Monday, March 31, 2008

EV Spring Series - preliminary Stage Race results - 3rd

It looks like I got a third overall in the stage race..

447 Richardson 42
515 Holatko 29
405 Lynne 26
531 Lachance 16
401 Cassidy 15
534 Hanniman 9
406 Fabishce 8
448 Ball 5
Still preliminary results though, as the 6-10 finishers in the RR where not recorded. I added my 8th place 5 points in to the above, and it appears to be impossible for anyone to catch me (6th place only gets you 7 points.)

Preliminary TT results also posted. I was 21 out of 99 riders.

The top C group finishers:
405 Lynne 16:22
447 Richardson 17:40
515 Holatko 18:04
534 Hanniman 18:24
406 Fabishce 18:43
401 Cassidy 20:00
531 Lacmance 20:38

If I had been racing in the B-Group I would have taken 3rd:
282 Rothengater 15:17
244 Manning 15:59
382 Stead 16:24
275 Van Gaans 16:56
279 Routley 16:59
248 Sidic 17:01
306 Broemelin 17:02
A very impressive ride by Mike Rothegater. The gap to Van Gaans is about right. If I recall I beat him by about the same in last years Warp Speed TT.

The A-group of course had some fast riders. 16:22 was about mid-way down the list of 22. Top numbers:

33 Briton 14:58
10 Tolkamp 15:10
1 Abercrombie 15:25
32 Noiles 15:26
22 Campbell 15:29


John Tolkamp at 15:10 was 70 seconds ahead of me. Which is about the same difference for the Ryder 8K from last year.

Johnathon Gormick (A-Group) managed to get the same time (16:22). I was typically about 10-15 seconds faster than him last summer in the Ryder 8K TT's.

Jeff Ains (A-Group) was 16:29. Again I was about the same time as him at the Ryder 8K last year (although I only see one result for him.)

Chris Reid (A-Group) was 15:56. Except for one (anomalous?) finish, he was typically 15-20 seconds faster at the Ryder 8k TT (two results).

Assuming that they also did the other races and where about the same for freshness it would indicate that I'm reasonably close to where I need to be. No surprises, either good or bad.

The first "official" (i.e. sanctioned) TT of the year is LocalRide's Race the Ridge 24K TT in three weeks. It is also part of a stage race (2nd race, Sunday morning.) So will also be done "fatigued". I had terrible numbers in that last year. The problem was Tufo tires on Zipp 404 wheelset. They cost me over two minutes. So I'm looking forward to see what I can do this year.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

EV Spring Series - River Road TT 1st C Group

Late afternoon start (4:00PM). Weather started to co-operate a bit. Sunny almost, but with a brisk 20km wind from the west. So the outbound leg was fast and the return was slow.

Managed about 45kph out, but only 38 back.

This apparently got me a first in the C group. But I'll know more when the results get posted.

The best times for the day (A group and B group) where (again subject to seeing what gets posted) from 15:00 to 15:30.

The weekend was setup as a stage race. So my final results of 8th, 7th and 1st(?) may have got me a 2nd or 3rd overall. I'll post full results when available.

Overall this capped a good week training wise. CTL is over 80 (two months earlier than last year) and overall I feel fairly strong on the road racing side. The TT time was a bit slow, but that is probably because it was the last of the three stage races. With the Saturday race being a bit of a killer for me with the Snake climb.

Next weekend is the first BCMCA race at Lake Cowichan on Vancouver Island. I'll be attending unless the weather forecast indicates foul weather ($200 for ferry and 3 hours each way with driving is not worth it for 90 minutes of racing in rain....)

EV Spring Series - Crit 7th C Group

Early morning (ugh!) start. About 40 people at the starting line. That dropped down to about 20 over the first 20 minutes or so. Managed to stay towards the front for the last few laps and get a 7th.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

EV Spring Series - Snake Hill - 8th C group

Escape Velocity Spring Series - Snake Hill course (new this year.) managed an 8th.

