sábado, 24 de febrero de 2024

The day of number 2


Two hours of stopped time in the ride. We were lucky we dogged the rain all day.

Two were the KOMs I lost to Lucas and I consider that a success.

Two punctures today. One before the ride even started.

Two were the sprints that JFW took today. Below expectations performance.

Two inner tubes JFW needed to repair a puncture. Another below expectations performance.

Two pieces of cake for Bidders at the coffee stop. That’s an expected performance.

Two coffees for me at the coffee stop. It helps to explain my overexcitement during the return leg.

But There Can Be Only One Winner of the final sprint. It definitely helps that no one but me knew where the line was.

The ride in Strava: https://www.strava.com/activities/10828014905

Take care of yourself

Javier Arias González

sábado, 17 de febrero de 2024

My coach would be proud of me

 (Almost five minutes at 345w with an average heart rate of 49bpm doesn’t seem accurate to me. Either that or my training is going really, really well)

Not sure what my coach, if I had one, would have prescribed as a training session for today, but if you ask me I’d say I got it almost perfect.

Easy riding all day. Chatting, laughing, enjoying the scenery. 

A sprint whenever JFW decided he wanted one. Which, for me, was a bunch of sprints at random moments of the ride. 

Three efforts up the hills trying to hold to JFW’s wheel. Which, for me, was the equivalent to three over the threshold, motor-paced efforts.

One final sprint. Perfectly led this time by JFW. Which, for me, was just another prestigious win added to my plamarés.

I’m guessing the scone with cream and jam I had at Tanhouse was not the ideal fuelling for the ride, but it’s contribution to my overall happiness made it totally worth it.

I almost wish I had a coach to witness how well I executed today.

The ride in Strava: https://www.strava.com/activities/10779632238

Take care

Javier Arias González

domingo, 4 de febrero de 2024



I felt better today than yesterday.

Weird, but true.

I felt even better when I managed to keep The Pope’s wheel up Hazelwood Lane. 

Even weirder, but also true.

To celebrate I went for a double cake at the coffee stop. Gluttony is one of my sins, probably not the worst though. 

There is no way I’ll skip a Pasteis de Nata if I’m at a Portuguese cafe.

That cost me my chance at getting Juniper’s KOM.

That, and that The Pope took off his arm warmers before the climb (he showed up without gloves). I took my gloves off to compensate. Looking for a fist fight ended up with me swearing (in Spanish) when I saw him (one more week) disappearing off the front in the final ramp.

I blame that defeat on the two aforementioned cakes. Also, on the di2 system that unilaterally decided to switch chainring at the most inappropriate moment. I’d also throw into the mix that I was riding with a rear wheel low in pressure, the sealant was not fast enough fixing a puncture. That’s probably 100w there and then. I wouldn’t have taken the KOM anyway but I would have been closer.

From there it was game over for me. The pressure in my rear wheel was too low to have any say at the Horton sprint. 

The Pope took it after an early attack by GC Denis (definitely not a sprinter).

Gluttony is also one of The Pope’s sins. Definitively not his worst one. One of the weirdest sentences I have written, but also true.

The ride in Strava: https://www.strava.com/activities/10694774638

Take care

Javier Arias González

sábado, 3 de febrero de 2024

Fake it till you make it

 Staying on Neal’s wheel while he closed the gap after JFW’s suicide attack up Green Dene almost killed me.

I survived that traumatic experience at the price of knowing I was wasted for the rest of the ride.

A challenge when you want to pretend you are in good form. Time to fake it.

Next climb I used a car coming down as an excuse to slow down and let JFW take the KOM.

At Col du Chemin Fe (I’m not making it up, that’s the name of the segment) a puncture came to the rescue. 

I found myself chasing Neal and JFW again up Punchbowl’s cycletrack. Not the place I wanted to be. 

Five seconds before I blew up JFW did the typical JFW thing and blew up. I took the opportunity to start riding next to him pretending to be a nice cycling mate. I even use the old trick of asking him lots of questions to make him talk and force him to slow down a little bit more.

A mandatory dose of caffeine at a long coffee stop made even longer by another puncture, this time in Denis’ bike (I swear to god I didn’t touch his bike. I would if it had occurred to me, though).

A few moves to the front at key moments to make everyone believe Javier is contributing and seems he is coping is an essential part of the strategy.


A strategy that changes radically 20k (or more) before the last sprint.

From that moment, fake anything you need to fake to avoid sitting in the front. Taking time to clip your pedal, a pee stop, waiting for others at crossroads, moving to the left of the road when we are turning right. Whatever it takes to avoid the front.

Now, the moment you get to Cobham make sure you are in the right wheel and stay there no matter what.

Give thanks because you have a quiet hub and that gives you the chance to be forgotten by those at the front.

Bet everything on Neal going a bit too early, Neil following suit and you have just that little extra energy to open a gap. 

Look back and if you see them sitting down, sit down yourself and hope they don’t come after you.

Fake it till you make it.

It is not the most honorable win but it is a win and you don’t have any honor by now anyway.

Enjoy it while it lasts because you’ll pay for it tomorrow.

P.d. My proposal to enter the 24 hours of Ultracycling (https://www.transiberica.club/24h/) in 2025 was very well received. A group of us will likely give it a go.

The ride in Strava: https://www.strava.com/activities/10687692473/ 

Take care

Javier Arias González