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“8 Days In California”: Stage 5 recap

Friday, May 17, 2013 by  
Filed under Daily Blog

May
17
2013
8DC Stage 5: My workout graph

8DC Stage 5: My workout graph

Yesterday was the 5th stage of TrainerRoad’s “8 Days in California” challenge, and my legs let me know early on that they were feeling the cumulative effects of the first 4 stages.

Stage description: Stage 5 is the closest thing this tour offers in the way of an easy day. After an early, moderate climb, a flat course favors the sprinters. There are 3 intermediate sprints and only a single KOM.

Stage strategy: Our goal today is mostly to tuck in and rest up in preparation for the time trial. This may be the only stage that offers us a chance for recovery too, so we’ll do our best to tuck in and conserve as much as possible prior to tomorrow’s time trial.

There was an 8 minute climb almost immediately on this stage (just 4 minutes in), and my legs were cold and heavy. I powered through the climb, but it wasn’t pleasant. A short while later I was fully warmed up, and got into a nice groove.

Here are my post-ride notes…

With the promise of a welcome respite from the intensity of the previous four stages, I was looking forward to Stage 5. I filled my bidons, threw on an old pair of bib shorts and, with a few words of encouragement from my lovely wife still ringing in my ears (“You look like a dork”), I was off to my BTT. The first eight minute climb on cold and tired legs quickly reminded me that even though this stage was less intense, it was still a race. It took me about 25 minute to really settle in, but once I did I felt good. Even though I was supposed to be taking it easy in preparation for tomorrow’s time trial, my competitive nature compelled me to hammer all the sprints and the lone KOM.

I definitely didn’t shy away from the sprints or the KOM. In fact, I came extremely close to breaking my existing 5-second (1,001 watts) and 10-second (896 watts) wattage records on the final sprint. Considering those two records were set on fresh legs and yesterday’s attempt was at the tail end of the 5th straight day of tough race stages, I’m pretty happy with that.

Here’s my entire ride with all data on TrainerRoad.

Updating the current status of the ever-thinning Peloton: 1,026 riders started this challenge, and after the first five stages just 329 dedicated cyclists remain.

Today is Stage 6, and it’s a time trial. This is going to be a tough stage. It’s a one hour stage, but the main challenge is a grueling 20-minute climb towards the end.

As tough as today’s stage will be, it sits in the shadow of Saturday’s wicked “Queen” stage. I just saw what’s in store, and it’s pure evil. More on that tomorrow…

John Stone Fitness Comments

2 Responses to ““8 Days In California”: Stage 5 recap”
  1. John, I’ve been following your tour progress and it sound like the most fun anyone could hope to have on a trainer. Good show and good for you for hitting all the options.

    You mentioned something about road racing. A good first out option might be to try a Chip timed Gran Fondo in your state. Up here in Ontario, we have Centurion (http://centurioncycling.com/canada/) and it is open to everyone. I did the 100 mile last year, and most of the top 100 were CAT1/2 riders (out of a field of ~1000).

    I personally like the format more than most of the races I used to do. Just one big road loop with plenty of feed stations. Corner marshals everywhere, support vehicles, go as hard as you like. Just start in the “racer” corral.

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    • Hey Joe, thanks for following along and for the kudos! I think you’re right, this is about as much fun as I’ve had on a trainer. TrainerRoad has done a great job with this event.

      I don’t know how far out this feature is (or if it will ever materialize), but there’s been talk of synchronized group rides on TrainerRoad. That would add another very cool facet to these kinds of challenges.

      Thanks for the race suggestion. I plan to pick the brains of some of the local road racers, and I’ll be sure to ask about those and see if there are any in my area.

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