Epic Camp NZ09 – Day 2

ECNZ09Day2You’ve guessed it I’m in yellow ! It was bloody hard work to get it and it’s pretty certain that tomorrow I will lose it as we will all do a 200km ride but I’ve already done two so won’t get the two bonus points but Tara will and she’s only 1.5 points behind. The swim drafting may haunt me at the end of this camp as it’s equivalent to 1.5 points as rather than me finishing one place ahead of Tara I finished two behind. It played on my mind last night making it difficult to get to sleep. Luckily Jo provided a sympathetic ear ;o) Though for me a TT is an individual thing – no drafting I guess at Epic in the swim it’s triathlon rules … perhaps next time I’ll draft … probably not though. I’ll just have to win despite that but Tara is pretty tenacious from what I’ve seen. I was hoping to run back from the swim this morning but John seriously discourage me. After the swim Tara said she’d run back with me … we decided not to and lets face it since we would have run together it made no difference. I feel at the moment the race for yellow is really between Tara and I… I don’t think Tara will break easily ;o)

Today was tough. We headed to the pool for a Roly swim session. I did 4.7k of the session, then 1k bands only for a point then 300m for 6k session and two bonus points. Tara got her 6k in as well. Jo was a total trooper and got her 6k done including 1k bands only. Whereas for me the band makes little difference for her it makes he legs like an anchor – very hard work.

Very rushed breakfast – the food on the camp is superb. Last night homemade pies, lasagne, carrot cake. Tonight a great BBQ – as much steak as u liked (and I liked alot) homemade burgers (I reckon lamb with mint sauce). I’ve been eating alot.

Todays ride was going to be tough, more so that we all would have to run off the bike. The ride was about 190km with a KOM at about 82km and ending with a 66km TT. Everything was friendly to the first feed station – great rotation with everyone doing abit on the front and a change of rider beside you so we got to get to know each other better. This continued initially after the feed and I was thinking that for once we’d get everyone to the bottom of the KOM so everyone could compete for it. I was particularly keen for this for Jo as she could do well on it but if someone decides to crank it she often pops off the back. The Piet gets to the front and just hammers – we all go single file and it turns out Jo got spewed out the back in the mayhem. Ken was in front of me and I said we should just let Piet hang out there and kill himself. He did a long pull then sat up looked back and commented about the number of people still there. I thought to myself “you’ll have to be a little more subtle to jump this group” – if he’d done that move from 3 wheels back he’d probably have split the pack in two with maybe only half a dozen of us making the break. Then someone else made a jump and Piet got on his wheel. I let them go but then Chris jumped across so I went for it. I was about 5 metres back when Chris caught them and closing. He stayed at their pace. Then looked over his shoulder saw me now only 2 metres from getting on and he went to the front and picked up the pace – no way could I close those 2 metres now. I eased off and joined the next group. I stuck it out and fought to stay ahead of Marilyn since Tara was behind her and the KOM points roll down at the end could be crucial.

Douglas and I got on the MacDonald express to lunch – sitting in behind Chris and Marilyn (on his wheel). He pulled us all the way to lunch, even kindly looking back at the top of rises to make sure we were back on. It is really impressive to see the power Chris has on the bike – it certainly makes me pleased I’m not racing Pro !

TT was set off at 30 second intervals. As I was second on GC I got to go second last with Tara behind me. I was racing scared but with so many people ahead to real in I got into a groove and felt great. I kept expecting Tara to come whizzing past. At 30k she hadn’t and I realised she wouldn’t whizz past if it took that long to close 30 seconds, by 50k I realised the liklihood is I’d be going quicker than her. I managed to pass everyone other than Chris. He punctured so I went by him whilst he was by the side of the road, when he went back past me it was truly impressive. I wasn’t expecting to catch Piet as he’d been s strong busting up the pack but he looked to be suffering when I saw him and I must admit after his shenanigans earlier I didn’t have much sympathy – that effort may have been better spent on the TT where points were at stake ! I had two goals with this TT – get to the end of the TT ahead of Tara and then TT on another 20k to get 210k (for extra points) with enough time to spare for my 50 minute run. I did it with 7 minutes to spare ! My bike ride ended up just over 210km in 6.5 hours. Thats an average of over 20mph.

After this tough day tomorrow could be very interesting as we have a 252km ride to Nelson. Reckon we could some people really suffering tomorrow.

Totally over the moon with my TT – went 2:00:12 and was second fastest. Chris went 1:54 and Tara just over 2:01. Unfortunately no one finished between Tara and I whereas in the swim TT John was between us – thats the half point difference that should result in Tara getting the yellow tomorrow. BUT – I have a cunning plan – if at the pool I do the 3k IM set and then 200 fly I should still be in the lead … that or get two runs in somehow … oh dear I’m totally caught up in this.

Jo had a tough day today but battled through – had some long spells on her own before lunch but still did a great TT. For this she’ll be in the green jersey tomorrow as “Camper of the day”.

Finally – what made my day is that Scott came up to me after dinner and gave me a Whittaker Nut Slab (he knows I love them ) for my “damn impressive TT”. I was pleased with it but it means alot for Scott to notice it. I just need to somehow convert this sort of TT performance into a good IM bike split.

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