Downland Cycles Spring Sportive

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Seriously, I’ve got to do something about my power output. On 3 occasions during the Downland Cycles Spring Sportive on Sunday I was dropped by stronger riders on flat sections of the ride.

The first time was OK: I decided I didn’t want to thrash myself just 50 miles into the ride; the second was the worst: riding right on the back wheel of 4 riders, I couldn’t shelter from the smashing head-winds, and faded away; the third was the final straw: having got lost with another rider, he then blew me out on the final drag home. That said, as soon as the gradient went up, it got much easier!

I finished the 100 mile route in 6hrs 04, 39th out of 132 finishers. My aim for the day was to get some big mileage in prior to next Saturday’s Tour of the Peak District, so I didn’t mind starting quite gently, and towards the back. Only after the first feed stop did the pace lift, as I went away from our group with a rider I’d seen earlier, shivering on the start line before we set off.

Around the 50-mile mark we hit Romney Marsh, and had to hammer into a really strong headwind for pretty much the rest of the way. (I detest riding into wind – it makes you feel like you’re going nowhere. Give me a hill, or rain, any day.) I’d been ‘tactically’ chatting to some of the guys for a bit but the chat eased off and we all got our heads down. The final stretch was a painful countdown of miles into Canterbury.

So –  tough day, it wiped me out for 2-3 days. The one good thing physically was that I had relatively little lower back discomfort, which was either a result of stopping at both feed stops to stretch, or proof that my core training has paid dividends.

Cheers to Downland Cycles for organising a well-signed route (I did go wrong once, at a tricky fork, but thankfully I got put right pretty quickly). I have to say, had it been wet, it would have been well muddy and gritty – a couple of points were closer to cyclocross than a road ride.

One Response to “Downland Cycles Spring Sportive”

  1. Legs, Feeling No Pressure » Get the Eddy by rich_mitch May 15th, 2010 at 9:45 am

    […] Mitchelson (aka rich_mitch) on Twitter following one of my sportive write-ups. We both rode the Downland event I think, and compared notes on the heavy headwind on the day. Anyway, a pleasant but unremarkable […]

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