My Goals and Day Eight
So, we did it. Rode the entire North Island. Everyone is completely torched and most of us don't even know it. Probably a good thing as there remains a heck of a lot of training to go!
Now that I've been blown out of both jersey competitions (Clas rode GREAT today), I think that it's appropriate to share my goals for the camp:
Perhaps not what you expected but, aside from Molina, I have more experience with the game than most.
All in all, I'm doing OK on the above. A little bit better each day.
I gave everything on the climb today - stripped my bike bare and hit FOUR year high values for my CP5 and CP20 (384w/339w, file in previous blog post). As a slowtwitcher, that's all I've got and those numbers aren't far off my lifetime PBs.
Baron said that he wanted my best and I gave it to him. It's nice to see him so strong again and to share another Big Trip together. My Swedish Brother has been through a lot over the last four years.
Steve-O twisted his chain at the bottom when Molina attacked in the first FIVE meters of the ride. I was on the sidewalk on the wrong side of the road but managed to get on. As it turned out, Steve needed a replacement bike so I'm glad we didn't wait. Nick and Lee drove the early pace (while saying Steve was dropped) - it was kind of entertaining. We gave Lee play-of-the-day for the attack and holding on for 7th. The climb was pretty hairy with not much of a shoulder and gusty/changing winds. While it hurt to make the final four riders, it was a lot safer than being blown around with a dozen athletes.
The ride into Wellington was mellow with the wind swinging behind us. As usual, our support crew had everything sorted with bags/snacks/lunch waiting for our arrival. We couldn't make it without them. So a special thanks.
We had quite a bit of free time this afternoon so we swam 6000 meters to end the North Island segment of the camp. The swim included 20x100 on 1:30 and some paddle work (for me). Lordy let me lead the last 3K - to be fair to him, I haven't offered to lead anything until today! :-)
Petro swam with us and was pretending to be blown out so I wouldn't gap him on the 100s. He's calling me a sandbagger but... I think my KOM performance (4th) shows that I am carrying quite a bit of fatigue from Week One. I still think that I have one good Aquathon effort left in me (if I get the chance).
Molina deserves special mention for his effort on the climb. He is 50 (!) in about six weeks AND was carting at least 10KG more than me and my bike. Given that he was pulling for most of the climb, you can probably add 15% to those peak power values that I posted above.
We've neutralized tomorrow so it will be a true recovery day. I'll update the results on the ferry and post them in 24 hours.
Six tough stages to go and I think that I'm going to make it. Steve's been a big help for my attitude and seeing Petro getting torched (daily) makes me realize that I'm not suffering alone.
PS - how hard is this camp? Well Molina is taking the campers out tonight for the FIRST time. It's day eight! That's a record. Of course, having Steinlager as a sponsor has moderated a lot of people's urge to explore.