The criterium this week was well attended by the elite teams, and it was cool to rub shoulders with them albeit a tad intimidating. The wind was a strong south 34kph, this caused some strong cross winds on the track, resulting in a few splinter groups of 4-5 riders as opposed to the previous week's two distinct bunches. I managed to work hard and last for the full 60 min, at avg power of 258W, previous 60 min high was 242W. I love seeing these small improvements, Great Motivators !!!
|I am 2nd from front|
|Action shot of Elite Guys|
Early morning temperatures on Sunday, Bouckaert-Soenen Race Day, were an indicator of the heat we were about to experience in the Paarl – Wellington area. Race start terrain was flat, and the peleton speed was a respectable 36kph for the first hour, till the first climb of the day, Riebeeck Kasteel, elev gain 250m, 4.5% grad. Sitting in the peleton was my first time participating in the dynamic, which is breakaway challenges and peleton reel back in. Some Exciting stuff !!! One day I will be part of the breakaway ( I wonder if they will catch me…)
Back to reality… so it is on the climb that the Vet Group Leaders accelerate and leave me at the bottom to struggle in my ‘breakaway’ ha ha ha….
On the downhill, the next start group A-C, caught me, and I managed to stay with them for the next hour or so. I was quite satisfied with myself that I managed to stay with this group for as long as I did. Eventually the heat got to me, about 34deg, and I dropped off that bunch. I still managed to keep a good average power to the end, and even managed a competitive sprint on the line with remnants of my starting group. My race time was 3h38, a 30 minute improvement on last year’s race time. I also finished 46th out of 63. A move up in position of 4 places in comparison to last week. Another week of Good Improvements !!!