Thursday, May 23, 2013

Mountain TT and bravo Caruso!

Yet another stage I was very excited about in this years giro. I had reconned this mountain TT and at the time some 5weeks ago I was anticipating to really give it a go today. How things have changed since then as today my only objective was to make it inside the time limit. It appears there is no miracles with my health improving so all I can do is suck it up and do my best to get to the finish each day. So instead of using my Srm to calculate the power I would require to win I was crunching the number to see what time and power I needed to stay inside the time limit. I settled on 365 watts as I predicted I would loose around 8 minutes which would see me safely inside the 30% or around 14minute time limit for today. Sure enough I pushed this power from the first pedal stroke to the last and sure enough lost 7:50 so my calculations were pretty accurate. The best part about this calculation is I worked back from what I had been planning on trying to produce to go for a top result today, that being around 430 watts or 6-6.5watt/kg so at least if nothing else I was pretty accurate with predicting what was required to feature at the pointy end today. I have got some work after this giro to get back to that level that's for sure. So that's about all can take from today, another good lesson of what's required to actually be competitive in this years giro.

The course itself was really nice. A gentle 6-7% drag for 21 km with a nice 3km of undulating descending in the middle. The only difficulty about today was that it was an uphill TT so that meant no matter how easily you wanted to take it you had to pedal the bike. This is where I am pleased I chose a pace as comfortable as possible wholly and solely to stay in the race incase I needed any extra effort late on should my calculations of been a bit array.

From a team perspective it was an absolute phenomenal performance by our GC captain Damiano Caruso. He finished 3rd on the day which clearly shows he is one of the best gc riders in the peleton. Called in at a very late stage with the withdrawal of Ivan Basso, we can only imagine what he would have been capable of with a specific build up to this race. Anyways today will have surely reinforced the belief within himself that he is capable of mixing it with the best and I am sure just be the start of many more powerful performance in the very near future. Also i am really pleased for Vincenso. He has not left a stone unturned in his preparation for this giro and I remember seeing no less than 2 different bikes set up for him in Tenerife while we at the training camp which I assume he was testing the best setup. Perfect preparation always pays and today was certainly evidence of this and his day. Having said caruso was not far behind and its really exciting for cycling to see so many of the top riders so close to each other. I hope it's providing exciting viewing for all those perched in front of the tele.

So the next 2 days we hit the mountains and potentially alot of snow so will be interesting to see what happens with the course. One things for sure my objectives are simply to survive through tomorrow then reload for another hit out! Having said that I did read bernard hinaults book and remember him saying "while I can breathe I attack" that's a motto I certainly adopted in the beginning of the giro so who knows what the next couple of days will bring! That's the beauty of cycling!

Race data
21km, 52minutes
Heart rate average 160
Power average 366