Tour De Zwift 2021 – Stage 4: Longer Ride

Well them, Stage 4 of the Tour de Zwift 2021 is already upon us, and frankly it couldn’t be as demanding as Stage 3.

With only a day off since riding the Alpe, I have to say I was feeling a bit knackered going into this one, but generally I did about as well as I hoped. I aimed for a 3.2w/kg average, and by and large I managed this. I also aimed to complete the ride in under an hour, but given that it was 43km, that bit I didn’t manage.

Of course I’d never manage that in real life either, but on Zwift, with a huge pack, and with a largely flat route, a man could dream.

The ride was decently attended, with 1751 riders taking part. Not bad for a random Tuesday afternoon at 4pm, but also significantly down on the huge numbers who took part in Stage 1.

I’ve still not looked at the routes ahead, but surely we are over the worst of it at this point?

With that mindset, I was quite looking forward to riding this one today, even if Sand and Sequoias isn’t a favourite of mine.

On the first lap I made decent time. I had zero warm up so had to warm up whilst en route. No big deal. It’s always nice to start out at a steady pace and slowly but surely eat up a few of the people who went out of the gates with all guns blazing, only to be dead on their arses by 10km in.

I’m not a fan of the rolling climbs. I find them very difficult to get a rhythm, and whatever gains I do find I make on the ascents, I very quickly seem to lose on the descents. Today, however, I didn’t do so bad. I managed to keep my fairly steady cadence and rhythm on both laps. Happy enough with that.

The climb, such as it is, is basically a flat having come off the back of the Alpe. It’s over quickly enough – 5m or so for me – that whilst it registers, it is more of an “on” block in an SST effort than anything truly mind breaking like the last 10 corners of the Alpe.

That said, I wasn’t quite looking forward to having to do it twice in short succession. Once would have been fine.

It’s unusual for me to put in a better time on my second lap than my first. Such was my desire to end this one today. I managed to find some good tunes on YouTube to whack out and push me through.

Following this, as ever, the pack decided to race it to the finish line. I kinda went with it, but not a ridiculous sprint effort. More of a steady ramp. No point blowing my legs, it’s only Tuesday.

Happy enough with the time. Again, it’s Zwift miles, not the real deal.

What was interesting was the Garmin estimated me at about 32km, so I was pleased with that. I put a lot more faith in the figures that tells me. I’d be happy to do 30km+ outdoors in an hour.

I haven’t looked at what the other routes are for Stage 4. I may do another one on Thursday, if I can get on early enough. 4pm is a good time for me, still got the motivation to do it, and it’s still “early enough” when I get off after an hour.

But tomorrow is going to be something nice and easy. I feel like I deserve a bit of a breather.

Until then, it’s bath time.

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