It was a pretty neat weekend we had. Myself, Matt Gerstenberger and his wife Odile (Mo).
We stopped off in Taupo on the friday night, then bowled onto Waihi the next day. We had heaps of time so did a lap of the course in the car.
127kms. It was pretty wet so we didnt spend much time checking out the beaches. We made some mental notes of the big hills and decided on where we would get Mo to feed us.
We went back to the unit which was pretty nice, and watched as the rain just hammered down for the rest of the day. It wasnt a great feeling. Next morning we woke to a foggy but still day with mild temperature. Any ideas I had of winning my age group pretty much evaporated when I saw ex world duathlon champ Matt Bricks name on the start list... but.... as per usual, he never showed!
I was away as 4th man and despite trying to ride within myself had picked up the first 3 guys in 10 minutes. The 29km stretch from Waihi to Whangamata was propbably the most fun.
A fair bit of climbing, but smooth and fast surfaces with what felt like heaps of fast descending into Whangamata. (49 minutes)
Matt and I had decided to do split points at the major intersections or points or reference for the future, and Matt had his power tap on (after the day dawned fine). Whangamata to Hikuai was also pretty good, some lovely roads and good climbing (which actually seemed worse in the car). I got to the interstection at Hukuai in 1.30 (accumulated time)
By the time I hit Hikuai and started the Major climb I was aware a guy on my tail. He eventually past me and I got a shock to see his number - 7 . He had taken 3 minutes out of me before halfway.
He was either pretty good, or he was going to explode spectaculary. I decided he was pretty good..... He was on a Cervelo P3 with a zipp 404 front and Disc rear.
He seemed to slow a little at the bottom of the hill so I attacked him and passed him back. The weather was getting pretty hot by now... and after going back through my Heart rate readings I saw that at this point, for 17 minutes I was pegged at 186 bpm... thats 96% of my max Heart rate... hmmmm... maybe not so bright?
Somewhere after the top, of the hill, which I got to at about 2.07, he passed me back. He was a bigger guy and carried more speed on the descent. After a while the road surface roughened and I found myself making ground on him again. I am guessing the surface was hard work on a solid disc. I had Bens Hed stingers and they handled really well. We got to the Kopu turnouff at about 2.23, so the whole descent only took about 17 minutes. I thought I could pull this guy back on the way to Paeroa but not long after, I , like many others started to cramp.
I was basically battlleing cramp from there on in, and was forced to spin rather than push the gear. I was cramping in 4 different places, which worked well in distracting me from the intense pain in my groin, and the two hotspots on the soles of each foot! Mo handed me a botle of water as we passed the old house we used to live in at Puiriri.
The road to Paeroa was basically constantly undualting up and down for the next 43 minutes. I was still averaging about 36kmh, but I was gutted to see that my average speed of 33.5 at the bottom of Kopu was not rising!!!! By the time I hit the Karangahake Gorge I thing I was up to 33.8..... Slow progress. The gorge was really nice. Billard table smooth surface, cool air from the river and it felt like a tail wind.
The last 10 kms was really hard as the elevation got up a bit, and you knew you were close. The final rise into Waihi was a grovel and I weaved my way thru town to cross the line in 3.46.
49 mins Waihi to Whangamata: 49 mins (34.7kmh) 162 bpm # Rolling speed av=34.7
+ 40 mins Whangamata to Hikuai: 1.30 mins (33.7kmh) 168 bpm # Rolling speed av=34.2
+ 37 minsHikuai to top of Hill: 2.07 (23.9kmh) 180 bpm # Rolling speed av=31.2
+ 17 mins Top to Kopu intersection: 2.23 (46.5 kmh) 166bpm # Rolling speed av=33.1
+ 43 minsKopu to Paeroa: 3.06 (36 kmh) 173 bpm # Rolling speed av=33.9
+ 39 mins Paeroa to Waihi: 3.46 (32.9kmh) 173 bpm # Rolling speed av=33.7
overall average speed 33.7 (roughly) av heart rate 170 bpm.
I ended up 4th overall, 2nd in age group. The guy I was dicing with came 3rd in 3.41. The guy who won my age group was 2nd overall. Dave Mann.
I am not sure if it is the ex english Pro who once once towed an aluminium boat on a trailer in the Hamilton to Waihi race.....
Matt was 2nd in his age group too with a 3.57.
The guy that won was on a P3 Cervelo with Zips front and rear, (disc) - Jason kelly from napier. I didnt see what Dave Mann was on, but going by his vintage Coors lite pants, it could have been anything.
The weather and scenery were great. The roads awesome. The prizegiving more like a get together for old friends. Gary Humpherson is a bit of a legend up there and won the MAST trophy for age adjusted times by a long way. It was a long way to travel, but I enjoyed taking Matt and Mo to a few of our favourite places on the way back thru Roto-vegas.
Unfortunately Matt's Power Tap went spazzy on him and he started making 1100 watts, pretty impressive but it meant that he conusmed 30,000 calories in one ride....
I think he tried to make it up eating potato chips for the nex two days...
I wondered if it might have been more cost effective to fly up to hamilton and get a rental.....
We decided probably not....
Until I got a speeding ticket (going downhill on the desert road) , the only time I broke the speed limit the whole friggin weekend.... : (
See attached HR/speed graph.