Tuesday, March 27, 2012

1st stage de panne

Today was the 1st stage of the 3 days of de panne, as the would indicate it consists of 3 days of racing in the de panne region of belgium. Like all races i am rapidly learning in belgium it is the most difficult flat land racing with of course a few sections of cobbles thrown in for added variety. Like my first race here last week, it took a blistering 100km of racing at 50kmph average before the first small breakaway was formed which on one hand was good as it only took 2hrs to cover 100km but on the other hand the lactate is already up to your eyeballs and you are only half way with the real race yet to start. Here position is key and to maintain good position on rds that in australia we would deem inadequate for a foot path, riding good position takes on a whole new meaning. Combine the fact that there are 200 riders on these medium strips!!! And you get real intense racing on all levels. The biggest issue i am having is that my prescription lenses are yet to arrive for my fancy new oakley's, when the gaps between you, other riders, the side of the rd and all the numerous obstacles the belgium council and inhabitents of the various villages we pass through put on the rd and i am far from feeling comfortable. As a result i am riding terrible position and as a result of that getting my backside apsolutely belted from piller to post and suffering like crazy for the privilige of getter demolished by the crafty and strong powerfull riders and teams. For example while i was 9min out the backside of the race today my old team mates at liquigas were up the front running 1st 3rd and 4th! How wide appart my world is from there's today. So with the crazyness of the rds and fighting eating in the race is becoming quite a challenge for me with my hands firmly fixed to the bars and me being very reluctant to take them off for a split second. This has resulted in me going lights out hunger flat with about 40km to go of a 200km race these past 2 days of racing and conveniently for me at the moment the racing really starts at the front. So got some work to do and experience to garner racing here in the heart of the flemish rds in belgium. Strangly i am actually loving it. I really enjoy suffering and going to limit, would prefer to be doing it up the front but for the moment that aint happening but i know with a bit more experience, my new prescription lenses so i can actually see where i am going, and perhaps finding some easy to consue fuel whilest bulleting along these goat tracks, i will be able to get myself a little closer to the front. Next year i will certainly be putting my hand up to have a nice big block of racing here as appose to the 4 days i will do this year as despite the suffering, humitiation and getting my backside apsolutely belted it is very addictive and a challenge i really aim to get the better of.

Stats for the day
200km in 4hrs 35min
152 heart rate average!! Saw north of 190 a few too many times!!!

Time for some sleep before no doubt another exciting adventure on the flemish footpaths tomorrow in stage 2.

Cjw
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