cadence some more.

As well as taking a couple of minutes out of jon.e, I also took a couple of minutes out of a guy that was riding a road bike at the same time as I was. Checked the photos and relieved to see he is now on a TT. So, quite pleased with that too, so not just a fluke against jon.e.

Knee a bit sore, but not too bad.

The day ended up being warm (19 degrees according to the Garmin). Not sure if some fluid would have helped. Don't think it made that much difference though.


Bit of a hiatus in May (work getting in the way), so the next stage will be in June with an OW sprint tri (flat terrain). This will be interesting.

Advantage to jon.e as 750m of swimming, instead of 400m, and flat. Can JH improve his swimming? Or even buy a wetsuit in time?
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Re: Battle of the Dinosaurs Stage 6 - 25 mile TT

Postby King Sad » 04 May 2014 13:02

Jack Hughes wrote
I've only ever caught my minute man once before, and that was when she was an 83 year old
:lol: :lol: :lol:

Excellent work Dinos ... really impressed, good lively reports as well ... fantastic :D
It seemed like a good idea at the time :? .



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Re: Battle of the Dinosaurs Stage 6 - 25 mile TT

Postby Tritans » 05 May 2014 16:13

Well done. Wind and traffic, yuk.

I nearly dnf'd my last 10 because I got stuck behind a tractor. Would imagine when the stakes are so high even more frustrating.

Good work on your pb Jack.
One who wants to do something, will find a way.
One who doesn't, will find an excuse.

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Re: Battle of the Dinosaurs Stage 6 - 25 mile TT

Postby Ewan » 05 May 2014 18:21

I am basically riding this at the same intensity level as a 10. Vaguely wonder if this will be sustainable. But no way am I going to stop.


Interestingly this is basically what the good guys do.

Love these reports. Well done both!
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Re: Battle of the Dinosaurs Stage 6 - 25 mile TT

Postby scibby » 05 May 2014 20:05

Nice one both... So what's the GC looking like?


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Re: Battle of the Dinosaurs Stage 6 - 25 mile TT

Postby Jack Hughes » 05 May 2014 20:09

scibby wrote:Nice one both... So what's the GC looking like?


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Re: Battle of the Dinosaurs Stage 6 - 25 mile TT

Postby scibby » 05 May 2014 20:12

Pah - you can't see that on tapatatapititap.
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Re: Battle of the Dinosaurs Stage 6 - 25 mile TT

Postby Jack Hughes » 05 May 2014 20:15

scibby wrote:Pah - you can't see that on tapatatapititap.


Sigh.

Battle of the Dinosaurs: stage 6
01 Jack Hughes 0:05:01:41.1
02 Jon.e +00:16:06.9
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Re: Battle of the Dinosaurs Stage 6 - 25 mile TT

Postby scibby » 05 May 2014 20:17

Thanks. I'd popped in in Safari to see. And also realised that I m still on a fat loss challenge according to my sig. It's a bit rubbish they don't tie up...
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Re: Battle of the Dinosaurs Stage 6 - 25 mile TT

Postby kfjatek » 06 May 2014 07:18

Great report as ever, and sounds like a great race too - well done dinos!

Next stage will be really interesting - with 750 swim Jon.e could get quite some advantage over Jack.

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