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Ian's Training Log

I totally underestimated that one....

tripyreneesby tripyreneesOct 4th 2009
I totally underestimated that one....
The whole family was racing this weekend. Myself, Julie and Lewis here in France with the Fabio Casartelli Memorial Sportive and Aimee in England with a 3 stage road race with prologue, handicap road race and time trial.

The sportive we did was 133 km. I understood it to be the one major climb of the Col de Portet d'Aspet which is where Fabio met his end. Then a final climb up the Col de Cap Blanc. But no one told me that there were at least 12 more climbs all pretty tough at 6 to 9 % and several Km long.
I took off with the fast bunch as usual. Lewis was up ahead and we were hammering. I heard a couple of guys coming up the outside complaining about the jet plane up front. Theses two guys were the French National Champion (Credit Agricole) and a guy from Agritubel. They took the front and slowed everything down to a nice pace.
We carried on for another 20 km or so and I saw Lewis on 5th wheel, then he went to 2nd wheel pulling the pro's along. Then he went on to the front pulling the bunch of about 80 guys. what are you doing son?
I lost the main group on the first climb, this was another little surprise - turning us off the main route via a village and a 12% climb. That was ok and I was back onto the Portet d'Aspet. I started picking up the pace and catching people. I went straight over the top and hammered it down the valley picking up guys along the way until there were 8 off us.
We then turn away from where I thought I was going (mentally killing me). The terrain was fantastic but hurt so much - no flat just up then down, up then down. We passed a little chap looking over his shoulder, totally blown to pieces, I tapped Lewis on the back and said well done as we flew past - he later took the shorter route back as this was the first ride he has done in 8 weeks.
I stayed with the 8 for another 60 km and then the last guy who past me on the rotation looked at me and knew - he just said "bon courage". They drifted away and I could do nothing. I ate and I drank and pedaled away. No one behind and no one in front. I reached the top of a long 6 km brow and the farmer at the top shouted out "that's hard isn't it" - I winced and managed a "bonjour".
I finally got to the finish line in tact and was glad to see Lewis and told him he had made the right decision, the 100 km was just as tough.
I rode the 133 km in 4 hours 40 minutes which was ok for a very hilly course, just wish I could have stayed with the small group. One big issue I had was concentrating not to cramp in my hamstrings - I think the running I have done recently had caused this but I managed to mentally relax and the cramping disappeared which was lucky on the 10% parts.
Julie did very well coming about 30 mins after me (I was shocked) and she claimed 3rd overall female.
So that is the last big ride of the year.

Aimee did well, got a good time in the prologue, allowing her to start in the second group for the handicap road race. Then in the TT the next day she won the ladies blasting 2nd place by over 8 minutes in the 37 km. A very proud young lady and is in need of a new bike for next year.
 
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