Friday, September 7, 2012

Tour of china 1 Day 1

Back in china!! And like most of the chinese races it will be another novel adventure. It had been planned to be a 16 day tour however international cycling regulations have meant that the event has been broken down to wait for it!!! Tour of china 1 and Tour of china 2!! The courses of each race have changed about 300 times in the past week so taking it day by day could not be a more fitting way of approaching the event. Roughly it has been broken into two 6-7 days tours with a couple of rest/travel days in between. On the paper we have at the moment it would seem it is as flat as pancake with china 1 characterized by a team time trial and china 2 set to be decided in a penultimate day individual TT. Suffice to say I will be focusing all my efforts on the 2nd tour and specifically the TT.

Being a race in china it will be a very important appointment for our champion system outfit. Following the strong team showing in qinghai lake we are determined to continue the momentum and ideally see if we can finally crack a big win for the season. Certainly plenty of enthusiasm within the 6 dudes we have assembled here.

So stage 1 of china 1 kicked off today with the Team TT and we had a modest showing finishing 5th on the stage. I love these events as it is as close to a rowing race that you can get on a bike. You all start together and you winning time is given by the 5th rider across the finish line. So basically if you ride as an individual and blow your team mates up the result will be terrible. The idea is to stay as smooth as possible and keep everybody together for as long as possible. I have always been a bit of a talker and not surprisingly in my rowing days I would often do the race calls and make the odd encouragement call. I have adopted the same role in the team TT's so as each rider swings off the front having done there turn and is floating back beside the group for a short breather is give them a quick encouragement and pat on the back just as a reminder that we are all in this together and hopfully, all be it for a brief second take there mind of the pain of the effort. It is an event that I really get excited about, I love any excuse to chat!!

By far it was the best TTT we have done this year as far as pacing and working together goes so I was very pleased with that. Our fast man and rd captain aaron kemps did an awesome job setting the pace and our chinese strongman xu gang and myself did our bit to pull as long as possible to give the rest of the guys as fresh as possible. It was the most un technical course I have ever completed, 10km out, around a traffic island and 10km back. Tailwind out and you guessed it block headwind back so was pretty straight forward. The plan was to go out smooth with the wind and then on the return leg xu gang and I would pull longer and harder as the others had a better recovery sitting on the wheel into the wind. We were doing 57-60kmph with wind and on the way back 46-47kmph into the wind. I was doing between 500-550 watts during my pulls to maintain this speed on the way back which indicates how solid the head breeze was. All in all we paced it great and had plenty in the tank for the return into the wind so a good start for the champ system lads as we kick of our september adventure in china.

So onto my data for the day and I am pretty pleased with it and have some added motivation for the race ahead after analyzing it.

TTT data
Distance: 20km
Time: 23:55
Speed Av: 50.3kmph
Av/Max heart rate: 174/195
Av/max power: 407/1050watts
1min power: 540watts (average length of my turn on the front of our team champion system chew chew train!!)
Av Cadence: 100RPM
Energy burnt: 580KCal

Cjw
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