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Archive for May, 2011

NSW State Road Champs 2011

Posted by fenner on May 19, 2011

2 x Golds

After what can only be described as a disjointed period of training and racing I have been left not quite as sure of my form as I like to be coming into races. The numbers in training have been very good and the races that I have done very positive, but, on average I have been only getting in 4 – 6 hours a week on the bike. From past data and experience I have only been able to hold a little form and maintain condition working off a CTL of between 60 and 70 for any extended period. This has been going on since late November after the disastrous Worlds I took a bit of a hit and so decided to focus on a few home tasks and more normal life commitments for a change and not be quite so selfish and focused. This has been a nice change for a while, but, after the Terra and the huge volume week I decided that it was time to start training again and get serious for the year ahead. This was not to be as life and work continued to interrupt and scupper the plans and so the continued cycle of intermittent stop start training has gone on since. This lack of structure is tough for someone with OCD like me and that lack of structure impacts on the confidence and belief that the numbers are telling the truth.

I have been doing a lot of tests on the Quarks of late and am desperate for the new Qualvin to be launched so that I can check and re-calibrate the slope on both the Road and TT Cubes. After doing static tests on the Quarks I know they are a little out and beyond what I like to see in terms of accuracy at the moment at 4 – 6%. This is concurrent with data from some of my other athletes and by doing comparison tests against previous times on a local TT course.  If you are a Quark user a very good blog covering the test protocol for checking the accuracy of the power meter is http://slowroadie.com/quarq-calibration I used to check the slope of my SRM’s every month and look forward to being able to do the same with the Quark.

Right then back to the training and racing! The times and numbers up the local Camby climb were telling me I was going quite well and a local ITT against Jackson Law confirmed this as he only took a  few seconds on me over a 20km bumpy course, taking a PB for myself in doing so.

The week leading up to the State Champs was far from ideal again and I came down with a rotten cold on the Thursday before the event. I didn’t think I would compete, but, as the symptoms seemed above the neck I went for it. I had said to my teammate and associate coach Damo Mason that I would see how I went and if it was no good I would see if I could help him. With FTP training rider and strongman Scott Butler in the mix along with a field of 70 riders it was going to be a tough day in the office. The conditions were savage icy cold and blowing a gale. Damo and I decided to go full aero with speedsuits and wheels and as the conditions looked like a day in Belgium I knew it would split up early. Damo went out hard and on the attack and took a couple of riders with him. I hung back gauging my condition and checking out the other strong riders. Scotty and Danny H tried to bridge across the small gap and it looked as though it would all come together, but, a small gap remained. This then opened up again and I knew it was the time to go. I felt crossing the gap was easy and bridged to join Damo and two other riders. It was then a TTT, but, with really just two riders as the other guys were trying to do there bit when they could, but, just didn’t have the legs to hammer it. It was just like a club handicap and we just smashed it. After 30 or so Km’s we were 1.30 or so up and I knew the gap was good and the group would never get us back. Damo was riding super strong and I was maintaining the tempo, but, holding a little in reserve. As we hit the climbs after 60 or so Km’s we dropped one of the riders with us and I started to force the pace a little. I felt very good and had heaps in the legs, so, all was good. I maintained a very steady 350 – 400 watts on all the climbs and we continued to extend the lead. On the last climb I felt like going, but, held back as I didn’t really know the run into the finish and didn’t want to get caught out. I chatted to the guy with us and confirmed with him that as he had sat on he would be coming in 3rd and it looked like the showdown was just Damo and I. Coming into the last 2km’s and I was waiting to go. I thought I will attack hard up the gutter and force the other guys to chase. Damo can sit on him and if he gets back up to me he can then attack for the win, all good. I attacked hard and fast and made the gap which I held to the finish. When I looked around I saw the other rider in front of Damo and was gutted, Damo had driven the break and to get rolled at the end like that was bitter. Still not bad for FTP with a Gold and a Bronze ;o)

We chatted about the race on the way home and I committed myself to making sure that Damo won the crit the next day. I would do all I could to get him away and then mark all the other riders.

Come Sunday and the sore throat and cold were of course worse, but, I had a job to do. I went hard from the end of lap one and drove the pace hard to get the pack strung out and drop a few off. Damo was sitting in and checking out the opposition. After about 15 mins of playing around and softening up the bunch Damo got in a move with 2 others, I marked anyone trying to get across and spoiled for a few laps to let them get the gap. It worked like a dream and he had 10 – 15 seconds by 30 minutes in and there were few left chasing. On one corner a rider inside me clipped a pedal and I made a move to bridge the gap alone and early made it, however, Danny Hennessey made it across to me and so I sat up not wanting to take a Masters World Track Points winner into the leading break as he could have spoiled the plans. With a lap to go Damo attacked his little group to get away for a solo win and a very well deserved salute, well done mate. I got rolled by Danny and came in 5th.

Crit Gold for Damo Mason

FTP rider Mel Kilby also managed a bronze medal in the crit in her first year racing at a State level, so all in all a very happy couple of days in the saddle.

Next up the NSW TTT where last year we were hammering and in the lead only to have a car pull out on us and take out Bruce Williams, this will not happen this year and we are focused on doing a good test.


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