“8 Days In California”: Stage 3 recap
Yesterday I rode the third stage in the “8 Days in California” challenge, and it was a very, very good day. 🙂
Stage description: Stage 3 is a barrage of shorter climbs, and each of them has it’s own unusual twist when it comes to format & intensity. There are 4 KOM’s, each coming at the end of all 4 climbs, and there are 2 intermediate sprints within the latter half of the stage.
Stage strategy: As our climber is our best hope for a GC Top-10, we’ll again be riding the role of protector over the course of all four of climbs. By now the race will have given some insight into the strength of our team, so we may restructure our strategy depending on what we learn.
This was another tough stage, but I really did have an exceptionally strong day (more on that below). My “Intensity Factor” (IF) for Stage 3 was 0.98, which is the highest IF of any of the stages thus far. Recall from yesterday’s blog that IF is a simple calculation used to gauge the overall intensity of a ride. The simple formula is (IF = NP / FTP), where NP is Normalized Power and FTP is the rider’s Functional Threshold Power. In other words, an IF of 1.0 would be an all-out effort for one solid hour.
Immediately after completing the stage and still drunk on endorphins, I logged the following ride notes:
Another tough stage, but I felt beastly today, even cocky. There are a bunch of optional sprints and KOMs in these stages, and at one point it said, “Pick what you’re going to do – defend, chase sprint points or go for the KOMs. One, maybe two is reasonable, all three is lunacy!” I smirked and thought, “Challenge accepted”. As far as I’m concerned, not doing the entire stage, including all options, is a failure. HTFU. By the way, when I popped out of that last climb I did a look-back seat grab. Bring on stage 4.
I think those post-ride notes capture how good I was feeling when I finished the stage. It was a tough ride, but I was having one of those awesome days where I felt absolutely unstoppable. If the program had instructed me to pedal so fast that I took flight, I would have said, “Yep, how high?”
Here’s my entire ride with all data on TrainerRoad.
More riders have been dropped from the Peloton: 1,026 riders started this challenge, and after the first three stages just 378 remain.
Looks like today’s stage will be a little different than the past few stages. There are a bunch of short, punchy climbs with a couple optional KOMs, and a couple of optional sprints. As I mentioned above, these KOMs and sprints may technically be optional, but come on guys… you gotta jump on these challenges and own them! I can’t believe how many riders still in the Peloton I see wimping out and riding like a bunch of sissies. If this were my team half these guys would be out on their asses. HTFU (link possibly NSFW).
A quick word about my diet this week. With eight straight days of tough workouts, my diet this week has been somewhat different than usual. Apart from a cheat meal on Sunday night, my diet has been exceptionally clean, but I’ve been eating more calories. I’ve been eating lots of clean carbs and lean proteins, and staying very hydrated. My scale weight is up a little right now, but I’m actually happy to see this. I need to keep my fuel tank topped off at all times for the duration of this challenge.