Now with Power!

So it’s been a while since the last update I figured I should type something for those interested!

“The Best Laid Plans”
Per my last entry, I had every intention to do the Dirty Gran Fondo held a few weeks ago; but then the rains came! The Dirty Gran Fondo is known for being a cold and miserable place in the wet and this year’s running of the race was going to be no different. But the choice was made easier; I’d been shopping for a power meter for some time a few days before the race a set of Zipp’s laced to a Powertap come up for sale… So I made a compromise, Dirty Gran Fondo vs Powertap the answer was the Powertap and a “we will see about the race” was how I left it with the wife whom wasn’t too happy with the $1k spend.

Taking the easy road
On the eve of the Dirty Gran Fondo the heavens opened up with rain from all angles – it hammered down all night. Waking in the morning to the sound of very heavy rain on the roof the option of staying in bed, snuggling up to my Zipp/Powertap wheelset won by a country mile. I had no interest in replacing my bike’s chain, cassette, chain rings, brake pads, brake rotors, bottom bracket and whatever else the mud would have destroyed.

On the positive side, a race provides memories of both good and hard times – but the Powertap will provide at least a couple of years’ worth of training data. In addition the Zipps are a bloody light and fast wheelset not to mention they look pretty trick on the Norco.

Other than a new wheelset not a great deal has been happening on the bike front, the training focus has shifted from Vo2 Max, back to more of a Threshold focus. I am trying to get as much riding in as possible while juggling work, life and the little ones! The balance still needs some work, just when I think I’m doing well I seem to hit a bit of a lull or cop a night of no sleep just to mix it up, BAMM!

The wife and little ones are away this coming weekend, so I might try and get in some epic rides!

Race Report: GCC Presidents Handicap
Coming into this race I didn’t expect much as I hadn’t been riding nearly enough the last two weeks… But it was a flat course and if anything suited me so I was up for giving it a red hot crack. I packed the bike in the car, got dressed and headed off to the race. On arriving there was plenty of riders around looks like a big field!

The race start was fairly uneventful, the first lap was hard and fast with the bunch sharing the work. After the first lap I was hoping we could keep up the pace, but few dropped off as the scratch bunch come racing past (they were a lap behind). I opted to bridge the gap to the scratch bunch with fellow bunch mate and Lara Latte rider Barrie, hanging a few meters off the back of their bunch. Their pace was too fast for me in the wind but they did take a while to disappear into distance.

I looked back only to see the bunch a couple of hundred meters behind me and Barrie tailing off too , at this pointed I wondered do I keep it up or ease up and let the bunch catch me before burning too many matches; I opted for the latter knowing that it would be a long four laps out by myself. After heading back to the bunch I discovered their reluctance to do any work myself and another rider on an older Cervelo did a majority of the work on the front with the individuals slowly dropping off as each lap went passed.

On the bell lap, we got a time to the next bunch; trying to encourage the group down the every so long fast Murradoc rd section of the course I barked a few instructions “short sharp turns” again this fell on deaf ears finding myself at the front of the bunch doing most of the work again… We caught and swallowed up the bunch in front around the back half of the course only a few km’s from the finish. Our bunch was now 4 people bigger and everyone champing at the bit for the sprint despite the leader being 2mins up the road.

We rounded the final corner about 600m out the Cervelo rider jumped, I grabbed a wheel while thinking out loud “way too early” two others from the bunch wound up and pulled alongside; “fark I’m on the inside”, the Cervelo rider ran out of legs about 150m from the line – doubled fark, now I was boxed in and slowing! I managed to pull out behind the other two and give it some stick. I ended up 4th, the spilt between 2nd and 4th being only 0.143 of a second!!!

We were all pretty cuffed with the finish and the race as a whole – it was a good hit out with a few comments about how hard I was pulling on the front of the bunch (really it didn’t seem hard). The flat course suited me well and I left the race richer and with a big smile on my face and now knowing why I spend all my time on the trainer.

Props to Geelong Cycling Club for putting on another great event, and for the pictures.

Late in the Race:

Full Flight, Mid Sprint:

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