This course is similar to the Armstrong Road RR course. In fact it climbs the same hill (about 90m of elevation) from a different side and uses the same descent. But it plays out differently. Armstrong does the clime in 3 short climbs with some flattish bits in between. Snake does it as one steep climb.

Armstrong has gives you about 2km to get your breath back after the descent before starting the climb. Snake gives you over 7km to do the same.

The climb itself was being done in under 2:00 by the stronger riders. I wanted to keep it over 2:00. So always tried to be at the front at the bottom and then set a pace that would get me to the top just back of the leaders. Close enough, with enough other riders, to be able to bridge back. Even if it took 3-4km after we got through the descent.

This left enough in the legs so that on the last climb I could attempt to stay towards the front. This worked reasonably well, managed to stay within site of the first two groups (4 and 3 riders respectively). And had two other people to work with, around to the finish. We couldn't bridge up to either group, but neither where we caught by anyone else.

So a better result than Armstrong, where I was minutes behind the lead group (2nd or 3rd chase group back....) The difference was the harder hill. Longer hills are better for me (although at 2 minutes, still not long enough...) and with a longer course to work back. The bridging back was hard, but at (typically) 250-300 avg. watts not enough to be to worried about. Especially as long as I had 2-3 other riders to work with.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

ABC Background Briefing Podcast - Sports Wars

Here is a link to ABC's (no, not that one, Australian Broadcasting Corp...) Background Briefing podcast for 16 March 2008, Sports Wars, giving a reasonably in-depth discussion on what the Australian Institute of Sport is doing to help Australians win more medals this summer in Beijing.

One of the primary examples used is Cadel Evans and how they are training for the Olympic TT. Including use of core temperature pills (pills that log core body temperature as they pass through the gut), SRM, tilt sensors, video, virtual environment (like "flight simulator"), heat tents, etc.

A transcript is also available.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Ford Road - L2

Easy ride, cold, but dry at least. Front flatted on Ford Road... Still got back before dark.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Anmore Tour - wet, cold, windy

Wet and cold, just enough wind to push around the new Aeolus 5.0's on some of the descents. Miserable ride, slow with fenders on...

Forecast for tomorrow doesn't look much better :-(

Monday, March 24, 2008

Ford Road - Tempo L2

Easy 2 hour Ford Road ride.

Conquered Excel 2007, PMC chart and dashboard graphics now back...

Sunday, March 23, 2008

More marshaling

It was cold, it was wet, they needed more marshals...

I ended up doing some fast L4/L5 intervals after I got home in the afternoon. Only to get rained on anyway. By then it wasn't quite as cold though.

Did 10x3 L4, target 350-400 AP, with about 2-3 minutes rest between each. This is 700m at 9%, then, circle around back to the bottom and redo.

Almost but not quite an NP buster ride (1.04 IF, > 1.05 is NP Buster.)

Saturday, March 22, 2008

River Road TT - training

I was course marshal at EV Atomic race today, so no racing...

I dragged the TT bike along and on the way home took a quick warmup and then road the EV River Road 10k TT course.

There was a brisk (10km/h) se wind, so going against the wind out and getting a push on the way back. I had most aero gear on (helmet, skin suit) but just training wheels (Bontrager Aero Lite aluminum..)

Time not great. I can tell that I need to get out and do more of these.

River Road TT (training):

Duration: 16:33
Work: 318 kJ
TSS: 30.8 (intensity factor 1.056)
Norm Power: 322
VI: 1.01
Pw:HR: n/a
Pa:HR: n/a
Distance: 11.123 km
Elevation Gain: 21 m
Elevation Loss: 18 m
Grade: 0.0 % (3 m)
Min Max Avg
Power: 0 863 321 watts
Cadence: 35 98 82 rpm
Speed: 11.2 46.2 40.3 kph
Pace 1:18 5:21 1:29 min/km
Altitude: 83 87 85 m
Crank Torque: 0 114.4 37.4 N-m
Temperature: 14 14 14.0 Celsius

Friday, March 21, 2008

Westwood Tour - L2/L3

A couple of easy hours doing hill climbs.

