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 

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