Missed it by that much

The Aussies have had a good start to the Worlds over in Ponferrada, Spain

Stage 1 – Womens TTT – Silver –  Orica Ais

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Stage 2 – Mens TTT – Silver – Orica Greenedge

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Stage 3 – Junior Womens ITT – Gold – Macey Stewart (Australia) & Bronze – 3rd Anna-Leeza Hull (Australia)

Macey

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Anna-Leeza

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Stage 4 – Junior Mens ITT – Gold – Campbell Flakemore (Australia)

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Well done guys, an excellent effort.

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Hill Climbing

Well, the pain I have put myself through the previous 4 weeks is starting to pay some dividends. Whilst there is still a way to go, it is good to feel some improvement happening. I had that unreal sensation on Saturday morning of hitting the Corkscrews first switchback with more reserve left in the legs than I have felt for quite some time. Obviously I had been taking it too easy, but what it trigger was the thought of giving the rest of the climb a fair crack. I must have been in obvious pain nearing the end as I had some encouragement yelled out to me from a few guys passing on their descent (thanks guys – it helped).

I surprisingly came within 3 seconds of my pb up Corkscrew, which was pleasing but at the same time gut wrenching after leaving it all out on the road.

And then on Sundays ride with the lads, I rode within 3 seconds of my pb up the climb to Ashton. Unfortunately Swanny kicked my arse again.

Over the years I’ve come across the wise written words of many a reputable cyclist, and the one that sticks in my mind is to start slowly and finish fast, as expressed here by Geraint Thomas.

Pacing is vital, on each individual climb and over the course of a ride itself. At the Etape Cymru, you don’t want to go flat out at the start and then to be on your knees by Horseshoe Pass and you can’t even get up the thing.

That’s a principle which applies to every ride. Even when you’re on a climb, don’t get carried away and start racing other people. Ride at your own tempo and know your limits – you will be grateful in the long run. Start slow and finish fast.

Got me thinking about my approach to climbing on a solo ride.  I live just over 10 minutes from the hills, and it doesn’t really matter what my strategy is when I roll out, I generally change my mind 3 or 4 times before I hit the bottom of the ascent. I mostly hit the start of the climb with a fairly relaxed attitude knowing that pushing for a pb involves pain, a lot of it.

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I’m curious though, do others actually attempt for a pb, or is it something that just occurs when the body and mind are at one? At what stage on a climb do you come to the realisation that a good strong ride is a possibility? And how do you train?

I don’t ride with a heart rate monitor, I’ve only got a basic bike computer so I don’t ride to any specific cadence. I generally go with the flow, but I now feel I can achieve more on my climbs, so I need to think a little more strategically about my “training” rides.

Happy to receive any tips that have been particularly helpful to you?

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Melbourne Dirty Dozen

Last weekend saw the Melbourne Dirty Dozen (#DD14), organised by Matt de Neef over at the Climbing Cyclist

Here are a few pictures from the weekends event.

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Capture2 Capture3 Capture4 Capture5 Capture6 Capture7

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Cog Adelaide 2015

From Velominati

For the 2014 SA cogal we were very generous in lending the keys to the kids down south. As you’d expect they treated that responsibility with absolutely no respect & delivered the kind of temperatures that would have made Satan break out in a sweat. As a result, we city folk are taking control back & doing the only logical thing, moving the ride date further back in to the middle of the Australian summer (shaddup, it worked fine last time)!

Some of the other capital cities in Australia would hate to admit it, but for the last week in January, the cycling focus lands squarely on Adelaide & under that spotlight we’re going to run the first of two SA based Cogals for 2015 on the Saturday preceding the Santos Tour Down Under.

Make no mistake, this course will require generous helpings of rules 5 & 10. The course as it stands is about 120k with 2,700m of climbing, including the now well known Corkscrew rd.

Come & join us on January 17th, We’ll start at a lovely French cafe, empty your climbing legs up in the hills & then return to the Belgian Beer Cafe for recovery beverages before heading in to the tour village to watch the team presos.

Capture

 

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ProCyclingTours

Now that the European cycling season is starting to wrap up, you must be thinking about your overseas trip next year. Unfortunately I won’t be there just yet, but I have been marvelling at some of the photos coming through on Steve Cunninghams ProCyclingTours Facebook site over the last 6 months.

Here are just some photos to whet your appetite.

Alcase to Alps
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Dolomites

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French and Italian Alps

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Northern Italy

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Pyrenees to Paris

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Tuscany

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Photo of the Week – Federico Martin Bahamontes

 

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Federico Martín Bahamontes, the Eagle of Toledo, is rated by many as the greatest climber in cycling history. The first Spaniard to win the Tour de France and a six-time champion of the race’s grueling King of the Mountains classification, he became a national hero in a Spain that was struggling to rebuild after the devastation and atrocities of the Spanish Civil War. Indeed, the Eagle of Toledo’s success owed much to the conflict. When the Nationalist rebellion of General Franco finally overran the democratically elected Republic in 1939, vast swathes of the country were left impoverished and desperate. On the verge of starvation, the young Bahamontes took to cycling as a means of running black market goods, before realizing that the sport offered a more lucrative future. An impressive amateur career followed, leading to his Tour debut in 1954, when he won the mountains competition on his first attempt. Success and a charismatic, but temperamental, racing style brought him fame at home and abroad – as well as controversy. Today, despite his appropriation by the Franco regime, he remains the godfather of Spanish cycling and a sporting eccentric of phenomenal will power.

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till next week

tight spokes

iPib

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