Finding My Legs
Yesterday’s ride confirms I’m finding my legs and form for the Rapha Cent Cols Pyrenees in September. Flat but fast hundred mile ride and a 123 mile day factoring in my ride to and from the start / finish line.
Typical century. Everyone is strong and wants to show it in the first 50 miles. I sat in the wheels sporadically taking a pull. The group whittled down to about 40 riders at the midway point. A 3-4% gradient hill at the 80 mile mark offered a great opportunity to further thin the field which at this point only had 25 riders. I put in a 23-24mph effort up the hill thinking I’d drop most and attract five to ten riders to work to the finish. Safer ride to have the tired riders out of the field. Looking back after I crested the hill I was alone with one rider bridging. “Let’s go! We’ve got the gap,” he called out. He hit the front and we exchanged turns at 29-31mph when one more rider bridged across. The winning break was sealed.
I hit a bad patch in the crosswinds and had to miss some turns. A couple of gels gave me some energy to recover and fully contribute to the pace. The three of us pushed on stretching the gap to the chase group. The ride had a sting in the tail in the form of a 1km long climb at 8% just three miles from the line. That hurt but it was worth it as we watched the chase group roll in over eight and a half minutes down. Victory.