Amy’s Gran Fondo 2015
You may have noticed I haven’t done a blog post talking about the USA Pro Challenge. There’s two main reasons for this: Firstly, I wrote a little article for strava, so you can read a little bit about it here. http://blog.strava.com/usa-pro-challenge-colorado-10688/ and secondly, I was absolutely exhausted (Or maybe just lazy). It’s funny that people continually said that because I was doing such big races at altitude I would come home with some awesome form and be flying up all of the hills. Lookout sub 15 minute Kinglake I thought!
Unfortunately, my experience coming back home was the opposite. The first two days back in Melbourne were alright, but I think that’s a little bit due to the excitement of being back home, sleeping in my own bed, and catching up with family and friends. Mum and Dad were away on holidays in Noosa, so when I arrived home at about 12 on Thursday, the first thing I did was visit Papa Bear Cafe in Eltham for a takeaway coffee and lunch on route to Peak Cycles. It caught up with me pretty quickly!
I ended up having 7 days completely off the bike (including a few days traveling) and my first week back was only about 12 hours of riding without any efforts. Riding companions were dressed almost in summer kit, and I had full winter kit complaining about the cold. Sure enough, I ended up getting a slight cold just as the effects of jet lag were starting to fade. This just added to the time needed to recover.
So when I was down in Lorne for Amy’s Gran Fondo over the weekend and people asked me how I thought I’d go, I was honest when I said I was tired, and uncertain how my form was. This doubt was quickly answered three hours later after I managed to take the KOM, overall fastest time of the day, and contributed towards the Peak Cycles team classification.
This was sweet for a few reasons.
Firstly, it helped validate that despite feeling pretty ordinary, my legs were good! My power numbers up the Skenes Creek Climb were basically the exact same as my all-time 20 minute PB power, although I hadn’t been able to do much high intensity training for a while. Along with the strong climb up Skenes Creek, I set a new 3 hour power PB (257 average watts, 303 normalized). I’ve also never seen my heart rate average that many BPM’s for that duration (178bpm for ~3 hours)!!! I think Stalders Max HR is 160 something …just to put it in perspective.
Secondly, the previous year I came second in the KOM and second in the overall fastest time… so it was nice move up a step on the podium and take home some novelty cheques and some jerseys. Thinking about it further, I don’t believe I’ve ever won a KOM jersey before, and I’ve definitely never had a novelty cheque before, so they are both nice additions to the bottle of mayple syrup sitting on my shelf.
Lastly, the Gran Fondo in 2013 was arguable a catalyst into my short career in cycling and I owe lot’s to the guys from Peak Cycles. We didn’t win the teams classification in 2013 or 2014, so being part of the team win in 2015 was like the icing on top of a donut. And we all know how much I enjoy a donut.
Above all, the fondo was yet again another enjoyable weekend away. If you’ve never been, Lorne is an incredible place and having the ability to ride along The Great Ocean Road with full road closures is really special. It’s always important to remember why the event is held and to promote safe cycling on the roads at all times. I think it’s kind of like Fathers day (Or Mothers day…) Even though we celebrate or remember on that one particular day, it doesn’t mean we can forget the other 364 days of the year.