What a ride! The weather was atrocious. I’d been following the forecasts like a hawk and none were even close to accurate. Hence I underdressed for the occasion (merino base layer, jersey, armwarmers, gilet and legwarmers and overshoes). It rained most for of the day and on the climb of Col du Maquisard we were treated to a massive hailstorm.
I met up with @Macy before the start but we soon lost contact when the large peloton broke up on the outskirts of Liège.
The first part down to Bastogne was against a strong headwind. The undulating terrain made it hard to stay in a good group as every time you found some guys with a nice rhythm on the “flat” bits another climb would scatter people all over.
After arriving into Bastogne, nearly half frozen there was a long stretch on a dual carriageway with strong side winds which required some concentration to keep the bike straight. At this stage I was begging for a nice long climb to get warm again. This arrived finally in the form of the Cote de Saint-Roch a nice sharp steep affair. From there on the weather improved slightly and the climbs started to follow in quick succession all leading to the final three timed climbs of La Redoute (6m:50), Cote des Forges (6m:40) and Roche aux Faucons (Falcon Rock) (6m:50).
I must say that the work on Trainerroad paid off in spades. I was able to ride the longer climbs at sweetspot and the steeper stuff was all out VO2Max. Beforehand I wasn’t sure if my preparation of mainly trainer crides of 2 hours at the longest could prepare you for a 10 hour monument but at no point did I feel like I wasn’t going to finish. Better yet I was able to keep to my power targets throughout. The information on nutrition strategies from the podcast also helped and my strategy of consuming approximately 50g of carbs every hour was sufficient to see me through without bonking.
In all it’s a ride I would highly recommend. If the weather was better it would have been more enjoyable of course as this weekend was more about type 2 fun
The next day after watching the start of the pro’s it was nice to meet up with @zwillis1 for a coffee and a chat about our exploits.
For anyone interested here’s the strava file of my ride