I made the mistake of installing Office 2007 yesterday, which of course broke my excel charting spreadsheets... So no TSB/TSS graphic today, and PMC chart not upgraded. Hopefully I can figure out what has changed between 2003 and 2007 versions of Excel and fix it without too much trouble :-(

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

BVC Track - 2x20 SST

Raining outside so went to track. 2x20 SST and some misc short intervals.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Anmore Tour - 1:40 L4

Anmore Tour today, best time this season, still four minutes slower than PB from last summer. But faster by five minutes than last March and April.

Anmore Tour:

Duration: 1:40:25 (1:40:43)
Work: 1500 kJ
TSS: 159.1 (intensity factor 0.975)
Norm Power: 297
VI: 1.19
Pw:HR: n/a
Pa:HR: n/a
Distance: 40.818 km
Min Max Avg
Power: 0 854 249 watts
Cadence: 1 112 69 rpm
Speed: 2.4 68.4 24.4 kph
Pace 0:53 25:00 2:28 min/km
Crank Torque: 0 110.1 36.1 N-m

Monday, March 17, 2008

New Wheels - Aeolus 5.0

My new Bontrager Aeolus 5.0 wheel set arrived last week in time for me to try them out in the Bradner race. With, I think, acceptable results.

Here is a photo of them in action on Sunday. That's Bill Riley in the foreground (blue VeloVets jersey.) We have a friendly competition going to see who can do the VeloVets 10k TT the fastest. I'm still ahead by about 20 seconds. He has been showing some very good conditioning these past few weeks, sprinting past me in Zero Ave course to take a fifth (leaving me with sixth.)

The Bontrager recommended tire, 22mm, is their Race XXX Lite, which I ordered in for the new wheel set. They are strangely asymmetrical with a White side-wall on the drive side and a solid Black on the other (left) side.

I'm sure there is some logical explanation of this color scheme, but so far nobody has advanced one :-)

Sunday, March 16, 2008

EV Spring Series - Bradner - 3rd C

Cool and dry day today. About 50+ starters in the C-group.

This course is 8.8km long with about 125m of climbing. The way it is staged we end up doing almost an extra half lap so that the finish line can be at the top of the course.

In the C group we reduced the field down to 20-30 riders by the end of the second lap. And then continued to shed riders off the back until there where about a dozen of us left for the bell lap.

The finish is nice, a long several km leadout to a straight in finish. I was right at the front, and with a little over a km to go we started to catch a pair of lapped riders. I thought we where only about 600m and decided to jump from there. Got a bit of a gap, but I think I dragged a couple of other riders along. Two came over top of me about 30m from the finish. I stayed on to take 3rd.

It was too early to jump, but I was not liking the idea of having those riders in front of us as we wound up the speed. Still not a bad result.

I was a course marshall yesterday for the Snake RR, so didn't get to do that one. The good news was fresh legs and a close to zero TSB for today.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Heritage Intervals - L2

Easy ride, rain until late, then had limited time. So just a climb up Westwood and some intervals in Heritage, all at L2 or easy L3.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Heritage Intervals

All about intervals today, 2x20 L3, 6x10s L7, 2x5 L5.

Was supposed to do more of the L7 (10) and L5 (3) intervals. But my shoulder was bothering me doing the high watt sprints (lots of body movement, including shoulders...I swear I can feel the plate.. ) and I was running out of daylight. Even with daylight savings it is hard to get a three hour workout in after work. Did do 2:10.

I felt a bit off both yesterday and today, it was like pulling teeth to get the watts up.

Not sure what to do this weekend. I'd like to try the new Snake race course. But I'd also like to do well on the Bradner Course on Sunday. I've done it three times and have yet to finish with the group. It has three small climbs that follow a 90 degree turn. So this plays into both of my worst abilities.

