Gran Premio Miguel Indurain (1.1)
A few days after Volta a Catalunya finished, I found myself heading off to the Basque Country for the 186km one day race GP Indurain. We took the train from Barcelona to Pamplona which was a comfortable 4 hour journey towards what is known as the green part of Spain (for a reason). Much of the Movistar team live near Pamplona, so for them it’s a little bit of a local race, and history has shown they like to take the race by the horns and make it hard well before the finish. Alongside Movistar there was also team Sky, Orica Greenedge, and Cannondale-Drapac. I also noted a couple of teams from the Tour of Portugal last year who were extremely strong. It was a solid 1.1 lineup.
The morning started out with sunshine and blue skies, but by the time we rolled out of neutral it started raining and the temperature dropped significantly. On race radio nearly the whole team asked to get their Gabba jerseys from their wet bags. It was a dangerous but necessary move, as the flag dropped whilst I was still back near the car. It made the first 10 minutes of the race a little harder than it should have been, and sure enough once the breakaway had gone and we slowed down for a little bit, the sun popped out and the Gabba’s went back to the car.
For most of the day, Movistar was on the front riding a solid tempo, and then a faster tempo, and then faster again. Before you knew it, the bunch was whittled down to about 40 guys after most of the main climbs had been done, and the breakaway was no longer. We had nearly everyone in this group heading back into town, where we hit what we call a “leg-snapper” – a short but steep hill for 500 metres averaging 11% gradient. My legs snapped. Or at least this is where I lost contact with the front of the race. The descent down from here was fast, before hitting a drag back out of town where the winning group would ride away.
Michael Woods got into this winning move, and would go on to come in 2nd place for the day. Simon Yates had attacked a handful of km’s before the finish and managed to stay away. Overall my legs had felt a little bit better after Catalunya, but also still have a little bit of residual fatigue. My max HR for the day was not where I’d expect it to be, particularly for a one day race, so a couple of more easy days in Girona should do the trick. Still, it was another 300+ TSS day in the bank, and it was a fun day.
I’ll be heading off to La Fabrica cafe this afternoon to watch the last hours of Flanders, and then plan on going to La Federal (a newer cafe in Girona owned by aussie pro cyclist Rory Sutherland) where I can order a kangaroo burger!
Thanks for reading,