So had our first local club race tonight. Last year I only did 3 races with a pre-op inguinal hernia and got dropped fairly quick all three times. My Surgery was 6 weeks ago and I have been training and riding following the program for a year or so. Pre surgery my ftp was 272. My last test last week was 244. I left it at 272 because I’m stubborn but I could not finish baird +6 this morning.
This winter I bought a roubaix and bought the swat box for it that goes below both water bottles and above the bottom bracket.
I got dropped around 1/2 way through the 56 km race tonight on an uphill. I tried with a couple guys to bridge but they just didnt have enough to try. At this point the gap was about .5 km. I decided that I would either bridge the gap or puke trying. The 3 leaders were rotating doing about 20 second pulls I think. I chased them for 11 km and finally caught them. They had been looking back fairly often for those 11 km to see what was going on but they did not stop working together.
When I finally caught them one of the leaders of the club asked if I had been juicing all winter or if I was just using the e-assist. I had no idea what was going on and just told him that I had spent the winter on the trainer.
I tried joining the rotation but every time I put on the power and pulled through I would end up 4-5 bike lengths ahead. I also noticed that if I fell back they would chat and if I pulled ahead they would chat. I had no idea what was going on, I asked what I was doing wrong on the rotation, said I was trying to work with them to no avail.
Then they tried to lose me on the climb I originally got dropped on and I just put the power up to about 424 watts and went right by. At this point I realized what was going on and let them catch me. When they did I said loudly “can we please slow down a bit… My bloody battery is getting low and I want it to last the whole bloody race.” This prompter the leader to ask “so your not using an assist?”, “I said hell no”, he asked what that box was at the bottom of my frame and I told him it was a swat box with a tube, tire lever and co2 cartridge and head and that there is no bloody assist on my bike. He said holy crap had I improved and he apologized.
It was at this point that I realized I was way stronger than the other 2 and should have taken off on them. But with what went down I decided to stay with the 2 guys still with me and work together. In the end I lost by a quarter wheel on an uphill sprint because one guy bolted and I chased like a rabbit and the leader just followed me up the hill and passed at the last minute. Classic strategy and I have never been in that position before. Also this week is the first time I have actually been able to sprint in 1.5 years as all my riding has had to be seated because of the hernia.
For an old guy I’m really happy about tonight. If I could just drop another 30-50 lbs I would be thrilled!
Thanks TR! Without you guys I never would have been accused of cheating.
I did show him the swat box at the end. Just wanted it to be above board!
Wow my 20 min max average power climbed to 307 watts