Monday, June 7, 2010

the long way home

Today was the final stage of our race, the Tour of Taranaki. Overnight it kept raining, but the morning was OK and we endured only a few showers through the race.
The day's race was 83km over some serious hills on the Tarata saddle. After yesterday's adventures, I was most happy to start and try to keep up with the bunch. It proved to be not a difficult task until the second or third downhill, when gusty winds shook me scared. I let them go and decide to solo my way home, about 40km.
I stayed a few hundred metres behind for another 10 to 15km and then I lost sight. Over the course I picked up some guys and girls who dropped, but none had any legs left so I pretty much rode through a wonderful countryside scenery over green ridges looking at sheep, and more sheep and some serious beef as well. Riding solo gave me time to think on the good and bad thing of this weekend experience.

The good

travelling with someone else is a big plus, we managed the logistics fantastically well.
the atmosphere was great all days
legs are feeling great and I can take the week of training with no problems, meaning that my fitness is good for this period.

The bad
weather gods weren't good on us, but that is a minor mishap
my descending skills needs a lot of polishing
gordo's new way of getting off the bike (he's OK now, tho)

What I learned
Being a roadie is quite different of being a triathlete, and there is a lot of trust on the other riders skills that goes into it. I thought I did trust many of the riders, but the bad weather proved me wrong.
That tour riding is soooo much fun, even with the crappiest weather in decades, back to back stages are tough, but is great mental prep for racing.

What I take
This race got me some good miles at high intensity, most of the stages I sayed around 85% of my heart rate, with a good max effort on day 2. It can't be bad for upskilling my bike leg for triathlons.
I'm rather proud to have finished my first tour.

Date: 6 June
Sport: Cycling
Time: 2.32
Dist: 74km
Comment: glad to finish, pissed I did not win!

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