sábado, 26 de noviembre de 2022

Dai's ride to Dabbling Duck

 Short and flat (https://www.unbiciorejon.com/2019/02/javiers-ride-classification-criteria.html)

As you would be expected to ride at the end of November.

Mind you that short and flat doesn’t mean easy.

It was a “steady k2” ride. 

Somehow, “steady k2” it’s becoming synonymous with K1.5. Something that is completely against my idea of “steady k2” but totally expected if you have Dai leading a ride with two “climbs” in the first 20 kms and with an espresso in his veins (I don't have proof, nor doubt).


Even if he had been out of the bike for weeks. Even if he said he wasn’t going to sit in the front. 

To be fair I also had a coffee at home (although mine wasn’t an espresso), I hadn’t ridden much in the last three weeks, and, me too, found myself sitting in the front more than I had planned to.

Surprisingly (in my case, not a surprise at all in Dai’s case) I felt ok(ish). Enough power to be there in all the climbs and enough endurance to last the whole ride. 

To put the cherry on the cake I played the “fair sprinter” role (there is always a first time for everything) and gave Calum all the details about the Esher sprint when we were at Cobham. My mother would be proud of me.

 Playing the “fair sprinter” doesn’t mean to play it wrong from the tactical point of view. I was the fourth wheel (out of eight riders), in the drops from the first “ramp”, paying attention to every potential move. Yet, I almost screwed it. 

Calum attacked.

Not sure where but certainly too early.

So early that took me by surprise. I wasn’t expecting it. 

Yes, I know I said I was paying attention. That was my intention but, somehow, I got too relaxed and distracted. Not the first time that has happened to me. I guess I have to work on my attention span. 

I had to put in a big effort to close the gap. Never doubted I was going to it, but it certainly took me to the limit.

A few seconds after I reached Calum’s wheel he looked back, saw me there and flicked his elbow.

To hell with the “fair sprinter”, I thought. I refused to move to the front and stayed on his wheel (I’ll omit this part of the story to my mother).

Calum gave it another go.

This time I wasn’t taken by surprise but that didn’t help much. He was pushing hard and I was struggling to keep up. 

The thought of letting him go crossed my mind. In fact I started to look for a decent excuse but before I found one (and that is a very short period of time; I’m very fast finding excuses) Calum slowed down a little bit. And then a little bit more. 

I stayed on his wheel. Waited and waited. It felt like an eternity but I was fearing another attack from Calum and I knew I didn’t have the legs to sprint all the way to the line. Wait and pray. A sprint tactic I’m very familiar with.

It doesn’t normally work but in this case it helped that Calum didn’t know where the line was (Rupert wasn’t riding today so I definitely knew where the line was).

I attacked at the right point (for once) and managed to open a gap big enough to get me to the line. 

A win!!!

I’m now going to forego a well deserved Spanish siesta to write the Spanish version of this report so my mother knows I’m a champion (my wife and daughters are lost cases in that regard). I’ll omit certain details but I’ll make sure I don’t embellish the story too much. It has to feel credible.

The ride in Strava: https://www.strava.com/activities/8170788294/analysis/16380/17403

Take care

Javier Arias González

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