We’re nearly there. Today’s picture is of Clas and I at the regroup after the KOM (mum – this means King Of The Mountains ;o)). It’s been a bit of a highlight getting to know Clas. We seemed to hit if off from the start and have done a lot of riding together and chatted loads. He’s just coming back from 2 years out due to over training and it’s very interesting to hear what he went to and what his approach and attitude is now. He’s run 2:42 off the bike and I’m sure is one to watch over the coming years. Hopefully Jo and I will get loads of time to hang out with Clas next year in Christchurch all training for Taupo.
Last night I had a rather disrupted nights sleep as I’m clearly coming down with a cold. I felt pretty ill as I laid in bed waiting for my alarm to go off. Luckily I felt much better once I got up but was still a little concerned and sat at the back of the group during the early riding.
At about 70km there was a KOM – the final one of the camp and I had a few goals. 1. not let Scott be more than a place ahead as that would mean I’d finish ahead of him and 2. beat David C as we were equal on points. The aim was to stick with teh early attacks and hopefully get a big gap on the group. I did the initial pull just keeping the pace up and discouraging attacks from anyone other than the contenders. Gordo went first but I could hear him coming and started accelerating before he came by. He went again and I stuck with him. John then went but I managed to peg it back and then I attacked hard but Gordo shouted a warning which rather removed any surprise. After a little more we’d managed to drop Gordo and were down to me, Clas, John and Scott … now I just had to try and ensure Scott didn’t get two ahead of me. John attacked and Clas followed. Scott was on my wheel and I just let them go. It worked for my goals for them to get away. Scott then pulled away from me and I just went at my own pace to the top for 4th. Scott was 3rd so I was happy enough.
We then had a longer than expected ride to lunch and I was starting to feel really dizzy on the bike. So much so I stayed well back from the pack. Wasn’t sure whether it was lack of food or being ill. At lunch I ate a lot. Gordo commented it’s the first time he’s seen me “really eat”.
The rest of the ride was awesome but hard riding. The scenery was out of this world. There were some pretty chunky hills and I’ve currently got a 11-23 cassette so not sure I really have low enough gears. The 11 did come in handy on one decent where it allowed me to pull myself and Dave Langley back to the front guys. Scott saw 88km/h on that descent !! To add to the toughness of the ride Petro got a bit frisky and started to hammer (I admit I’d done the same about an hour earlier). I was on his wheel and didn’t really feel like I could drop off. When we slowed on a climb I was happy to make my excuses and say I was cruising from there. He eased off and we rolled in together.
In Balclutha we found there was a pool that was open till 5 … we had to get a shimmy on. We ran down and got in at 4:12 … I had to shift to get my 3k done. I got in a little earlier than Petro and lapped him twice so I kept pushing knowing he needed a little more time than me to finish. I did a 43 minute 3k (in a 33.33m pool). Petro finished his and we chatted for about 30s before the buzzer went to leave the pool. That was close. If it hadn’t been for the Epci Camp points system I don’t think either of us would have run and swum today but we ended up doing a pretty solid session.
Tomorrow we head to Bluff. This evening has been great fun chatting with loads of people. Hoping tomorrow night will be just as fun if not better.