First I drop 3-4 places going through the turn. Then I have to keep up with the short mini-sprint up the climb. For the first few laps there is almost always another bike or two to follow back into the group. Second or third climb in lap four all of those riders have been dropped and I have to work back into the group on my own.

I've been dropped in almost exactly the same place every time I've done it (lap four, third turn. So it's a bit of a grudge match. I would *really* like to finish in the group.. But if I work to keep up with the lead group on the Snake on Saturday I won't have much form left on Sunday.

The current forecast is showing a slight advantage to Sunday (rain vs. possible showers). I won't do the Snake if it is raining. It is (other than the climb) the same course as the Armstrong Road course. We did it last year in the rain. The descent is NOT fun when wet. Not too mention doing a sharp climb with wet gear (adds a couple of kg) slows you down considerable.

Peaksware Interviews Levi Leipheimer

Peaksware (aka TrainingPeaks, wko etc) blog has an interview (audio too) with Levi Leipheimer.

See also the LetLeviRide site to support getting him into the Tour this year.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Seven Stages of Road Racing

The Seven Stages of Road Racing..

1. First time out - your goal is to not get dropped. You get dropped and hopefully find someone who also got dropped to finish the race with. When you get back to the car your ride already has his bike in the rack and is looking at his watch.

2. Seeing your first sprint - you don't make the break, but do manage to stay with the pack and actually see someone sprinting at the finish. It is not known why they are sprinting as the break finished well over five minutes ago.

3. Your first sprint - you make the break, but get dropped, get collected by the pack. You are still close enough to the front to actually be one of those trying to sprint, even though the break did finish five minutes ago. But it does seem like the right thing to do.

4. You stay with the break - at the final turn the first ten or so riders sprint away. But you do get to see it. And you finish within a minute or two of the winners. You are now officially a road racer, your immediate family refuse to acknowledge this though.

5. In the sprint - you stay with the break, keep to the back saving your matches, get to the front in the last lap, in the top six or seven around the last turn and actually get to participate in the sprint. Possibly finish in top 10. A significant milestone, fellow club members are envious.

6. Podium - you lead the break, in the top three around the last corner, get a perfect lead out and sprint into a podium finish. You have arrived, life is good, you get mentioned on the club website.

7. Upgraded - The race organizer tells you that you have been upgraded, which is not as good as it sounds. The race is 30% longer at with a 5% higher average speed.. You hope that at least you can finish in the pack but you'll be looking for someone to finish the race with. You are back at stage 1.

Anmore Tour - L3

A little cold and damp today, a little slow.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Year-2-Year CTL

Here is a different way of presenting this years CTL and ATL compared to the same point a year ago.

The dark purple and blue lines are current.

This makes progress (as compared to last year) much more apparent and easier to see than showing all of the data in one chart (e.g. the PMC chart at the upper left of main blog page.)

Sunday, March 9, 2008

EV Spring Series - Armstrong Road - 12th C group

Kept up with the first break on the first climb. Well almost, within 200m and did manage to quickly bridge across to the break after the climb. That was about 14 riders out of the 50 odd starters.

That group split again the second time around, with 5 guys getting off leaving the rest of us. I managed to stay with the chase for another couple of laps. Then another EV rider and I dropped back a bit on the climb.

We got caught by the main C group with one lap to go (7 laps total). I stayed at the front of that group to sprint (at the top of the climb) to a resounding 12th overall (first in our group, but about 10-11 riders ahead of us in the breakaway and chase groups.)

Generally felt better than last year. But still have problems with this type of course. Short bursts of power in the 1-2 minute range. Which is about the worst part of my power profile (it's a toss up whether 5 sec or 1 min is worse, both hover in the top of "Untrained" or the bottom of "Fair".) So I tend to suffer on the climb. Then if I have anyone to work with I can generally bridged back using my 5 min power (which generally is in the "Moderate" or "Good" range, about 4.7 w/kg.)

Unlike the crash fest last week (River Road) pretty much all riders managed to keep the rubber side down and on the road this weekend.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

EV Spring Series - Zero Ave - 6th in C group

Seven and a (approx) half lap race. We got to do the 500m at 6% climb at the finish eight times. About 8k per lap with about 50m of climbing.

