Tour De Zwift 2021 – Stage 5: Shorter Ride

Work it
Make it
Do it
Makes us


Top work from me today. Out of all the screenshots that actually mattered (to me) – of which there were two – I managed to capture exactly zero. Well played, Chris. Well played.

These screenshots were my finish time, and an FTP bump.

Total fails, yet at the same time, technically my strongest performance yet on the bike – from an FTP test perspective. So, frustrating not to have captured them, but I’ll do my best to work around it.

For today’s ride I took part in the Tour de Zwift 2021 Stage 5 shorter ride. I did the longer ride yesterday so was neither mentally nor physically feeling great for this one.

At dinner time I just didn’t feel up to it, so I skipped the lunch ride and decided I’d go for 4pm. By 4pm I was more than ready for it, physically at least, having spent a stressful day sat in a chair.

And so on we went, with about 5 minutes of warm up. So, really, not enough. But better than nothing.

Out of the gate I was over 200w, and for whatever reason, I kept it up.

I don’t know why.

I don’t know how.

But around the 5 minute mark I decided to see how hard I could push for 10 minutes.

At the 10 minute mark I figured I was keeping with this pack, roughly between ~40-60th place, and for several times, I was leading that pack. It felt good, but I was well aware I was burning pretty much everything I had.

But I kept on pushing.

In the end I did a 20 minute effort. Pretty much exactly 20 minutes. I tried to go a little bit longer, but I was dead. And also I wanted to try to stick with the pack, so knew I had to recover at pace – about 3.0-3.2w/kg, if I was to stick with them.

Spoiler: I got dropped from that pack.

But I wasn’t disappointed. I’d given it my all for that 20 minutes, and came out with a new FTP of 235w, based on 95% of the 247w I’d averaged throughout the effort.

That works out at 3.8w/kg at my current weight of 65kg, which is 0.1w/kg below my yearly target.

I don’t know how or where I’m going to find that 0.1w/kg from. But it’s a promising start, given it’s January and I hope to be in better shape come the summer.

I gave myself a fairly long-ish breather after the 20 minute effort. I fell off the back of the pack I was leading. Such is life.

I managed to stick with a pretty big pack for a good long while, but as we came around to the home stretch – the long down hill towards Libby Hill KOM – I was in a small group of 3. We were ahead of the pack we had been with, not sure how that happened now.

I’d managed to pick up a feather power up on, I think, the fourth lap of The Fan Flats, so held on to that for the hill finish.

As yesterday, I kinda bodged the feather. I went too early, but whatever.

And then it was all over. A very short climb finish really at only 600m. Not quite yesterday’s Volcano.

Unfortunately the Zwift Companion App crapped out on me so I couldn’t get the finish line screenshot.

From Zwift Power, my time was 47:30 at an average of 236w.

My best performance of the TDZ so far. Please enough.

Ending the ride, Zwift bumped my FTP, but again I bodged it and missed the screenshot. So here we are from Garmin Connect:

And that’s been my week.

Going to take a well deserved rest day tomorrow.

This ride was barely any shorter than the Longer ride – at just 10km shorter, it felt long, very long on tired legs.

I guess the only short part was the climb.

No idea what’s coming in Stage 6. My guess is the Jungle Circuit? It feels like a long while since Zwift forced me there, and with their new route down that way, it feels like a dead cert to feature on this TdZ.

We shall wait and see.

For now, bath and bed.

4 thoughts on “Tour De Zwift 2021 – Stage 5: Shorter Ride”

  1. Hey Chris,

    Congrats on the new power figures! Looks like you’re well back from the covid. I’m trying to sneak my weight down from 68kg to 67kg post xmas feasting, I say sneak cause the missus isn’t so keen on super skinny Phil! But w/kg I say, she isn’t sympathetic lol. I’m trying for 4w/kg 20min for this years goal, currently at 3.86w/kg for 20min at 68kg.

    Apparently shorter hard intervals is what needs to be done, generally I avoid as they’re so hurty. Might have to put on my man pants and get stuck in though if I want to get there *sigh*.
    Anyway, good luck with the rest of the TdZ!


    • Cheers Phil – yep, I put it down to the ridiculous advent of cycling concept I did as a real kick start of getting back to “normal”, followed by the TdZ rides during which I have been really pushing myself hard. Not entirely sure why, either. Just feel like I should.

      I’ve had similar feedback re: the weight. All my clothes don’t fit me now. My jeans are falling off me, my t-shirts and shirts are baggy as heck. My wife keeps saying either buy new stuff or put the weight back on, as I look a bit ridiculous. I’m not convinced I’m staying this weight, so I can’t bring myself to buy “size small” stuff 😀

      4w/kg is hardcore isn’t it? I’m wondering how I can find it within myself to push for that extra .1w/kg, and yet, I remember being unable to comprehend breaking 3w/kg, yet here we are. So I know it’s possible, somehow, and maybe it’s as much mental as it is physical? A promising start to the year, anyway, all things considered.

      When you say short and hard intervals, is there a particular session you’re aware of, are is that a more general statement?

      Cheers as always,


  2. I’ve been reading a few articles and it seems every “expert” has a different theory or there is some new study. I’ve read a recent study shows 30s hard 30s easy is good although they weren’t specific on how hard ia hard, guess you got to pay for that info. My more experienced mate reckons the Gorby is the way to go and I have seen guys he rides with who do it once a week or once every two weeks get really good gains off it. But to be honest, I’m not sure I can bring myself to do the Gorby once a week, that sucker hurts bad! There is definitely a mental game to that one as much as physical.

    • heh, I’ve not done the Gorby yet. Any workout called “the quitter” is one I’d tend to shy away from 😀

      I reckon – unscientifically of course – that I was seeing my best gains when I’d force myself to do a hard climb every Sunday morning. Pure sadism, no wonder I stopped that. But looking back, I’m convinced pushing myself hard once per week, combined with other rides, was efficient / beneficial.

      Another part of me – the part I find myself more aligned with – says I’m not here to make the Olympics. Sometimes just going out for a lovely chilled out ride on a Sunday is simply more fun. No pressure. No targets.

      Maybe I’m failing the mental game! 😀


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