So the team are now 4 races into the season, half way through and we’re sitting 7th out of 13
Race 2 was a relentless sprint fest round London Classique. The team managing to hold the pack on the lead in (first hurdle) then straight into the mall sprint for the first time. I thought I’d give it a shot on fresh legs managing to bag 5th which also thankfully got me 8th overall on fastest through the segment. After a swift recovery an a new max HR the pack was back upon the sprinter and off again. Lap 2 was Gary’s turn, landing 3rd and a 9th overall. I however decided to sit this one out but was rudely reminded that if you don’t sprint then you’re out the back pretty quickly. So putting in some late watts to make sure I wasn’t dropped, this would then be the end of any excess capacity to just stay with the fast moving pack. Lap 3 & 4 points were all down to Gary (our watt machine). We managed to lose Julian to sprint legs and being shot out the pack and Steve to a big split occurring in the front group. Despite a noble effort to try and bridge the gap there was there no closing it down. The final lap saw Gary take 6th, Andy 8th. Bert 14th. A fantastic result for 3rd overall
Race 3 was a rolling hilly affair round the park perimeter loop in NY. Riders were Gary, Andy, Bert, Julian, Tom & Tim. Myself & Steve spectating the action, which was absolutely brilliant fun as I could watch the action unfold from any of the riders without any of the pain. The killer hill in this route is Harlem hill which saw a number of the group dropped on various of the 4 laps but I stayed with Tom & Gary for some front action till the finish. Tom putting in a stellar effort to close down a gap and re-join the front group after the sprint on lap 2 & again on lap 3. Overall result for the team was 6th with just Gary having the legs to appear on the sprint segments taking a 7th & 6th on lap 2 and 4 which also gave him a 4th & 10th overall. Everyone crossed the line for some finishing points to add to the haul too.
Race 4… the first of 2 TTT’s. The Wednesday sessions now having been turned into route recons for the Tuesday race which gave us a little practice but getting 6 together across multiple time zones and around work commitments has been tricky. This week the route was France, thankfully a flat affair with the only climb being the viaduct. Power was the order of the day and a little finesse of TTT (we had one of those). First up plagued by tech issues Martin Rowling (our secret weapon for a flat power hungry course) was dropped from the pens due to connection and we were immediately down to 5. Then unknown to me no-one could hear me on discord counting down our start time which caused no-end of confusion of when to go. The timing factors meant a slow start and put us with an unrecoverable deficit to make. When we did get going we held a good speed and stayed together well, with turns on the front pulling the blob behind. A drop out from Andy nearly turned the group into 4 but he dropped a watt bomb to get back in and we crossed the line with the team of 5. Albeit in last place. Kudos to Bert for racing with COVID, with his power numbers it didn’t really stand a chance against him did it. Personal coach and motivator for the race was Grant, keeping his encouraging messages and wisdom flowing to get us round. I think I remember one was something like “The pain ends at the finish line” or something to that effect. Lots learnt for the next TTT.
Events remaining – 2 Climbing, another TTT and a final sprint race. It’s about to get tougher and with Grant one of our pro hill climbers also succumbing to COVID meaning I might have to drag my lardy ass up the hills of Watopia. Wish me luck.
Simon (GS Avanti ZRL DS)