miércoles, 31 de mayo de 2023

My body said no

I was all hyped for today’s ride. In my mind the Col de la Madone was going to be the best climb in Nice and I was looking forward to putting on a great show. I even had a coffee with breakfast. 

Col de Eze came and it was raining, still, as soon as we started to climb, the rain jacket felt a bit too much. Managed to remove it while riding without crashing and that was my top moment of the day. From that moment on, everything went downhill even if we were climbing.

First my heart rate wasn’t going up even if I thought I was putting on decent power. Let it be, I thought, it will rise soon enough. 

Except it didn’t and instead I couldn’t hold the power anymore. So I had to ease down a little bit. 

Rain didn’t stop so I started to feel cold. And my pace kept going slower and slower. 

By the time I got to the top of the climb, several minutes after my riding mates, I had had enough. I put my rain jacket back on, took a caffeine gel, and hoped for a bit of recovery in the descent.

I got a bit of recovery, yes. But that didn’t help me much. As soon as we hit the Col de la Madone I needed a pee stop and to remove the rain jacket (again). That meant I found myself climbing on my own.

That was a good thing. I’m glad no one had to witness my explosion. I was trying to get the legs going and at some point my legs, my heart rate, my brain, my whole body, said no.

And that was it. From that moment I entered surviving mode and crawled my way to the top. 

Kudos to Bidders that waited patiently for me and gave me a conversation. Tubeless strategy at Paris-Brest-Paris is a topic I can speak at length about and he listened patiently while my words distracted me from the fact that we were still climbing.

We got to the top many, many minutes after The Pope and GC Denis and still that wasn’t the lowest point of the day.

From the top of the Col de la Madone we had a 30kms descent. Enough time to recover a little bit and make me feel slightly optimistic.

At some point I recognised the road and I knew the Nice town sign sprint was coming. That was going to be the third time we were going to cross that town sign in these days. 

The first day I missed the sprint because I had no idea the town sign was there. I think The Pope took it (!!), which gives you an idea of the level of the sprint.

The second day I missed even if I knew it was coming, even if I closed the gap Bidders created with his attack and even if I had good legs. It turns out I wasn’t 100% clear where the town sign was.

But today I was. I knew very, very well where the town sign was. And I saw The Pope pushing the pace at the front, all excited about the sprint. 

I sat on Bidders wheel and waited to launch my attack.

Except Bidders were before me. 

I also started my sprint and tried to close the gap but it wasn’t even close. I even feared The Pope would pass me, thank providence that didn’t happen.

That would have been too much to take. 

For the one that focused all week in recovering between rides (you’d be amazed at the speed I could get into my siesta after a ride), for Mr. Endurance is my game, this training camp has been a day too long. 

I’m now very tired, completely destroyed and demoralized but very, very happy with my riding mates and this week. Another experience to treasure.

The ride in Strava: https://www.strava.com/activities/9174432967 

Take care

Javier Arias González

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