Pacing myself isn’t my strong point. My plan for the day was to start quite a bit back in the field and sit in a slow group and let them pace me. I needed to make sure I never got to the front to the pace making.
When I’m at the front I only have the one speed.
I headed out in the 6th group & had Luke Durbridge & Cameron Meyer pace us out. There was also a lady from the Orica AIS squad that I was able to chat with for the first 10 km of the ride. After spending the week at altitude I was surprised at how easy it was for me to breath. Even though I was exhausted I could keep up the pace easily.
We hit the first drink stop and the thing I didn’t want to happen happened. I was up the front looking at a hill. I tried to go slow. Cruising up it in the big dog & halfway up looked over my shoulder and the Peleton was 100 metres behind me. WTF! I dropped them like a sack of spuds and was in no mans land. Did I want to drop back or go for it? Without trying I had dropped the field easily and wasn’t exerting myself and thought why not.
Without hurting myself too much I put the foot down.
Making some incredible time and single handily overtaking two of the groups that had left before us. Somehow easily overtaking riders. I didn’t know if this was going to be one of those blinders. Or potentially a really bad one when I eventually bonk from exhaustion.
I turned off for the main climb of the day, and a couple of km in I sensed riders behind me. There was a Peleton closing in on me. I felt I must have been riding bad and picked up the pace a little but was caught 4 km down the road at the base of the climb. Cameron Meyer was leading the group so I didn’t feel so bad about getting caught.
I knew I couldn’t afford to cook myself on the climb.
Really lowering my tempo at the start and surprisingly was keeping pace with Cameron Meyer & the Orica AIS lady. We dropped everyone I kept up with them for the first 3 km of the climb. Cam said to me “you’re a pretty decent climber”, and I told him that honestly was wrecked from doing 10,000 vert over the past 5 days. He asked me where, and I told him Koszkiosko and it was nice to hear him say “yeah that’ll do it to you!”.
I went into the hurt box shortly after and dropped off on them. They pushed about 500 metres up ahead of me before I managed to get a second wind. From here I was able to drop it into the big dog and crank out some extra Watts and I kept them in my sights for the remainder of the climb. Somehow I ended up nailing 4th spot on the second half of the climb, and just wish I hadn’t struggled up that middle bit. I wasn’t giving the 2nd half full gas & how I wish sometimes you could know the invisible time of Strava.
I would have given it some gas and could have possibly nailed the KOM on the day……
At the lunch stop I kept an eye out for when the Green Edge boys were leaving. Trying to jump into their group but I know I can’t descend well and never was in the hunt. I dropped off and started to ride solo. With the heat of the day picking up was starting to struggle with 60 km to go. I rode 15 km solo before a group caught up to me and I jumped onto their wheels. The pace was fast, and I was doing everything I could to hang on.
I had ridden incredibly given my level of exhaustion. My ride ended about 7 km from the finish line when I just couldn’t hold onto the group anymore and dropped off. When I dropped off I wasn’t worried with such a short distance to get back to base. I definately could not have anticipated the hell I was about to go through. I didn’t account for the fact that it was incredibly hot and I soon ran out of water. Bonking from dehydration.
The miles seemed to drag on forever and it was hell grinding back into a head wind.
Here is a link to my Strava file here: