Race Watopia: Stage 5 – Going Coastal (B)

Thursday. Race day. And as it’s the big new release week of the latest update to Watopia, we were off to a new route for today’s race, Going Coastal route.

This route is one of the flattest I have raced on yet.

As per, I had planned to be on at least ten minutes early for this one.

I knew it was going to be a blast from the off. But work calls kept me occupied until after 11:50, and by the time I was on I had under a minute left on the count down.

No warm up.

No problem.

Bosh, out of the gate this one was – as expected – fast.

Being at least fresh after only a brisk but fairly short walk yesterday (new coat arrived, had to test it out), I was feeling decent in the legs… for the first 10 minutes or so, anyway.

The pace soon took its toll.

Actually it wasn’t crazy fast in the first half. After the initial blast out of the gates and up the little slope into Fuego Flats, the pace did settled around about 3.5w/kg for me.

Fortunately I have some knowledge of the new routes now.

That came in handy because whilst the Fuego Flats part was practically pancake flat, the new section after was a little more up and down.

Nothing much, but those little 4%’ers really do split the pack, and it’s easy to find yourself at the back if you mistime it.

One such incident came about 11km in. I got a feather power up and deployed it on a 2% section, only to find the road kicked up to 4% pretty much as soon as the feather wore off. Whoops.

From 11km to around 14km the pace noticeably ticked up and I was working super hard just to stay in the bunch.

There was a definite ‘fear’ of needing to tap out around that point, even more so when the ~14.5km marker saw the pack absolutely surge and I was up and out of the saddle, practically sprinting to stay in touch.

Even with my on-going Polar HRM strap having issues, I knew my heart rate was sky high at this point and I was super fortunate really that the road levelled off for a good while from then on. I wasn’t the only one, it seemed, who needed a little breather.

Amazingly I was still with the front of the pack as we hit the final kilometre.

But then they bolted and there was simply no way I could hope to put in a shift for a full kilometre.

So off they went, and all I could do was watch.

All of a sudden my position slipped back to ~30th, the oh so typical spot I find myself in around the end of most of my races.

I think I was out of the saddle for the last 200m. I can’t honestly remember now… all I know is I worked damned hard to the line.

A pretty typical result all round for me. Can’t complain. It was a good workout.

I stayed on and rode to 30km, pretty much because yesterday was a fairly light activity day and I felt I should.

But honestly I’m glad tomorrow is a true rest day.

On the plus side, I do like my new coat.

So yeah, not much more to report today.

I quite liked the race route. It was a good challenge. Also I feel like I gave it a solid effort during the race.

It’s a shame, actually, that my ZwiftRacing.app result is pretty poor. I didn’t get into the points this time and as a result have dipped in my ELO Rating. I mean, I won’t lose sleep over that, but it seems to go against how I physically feel right now.

Which is to say that I feel like I’m improving.

Maybe the numbers say different.

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