Two guys went off the front almost from the start, but never got more than about 20-25 seconds away from the group. Two EV guys bridged over to them just past the climb on the second lap, taking about 20-25 people with them. Unfortunately I was too far back at the time, so had to ride up to the front of that group and then bridge over to the breakaway group. That took a bit of work over a couple of minutes.

The breakaway (about 25 riders) kept away from the main group (about 40-50) for the rest of the race. I managed to get towards the front in the kilometer before the final sprint (a bunch of small climbs and turns) and was about 7th or 8th at the final corner. Bill Riley (VeloVets) managed to come around me and get a nice gap, about 5 bike lengths.. I fumbled looking for a gear to climb and sprint in and never quite managed to get up to him over the 300m to the finish. He went across in 5th place and I followed (about 2-3 bike lengths back) for 6th.

This was a better result than last year. The first time I did see the sprint, almost, from the bottom of the last hill, 300m away :-) The second time I was behind a small crash in the peleton in the last lap and got blocked (but wouldn't have done much better than the first time anyway.)

So results from last weekend and this seem to confirm better conditioning this year. PMC says I am currently about where I was by end of April last year (CTL about 70, compared about 48 last year, FTP about 305 compared to probably about 295 last year.)

Friday, March 7, 2008

North Poco - L4/Tempo

Just a warm up for tomorrow... Nothing strenuous.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Bike Radar - Shoulder exercises

Nice little article showing some shoulder strengthening exercises over at

I've always had more problems with sore shoulders than pretty much anything else... and breaking my collarbone has NOT helped.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Ford Road - L2/L3

Briskly out, a little slower back. Timed arrival at home just as it got to dark to ride...

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Anmore Tour - SST

Anmore Tour, SST, better times than this time last year, but still no where near summer 2007 best times.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

EV Spring Series - River Road - 4th C

Fun race today, dry but cool and slightly foggy and damp during the warm up. There where 75 riders in both C and B groups and I think about 40-50 in the A's (and I think another 20+ rode in the Novice race.)

Lot's of crashes today, which is strange, this is an almost flat course with mostly good pavement and turns. But the A's and B's seemed to have a series of crashes.

On our (C group) bell lap, we had to go around a (I think A) rider down on the side of the road being attended to just before our last turn.

Our group almost managed to get done without a crash, but as (it seems) every year, there was a crash just past the last turn (700m to finish). People come out of the turn and seem to get frantic to get a good position for the sprint and someone goes down.

The B group apparently also had a crash there, and shortly after that the A and Novice race (novice starts after the C group finishes) where stopped as there where too many people down on the course to get safely around it (either for racers or ambulances...)

I was lucky, I hadn't really planned on contesting the sprint. But for better or worse ended up towards the front of the pack for the last two laps and right at the front (fourth) around the final turn.

This set me up reasonably well, although I was boxed in for a bit as more people came around (note to self, don't sit *right* behind the lead out riders, keep slightly to one side, to give yourself a place to go to when other riders come up...)

Once things opened up a bit (with 700m there really isn't that much of a rush...) I had an opening and took it. Easily got to the front and took 4th by a wheel, about 10-20 m behind the first 3 finishers.

To get TSS up a bit I did one circuit of the Snake Hill course before leaving (it starts at the same location.)

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Easy ride today - warmup for tomorrow

Nice day, better than the forecast. Just an lazy L2 ride to warmup for tomorrow.

Running hard at 60

Aka "The older athlete's mantra: higher, faster, stronger"..

Dug this link up after reading the article in todays National Post.

Staying a Step Ahead of Aging
It's from Gina Kolata's Personal Best Column in the New York Times.

She cites research saying that as we age we can keep a high level of fitness by continuing to do hard (e.g. lactic threshold) workouts.

So the good news is we can stay in shape, stay fast and competitive. The bad news is that it's going to continue to take lots of work and hurt :-)