Velopark 3rds and Richmond Park TT 2 

Things started to look up a touch after my last post, following two days complete rest at the beginning of the week. I went out on the bike Wednesday morning at about 8am and was greeted with the hottest day of the year, a few brief efforts but an overall easy ride, I felt ok, still a bit average. Thursday harder ride and attempt at an FTPish lap, which was well short of what I’m capable of. Should have been paying attention and backed off again at this point.

Friday easy, then Saturday a 3rds race at Velopark, a circuit I’ve not raced before.

As the circuit is only 10 miles away from home I rode there right through central which was pretty cool early in the morning, being all but deserted. I headed over early to help marshal the 4ths who were racing earlier, in return for a free race.

The 4ths race passed without incident, and the bunch stayed together. Mostly I expect due to a strong headwind on the main straight.

Time for the 3rds to have a go. Clipped in and off the line, the circuit is a fairly simple design, with basically three hairpins, and 90 degree corners in between linking it up, almost a T shape, and several very brief elevation changes. None of the corners are sharp, and can be pedalled through unless really gunning it into the corner at speed. All of this adds to a not very technical circuit, which is largely quite fast, although it still feels slightly narrow at points, especially the main straight.

As the race was underway I was feeling ok, but didn’t expect much in the way of breaks to actually be successful, so probably rode quite negatively as a result, I knew I certainly didn’t have the legs for a meaningful break, so rode for the sprint. Several riders did try to get away, in particular a Dulwich rider who went with 20 mins to go, and had a good 20 second gap, but after a couple of strong laps from the group he was brought back before the end.

The headwind down the main straight meant it would have been particularly tough solo.

With 4 to go I worked my way up the bunch on the right hand side and tried to stay there, I was feeling very average by this point, but wanted to at least try for the sprint. With 1 to go I had slipped back down the bunch, but tried again to work my way up on the right hand side. Into the corner before the last hairpin and some dodgy riding a rider ahead had everyone shouting, and slowed me up onto the right hand side. I tried to make up a few places round the outside of the last hairpin, but onto the mainstraight must have been back in around 30th. At least I had plenty of shelter from the wind for the sprint.

I wound it up for a pretty average sprint for me 1000w for 5seconds before all hell broke loose, in that time I’d made up several places, but ahead about 5 riders had gone down. As I was rapidly approaching at 36mph I honestly thought I was going down too, but somehow I managed to slow a bit, and ended up bunny hopping and or dodging my way out of trouble, really not sure how I made it out upright, and definitely one of the scary moments I’ve been caught up in.

Ended up crossing the line in 18th after all the mayhem, not the most enjoyable race, and or circuit.

The figures also read as good evidence for overtraining as they are very average for a crit for me.

Avg Power: 259w / (For comparison, last Cyclopark race – 268w)
NP Power: 299w / (vs 321w)
Avg Speed: 25.3mph / (vs.24.8mph

A good 20w down on NP, cyclopark is more sprinting out of corners, but still. Perceived effort was relatively high for those watts as well.

Grant and I moving up

Sunday was the second edition of the Richmond Park TT, and conditions looked to be decent. True to form my legs still felt smashed though so I wasn’t hopeful. I’d finally replaced my HR monitor for this as I’d been without for a while, so was looking forward to that data.

I was off at 6:50, and due to the pleasant day, the park was a lot busier. I sprinted off the line and tried to settle into an effort. Last time out I’d averaged 326w, so this was the rough aim. My legs were burning throughout, but pushed on and began to feel ok up Sawyers, where I passed my 30second man. Down to Kingston Gate I began to feel worse, and struggled to get the watts out downhill, careful on the u-turn and back up the gradient to Richmond Gate. I began to deteriorate up the hill, and at times was down to 280w. I headed back down Sawyers toward Roehampton, and after taking a bit of respite down the hill eventually came across a bunch of deer halfway across the road, which cost my a bit of time.

Back towards Robin Hood Gate and I was really toast now, I couldn’t keep the watts up at all, before the turn to Pen Ponds. I took a long “sprint” for the line and finished in 26:32, a whole 79 seconds slower than 2 weeks earlier.

5th July / 21st June

Avg Power: 315w / 326w

NP Power: 331w / 337w
Avg Speed: 23.8mph / 25.1mph

More notably, my avg. HR was 170bpm. 10-15bpm down on what I would expect for a 10m TT. I think yet more signs of fatigue. So on what should have been an easy week, I ended up doing a Crit, and a TT, and a total of 8hrs riding.

I’m planning a week full rest this week, which will be hard, but I think I really need it if I hope to find some form for the second half of the season.

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