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Preston Mountain Classic Report & Peak Cycles With Tom Leaper

16th July 2014

I haven’t posted anything for a few weeks now so I thought it might be worth doing a small race report from the Preston Mountain Classic a few weeks ago and a Peak Cycles ride with special Guest Tom Leaper. There is plenty of exciting activity coming up in the near future, but for now I’ll just have to leave you with this.

Preston Mountain Classic Report
On Sunday the 29th of June I headed out to Strath Creek for the Preston Mountain Classic Handicap. (A 135km race that finished up Murchison Gap – a short but tough 1.6km climb averaging just less than 10 percent.) It was a cold and wet winter morning with weather conditions worsening as the race progressed.

The scratch bunch included a good number of NRS riders with a few teammates from S2R, a large number from AWS, and a couple from Charter Mason. Unfortunately the scratch bunch wasn’t very smooth and we only gained 4 minutes over 3 hours and 20 minutes, so we were only riding for fastest time.

I made a small split towards the final 10km which included fastest time of the day Lucas Hamilton from the VIS. I felt like I had a good chance leading into the climb but as soon as the road turned upwards my legs didn’t have much in them. Lucas rode away quite easily in the end and I was left to finish the climb with the rest of the guys from the split.

The strava segment “Murchison Gap” said the climb took me 5 minutes and 34 seconds, which was my third quickest time – 23 seconds slower than my personal best which I set earlier during the week on a course reconnaissance with Stephen Lane. During the race I averaged 352watts for the climb with an average heart rate of 179 bpm.

It was not good at all!

I was pretty disappointed with the performance but I guess you can’t always perform at your peak.

Have a look at the Strava file here: http://www.strava.com/activities/159343358/


Preston Mountain Classic view from the gap


Peaks Cycles with Tom Leaper
The following Saturday (5th July 2014) I was out riding with the usual Peak Cycles St. Andrews bunch. This particular weekend Tom Leaper decided come along and see what all the fuss was about. The bunch was pretty excited to have him along. Who isn’t excited to have someone who’s ridden in the Giro D’Italia riding next to him (or her)?

Andrew Stalder messaged me on twitter the night before saying “you better be there”. I wasn’t overly motivated for a super hard ride after knocking out 6 hours the day before but I didn’t want to let the team down. After all, we had to leave a good impression…

For those unfamiliar with the ride it’s typically pretty solid with an all out effort between Hurstbridge to St. Andrews known as “The Boston” before heading up Kinglake. We used local knowledge to our advantage and left Leaper on the front leading into the infamous Poggio during the Boston. This caught him off guard and he didn’t manage to make the split. I was struggling to hold Stalders wheel over the top and there weren’t too many of us left to compete for the Boston Jersey. Stalder went on to claim the victory.

After regrouping in St. Andrews it was time to head up Kinglake and I was happy to take it pretty hard. I averaged 351watts with an average heart rate of 185 into a North Westerly wind for a time of 17:07 with Stalder pitching in towards the end. (You can compare these stats to the 5 minute climb during the Preston Mountain Classic to get a better idea of how bad that effort was.) 

I was pretty cooked for the journey home but my job was done and we took a small detour to Clintons Rd to say hello to Rob Milohanic who was busy everesting. The ride ended with a coffee and custard lemon tart in Heidelberg before crawling back home to bed. It was great to have Tom out with the bunch and hopefully he’ll be back another day to cause more pain!

Have a look at the Strava file here: http://www.strava.com/activities/161810473


A well deserved coffee