sábado, 2 de abril de 2022

A Few Plan Execution Failures

This picture is from a similar ride to Brighton in May 2021

Not-flat, endurance ride (https://www.unbiciorejon.com/2019/02/javiers-ride-classification-criteria.html)

After all the doubts I was having yesterday (https://www.strava.com/activities/6916608361), knowing this is a challenging route and that I was accompanied by three very strong riders to say that I started riding conservatively is an overstatement. 

I was in panic mode. 

I was lucky the first two climbs were ridden at a steady pace. That meant I wasn’t dropped.

That also meant I started to warm up and feel a bit better. So much so that I moved to the front. 

It was around km 30, just about the time a short and steep climb was about to start. Not exactly a “ride conservatively” great execution. 

Funny enough I felt ok(ish) on that climb. The Pope took the KOM of course but he wasn’t that ahead. Could I have closed the gap? I think so. Did I try to close the gap? No way. I’m bad at executing strategies but not that bad. I was just happy passing the climb and not feeling terribly.

That was the tone for the next few kilometers. That is, me trying to ride conservatively but not feeling that bad. 

With not feeling that bad came the unwarranted optimism. I might get a PB up Ditchling Beacon I started to believe. Nothing justified that thought but that was exactly what I was thinking.

Sure enough as soon as the climb started I went for it. As always happens (to me at least) I started a bit too hard. But I was still optimistic. The Pope had started the climb a few seconds after me so my great plan was to jump on his wheel as he passed me.

The Pope passed me and once again my execution of my own plan was not great. Meaning I didn’t jump on his wheel. 

In fact he was climbing so fast that I almost gave up in my PB attempt. 

I didn’t give up but I didn’t get a PB either. Not even close. 31 seconds slower. Although looking at the numbers 6:17 at 330 watts, it was a decent effort.

Coffee stop at the Regency as tradition dictates.

I don’t like the start after the stop at Brighton. It is uphill from the go, it is normally windy, and today was not an exception. I fell back to my “ride conservatively” strategy. 

A strategy I managed to stick to for 15 km. I honestly don’t know why I bother with strategy planning. 

What took me away from my plan was that I found myself again and again following The Pope’s wheel up every single ramp. And there were lots of them.

But I was feeling fine so why not. 

That feeling fine was most likely the product of the coffee I got at the Regency. I was not only feeling fine but also feeling optimistic.

I started to plan where to attack The Pope. 

I even tried to execute on that plan…

With even less success than the “riding conservatively” plan. 

It went like this. A short climb approached. I recognised it. I moved to the front. I standed on my bike. I pushed the pace…

For about 20 meters. Then I realized I didn’t have the legs for such a magnificent plan so sat on my saddle and slowed down.

The Pope passed me and opened a gap that looked like 30s in about 200 meters.

Time for another genius plan. “Stay on The Pope’s wheel and be happy if you manage to do just that”. 

That’s exactly what I did for about 25 kms. I managed to stay on his wheel and I was happy with it. Even if that was only because he wasn’t trying to drop me.

Something I only realize now, I didn’t appreciate it at the time. 

At the time I was thinking about keeping on his wheel up Box Hill and taking the KOM passing him in the last meter.

A fantastic plan for me. Not fair, but what a great achievement that would have been.

Because it didn’t happen. As soon as Box Hill started The Pope accelerated the pace and I was dropped. I don’t think I lasted 100 meters. Another fantastically executed plan.

Didn’t have much time to mourn. Horton sprint was coming and I needed a plan. A good one.

So I figured out a good plan. Stay on Denis and The Pope’s wheel all the way to the last roundabout and outsprint them 10 meters before the line. It took me a while to figure it out, but a good plan. Not fair, true. But a plan with chances of success. After all Denis is a GC rider and The Pope, a pure climber, had been riding in the front for the last 80 km. I figured I had my chances.

I still failed to execute it correctly. Somehow I found myself taking turns with Denis with The Pope sitting on our wheel 🤦‍♂️

I have to admit I was a bit disappointed with myself. All my plans were great plans but my executions were failing. 

Luckily for me I still took the Horton sprint. 

All's well that goes well

The ride in Strava: https://www.strava.com/activities/6921123459 

Take care

Javier Arias González

No hay comentarios: