Tour De Zwift 2021 – Stage 7: Standard Ride

After completing Stage 6 with no time to spare yesterday, it seemed unusual to do Stage 7 on the very first day it became available to ride.

But truthfully I just wanted to get this one over with.

Jungle Circuit is my least favourite of all routes on Zwift. The options were 2, 3, or 4 laps. I chose 3 laps – the Standard ride, and that was enough for me, today.

I had expected this ride to showcase the new route addition to the Jungle Circuit. But come to think of it, none of the new routes in the recent patch have featured in this years Tour de Zwift. That’s kinda unusual in my opinion.

Today I opted to hit the Circuit on a mountain bike – I think it’s a Specialized something or other, can’t remember what.

Anyway, it definitely seemed to make a difference in terms of speed both up hill and down hill.

So if you are taking part, be sure to switch bikes appropriately.

I put a lot into yesterday’s ride, and wasn’t feeling super fresh for that one from the beginning. Today felt a lot harder, and yet my effort, comparatively, was down significantly.

I’m not entirely sure why I am not a fan of the Jungle Circuit. It’s not that bad. I think maybe it’s the off-road combined with the long up hill that’s kinda undulating. I’d rather it was just straight up, no little dips that mean I need to muck around with gears and lose my rhythm.

Fortunately for me today, I managed to hit the draft of a rider in front of me for several laps. It wasn’t that I was abusing his position, I genuinely couldn’t have pushed much harder, and without him my time would have been significantly down across the board.

I do always feel bad when all I do is draft – but he seemed stronger than me throughout so not a lot I could do.

On the third and final climb, I switched things up a touch and went for climbing at 4.0w/kg, compared to roughly 3.5w/kg on the two prior laps.

By the time I reach the top I was knackered. And whilst it seems like it would be a long coast down hill, there’s still pressure required on those pedals. I think that “home stretch” effort was the hardest of the bunch today.

Crossing the line I was definitely happy enough that I’d only selected 3 laps, not 4.

If I’d have had to continue for another lap today I think it would have mentally broken me.

The other crazy thing today was that I ummed and ahhed with having a few jelly beans on hand – one per lap, to act as miniature rewards.

In the end I actually forgot about this before clipping in, and by then it was too late.

But on the second lap my youngest popped in, opened the sweets box, and grabbed a handful.

My God. The sweet scented aroma. It killed me. How much did I want jelly beans at that point?

A lot.

Right. So, I’ve still not had any jelly beans. How mean. And my kids have eaten all my lollypops as well, so no sugar whatsoever since I got off the bike. It’s a damn outrage.

Tomorrow will be a protest rest day. All days shall be rest days from now on, until a new batch of lovely chocolate lollypops arrive. It’s literally my only incentive for riding.

I think there is one stage left now of TdZ. And I think that comes up at the weekend. No idea what’s in store, but I hope it’s nice and flat, as frankly my legs are not best pleased with having to constantly work hard.

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