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Archive for September, 2010

Masters National Report

Posted by fenner on September 30, 2010

Masters National Championships 2010

ITT Gold and Champions Jersey

With the World 24 Hour Champs as the main target for the year the inclusion of the Masters Nationals was always a little risk. When I developed my plan for the Worlds the inclusion of the Nats looked like it would work well after a block of very big volume weeks. The two FTP Training camps were a great success and allowed nearly 60 hours of training to be completed by yours truly and fitted perfectly with the reverse periodisation model that I use with most of my 24 hour riders, however, these big volume weeks were not exactly specific to the demands of the 20km time trial or Crit and Road Race!

The truth was that I was feeling very, very good and was hitting great numbers in training and along with being down to 68kg’s meant that my power to weight at threshold was up at around 5.3 watts/kg and that was exciting. In the taper week after the camps I managed a couple of sessions on the TT bike and then it was all systems go and the long drive to Ballarat.

I managed a little ride of the course on the morning of the race and it was a great straight out and back course and very similar to an English TT set up. On the Warm up the legs felt great and hitting the numbers was easy, all the signs were good.

Waiting on the start I was behind Stuart Vaughn and knew that he was super solid and would keep me honest. I was the last starter so I also knew I would have to hold back and control the red mist in the first 5 mins. The TT was a blast and I had great legs, I constantly had to hold myself back and keep the power under control. I ended up catching Stuart just after the turn and was maintaining a 360 watt average. I deliberately went out a little harder into the wind, but, I had loads in the tank so maintained another 360 average for the return. Total time was 24.46 for the 20km and I knew I had nailed it, I always check for Peter Milostic’s times as he is really the benchmark in the TT’s and I was very happy to find out I had got him by nearly 20 seconds, stoked. So the Gold medal was mine and the confidence was high for the remaining races.

Going on to win the ITT

The Crit was up next and some new faces were on the start line looking fit and strong. From the start it was clear that nobody was going to let me go up the road and after a few tentative attacks I settled in for a sprint finish. The last lap was very nervous with touching wheels and riders on their brakes!!! I was worried about crashing just before the Worlds and so backed off a little. Coming into the final straight I was blocked and felt it was all over, the guys had gone for the sprint and I was way out of it, then a gap appeared and so I put my head down and started my sprint. I was shocked to pass loads of riders and eventually missed a medal by a tyre width!!! 4th the nothing result and the thoughts of what could have been.

Going into the Road Race I had the chance to pre-ride the course with a good mate and fellow FTP Training rider Scott Butler. He had raced abroad and we reminisced of a windswept Belgium, it just didn’t have any cobbles. The morning of the race it was wet, windy and very cold at about 8 degrees and there were a few grim faces about. As we rolled out on the first lap it was clear that a nervous bunch and strong crosswinds could play havoc and again crashes, so after a strong rider went up the road I decided to join him. We spent a lap and a bit out on our own, looking for a few strong guys to join us, but, it never happened. At one stage we had over 40 seconds, but, with long clear straights we were never out of sight and out of mind! When the group caught us the chase had unhitched most of the field and only about 15 or 20 riders remained so the effort had proved to be useful. Nobody was going to be allowed to get away and it was going to be another bunch sprint so although I tried a few attacks in the final lap it was over to the sprinters and all I had to do was keep my eye on 3rd place from the ITT and keep him covered and I was sure I would win the Champion of Champions National Jersey and that is how it panned out with a 6th place in the road race and a consistent series.

The red mist came early after 3km!

It is all about the final taper to the Worlds now and I couldn’t be in better shape, all that is left is rest and recovery and then line up on the 9th, “BRING IT ON”

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Cube Litening Road Bike Review

Posted by fenner on September 30, 2010

Cube Litening Team Line Review

The Cube Lightning

Woooo Hoooo, from the second I threw my leg over the new Cube I was gobsmacked, it was just so stiff and taught that every ounce of energy and power was transmitted into forward motion. I have been around long enough to have ridden a fair few bikes, from custom built Roberts for our old road team in England to off the peg Specialized S-Works, but, I have never been on a rig like the Cube. To start with at 6.8kg with a set of Easton 90mm TT wheels it is light, and with some real light wheels would come out in the ultra light range. This light weight is not seen or felt between the fingers on this bike however, often with light bikes you can squeeze the tubes and see them move and this is a little worrying. You cannot squeeze these tubes as they are solid and you can just feel it as you ride this machine. This tube stiffness is helped and aided with a super oversized tapered steerer, humungous down-tube and massive bottom bracket. The amount of carbon in and around the BB is impressive and you just know that it is going to provide an uber stiff ride with little or no lateral deflection when cranking out the power. This massive BB is matched to small slender rear stays to allow for a little vertical compliance and a very impressive ride quality.

Big down-tube and BB

It amazes me how times have changed and a bike this stiff can be built to have such a great ride on the rough and tough dead roads of Australia. The way in which engineers can lay up the carbon to deliver such a ride is awesome, years ago we could get hold of very stiff aluminium bikes, but, they would be just smash you into pieces trying to ride them on anything other than super smooth roads.

