I did the Newcrest Orange Challenge yesterday as planned. With some pretty tough effort I managed to stay with a fast moving bunch for the first 120km and chase them back down a few times when for various reasons I fell off the back (usually getting caught behind other riders falling off the back). We all stopped for a brief bite to eat at 120km and at that point I had an average of 32.
After around 5-10 minutes I got back on and headed off. I was already feeling pretty shot and had a lot of climbing still in front, but figured I just had to get back (50km) from there and no matter how long it took I would get a reasonable time. I really struggled for the next 25km until the top of the main climb. I still didn’t feel great after that but picked up a bit of a tailwind and maintained a pretty good pace to the end.
My goal had been a time of 5:30 to 6:00. I got back on 5:28 not including lunch or 5:35 including the stop – an average of just over 30. I was pretty happy with that over 170km with 2300m or so climbing.
I’ll do a few recovery rides this week and continue with Hill Climber program from next week.
Thanks for your continuing support and guidance. My cycling has come a long way from getting back on the bike after 20 years off only around 2.5 years back.