Mansfield Tour 2015 VRS
Over the weekend I managed to win my first tour in the inaugural Mansfield Tour! For me, the most exciting thing about winning the tour was that the victory came from a time trial rather than climbing, despite the tour including a road race with a 16km hilltop finish. I wasn’t too sure where my form was coming into the tour after crashing out in Toowoomba a few weeks ago and then suffering food poisoning that left me laying on the couch for a week. I hadn’t seen any promising data whilst out training, and while recovering from the food poisoning I was underweight for a while despite consuming plenty of donuts and banana bread. This meant I had to try to balance some solid training without doing too much and digging myself into a hole. So my preparation wasn’t really ideal, but I worked with my coach Stephen Lane from HPtek and local bike shop Peak Cycles to ensure I would go as fast as my legs would let me on my new Cervelo P5.
Here’s a little bit of insight into my TT preparation
Over the long weekend I went up to Sawmill Settlement for a little HPtek training camp so we managed to check out the first road stage and more importantly, the TT course. We rode it twice, and I would later ride it the day before the actual TT with some Budget Forklifts teammates. As it turns out, I reckon the course profile provided in the handbook was a little bit misleading and so doing course recon became more valuable.
Bike fit from Peak Cycles
Peak Cycles were very happy to help get me into a good aerodynamic position while ensuring I would still be ‘comfortable’ and able to produce power. They did a great job! Although I wasn’t exactly ‘comfortable’ as I crossed the finish line…
Using a power meter
This was my first TT out on the road using a power metre. I cannot stress enough how helpful a power metre is, particularly while out training. I don’t really look at it while I’m in a race, but they are perfect for a Time Trial. I did a few efforts on the TT bike inside on my Wahoo Kickr which gives power output so I had a rough idea how hard I would be able to ride for 20 minutes. I ended up averaging ~350watts.
Spending time on the bike
I think this one goes without too much saying but spending time on the bike is important! In saying this I conceded that I don’t spend enough time on mine. On the Sunday before Mansfield Tour I managed my first TT ride over 100km (3 and a half hours). I didn’t do too many efforts on this ride, it was more about being comfortable. Lots of things are different on a TT bike including the braking, shifting, cornering, handling in the wind etc. and so these things just take time to get used to. After this ride I went straight to my mum (a qualified myotherapist) to book in for a massage!
This TT really did set me up for the overall tour win. After the first road stage GC remained the same, and so I just had to be able to watch the dangerous climbers up Buller and make sure no serious threats went up the road. Nick Katsonis ended up winning the stage after being up the road in the early break and riding very strongly up the climb. We didn’t really get any time checks and with a couple of KM’s to go he actually had a big enough time gap to take the overall GC, but the time gap closed as the peloton increased the pace towards the finish.
Overall the weekend was heaps of fun. I was staying with some fellow Peak Cycles riders including Andrew Stalder who also had a great weekend winning both of the road stages and finishing 2nd overall on GC in Masters A grade. I learn heaps from him and believe we both push each other whilst out training, so it’s good to see him win. Masters A should be worried for the upcoming Baw Baw road race. There might be a little conflict of interest in saying that since my coach Dr Stephen Lane was also racing in Masters A grade and finished just behind Stalder in 3rd place … But Dr Lane probably won’t read this so I think I’ll be safe!!
As for myself, I’ll be missing the Baw Baw road race once again because it clashes with the 2nd round of the National Road Series, the Tour of Adelaide. Hopefully things go a bit better in SA than this time last year…
Thanks for reading,