A lovely rear end ;o)

Out on the road the Cube simply flies along and eats up the road going up or going down. I always do a little test with new bikes and take my hands off the bars at speed when going downhill (I am aware that this is dangerous so don’t try it unless you are confident in your bike handling) By doing this I can gauge the balance of the bike and so often I have felt that dreaded front wheel wobble as the balance or tracking of the bike is not quite 100%, no problems with the Cube, it is just super stable and predictable. This inspires confidence and the ability to just hammer the descents and hold great lines in the corners, it doesn’t dive in or drift out of the line it simply does exactly what it is told, oh happy days.

The arrival of the new Cubes imported by Monza will be a highlight of 2011 and it is great to see this big European brand hitting the shores of Australia, as one good friend said to me at the weekend after spending the last two years racing in Europe on both Specialized’s and Fuji’s

“If you are riding Cubes this year, then you are one lucky bugger”

Ha ha yes I am ;o)

Cube Lightning Sram Red

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The National Masters Champs 2010

Posted by fenner on September 24, 2010

There is no rest in the Prep for the 24 Worlds and after a recovery week it was the long drive down to Melbourne for the Masters Nats. After a quick stop into Monza for the final alterations to the new Cubes for the Worlds (more to come on these amazing machines in another post later in the week) and the new Cube road bike, it was over to Ballerat and some sleep before the ITT Champs on the Friday arvo.

Taking out the Gold Medal

I had been seeded #1 and being the last to start is always a privilage as you get to see your rivals down the road and can often get a little lift from the chase. I had Stuart Vaugn as my minute man and he is a great rider so the plan was to go out just over power into the headwind  and try and hold onto the gear and power on the return leg with the wind. Straight off the ramp I knew it was a good day as a little glance down at the srm showed 450 watts and I just couldn’t feel my legs, backing off was difficult as the adrebaline was flowing, but very important. I reduced wattage to 360 – 380 and held this to the turn. Just after the turn I caught Stuart and I was ripping, still managing to maintain a wattage of 360 – 380 and speeds of nearly 50km/h. Thundering into the finish I knew I had it in the bag and finished on a time of 24.46 for the 20km distance. The average power for the test was smack on 360 watts and right on target so I was stoked and it was enough for the overall win and the Gold Medal and 2nd fastest time of the day by 6 seconds. I was especially stoked as the 1 minute deficit to Peter Milostic (now in different cat) was turned into a 20 second advantage my way, so all the work with my position over the past year has really paid off and I am very excited about the National Elite ITT Champs in January ;o)

Damo with the Bronze

In the Masters 2 Damo Mason backed up last years Bronze with another Bronze and again closing the time gap to around 30 seconds to Peter with some fine tuning of his position, well done again mate a great effort.

Now it is time for the Crit and Road race and the final pieces of the puzzle will be in place for the 24 Worlds, I think my legs look ready ;o)

I think these legs are ready for the Worlds

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Final 24 Hour Worlds Prep-Camp

Posted by fenner on September 24, 2010

Incredible, what a few weeks I have had running the 2 x 24 Hour Worlds Prep Camps. The girls camp was just fanstatic with a super bunch of highly motivated and uber fit girls. It was just awesome hanging out, training hard and laughing hard too. I know from chatting with most of the girls that the post camp form has come with a bang and they are chomping at the bit to get to and race the Worlds.

The FTP Training Crew

The guys camp was also a great success with 15 athletes fronting up each days for a great days training. The competition was fierce and most of the regular FTP Training crew punching out PB’s for their 20+ minute FTP test up Barrengarry mountain on the first day of the camp. Overall each and every rider on the camp hit or achieved their goals for the camp and it will prove to be the icing on the cake for them all come October 9th and 10th ;o)

It's tough riding in Kangaroo Valley ;o)

I would like to thank everyone for the great riding and their suppoirt of FTP Training, all of you deserve to do your very best at the Worlds and I wish you all the very best in achieving a PERSONAL BEST.

Day 1 and ready for a FTP test guys?

I would also like to thank my lovely wife Sally for all her hard work and effort diuring the camps, you are amazing love. Cheers to Ben Binder who helped lead group 2 for most of the week and Nick Smee for all your help and guiding through the Red Shed Trails.  Also thanks to Dean from TORQ for driving down and helping out, great work mate.

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The First 24 Worlds Prep Camp 2010

Posted by fenner on September 10, 2010

Well the first camp for the girls has just finished and it was a great success. With some of the best 24 hour riders in the World and multiple National Champs it was always going to be a solid week of riding. Mixing it up in the Worlds crew was young Becky Mates and just look out for this girl as she is going to make quite a impact on the scene this year.

Next up tomorrow is the boys camp and with nearly 20 riders it is going to be a week of some great epic rides around the Kangaroo Valley area.

On top of Skanzi Pass

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