Sunday, 27 June 2010


Preston Mountain Classic:
My aim for this race was to benchmark my performance. I literally paid the race entry so I could pin on a number and ask the question "am I good enough?".


The answer was no.

See here for course map and profile.


I was in the 11 minute bunch, 7 minutes ahead of the chopping block, same bunch as last year and where I wanted to be. I wanted to be in a bunch that would work it's arse off to stay away. I wanted to keep us away from scratch until we hit the bottom of the Murchison Gap climb. At the end I didn't achieve any of that.

I made a conscious decision to roll turns on the hills through to Flowerdale, it was hurting, but I wanted no excuses at the end of the day. A handicap isn't about sitting on, and I wasn't there to win, just to hurt. I wasn't the strongest bloke in my bunch, but I was certainly not the only bloke suffering, so I kept working. Up Junction Hill my heart rate went from an average of 82% to a peak of 92%. I was struggling to hold a wheel, I even asked if they'd ease the pace, then it all became too much and I went off the back.


Yep, that's my bunch riding away from me. They had a few hundred metres by the final hill crest, I did my best to limit my time lost, descending at over 70km/h then ITTing until my arms couldn't hold my body in a tuck any longer. Despite all that, I never saw them again, so eventually I sat up and rolled an easy pace to let myself recover and waited for the chopping block to catch me.


The quiet gave me time to think about the race, and to be honest I was ready to pill the pin then and there. It was only the sight of Andy Naylor, Nick Bensley, Steele Von Hoff (have I ever mentioned how much I love that name?) and Luke Fetch that made up my mind to do what I could for them. I worked turns right back through to Strath Creek, every little rise, my legs threatening to give up. At Strath Creek I pulled off. I knew I would not make it around another lap with this bunch, I just couldn't climb quick enough.

A little dejected I rolled out and did the Murchison Gap climb with another couple of riders in a similar situation. By no means did it ease the dejection, but it put a flag in my mind that said "this is the end" of this event.


I'll probably have more to say on how I ultimately feel and what the next step is, but right now I'm feeling somewhat drained.

D: 64.9km
A: 605m

Murchison Gap:
D: 11.2km
A: 225m

1 x 1km @ ~60kg tyre drag
1 x 1km @ 48kg farmers walk
1 x 1km @ ~30kg Bulgarian bag(s) run

The tyre drag was brutal on the legs, the farmers walk was hell on the hands and shoulders, the run with the Bulgarian Bag was good. It was nice to finish off with something I could run the whole way with.

PMPW: 94kg

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