Tour de Zwift 2022 Stage 5: Long Ride

Leg’s not complaining too loudly and 11am meeting finishing on time for the first time … ever(?!) I managed to get on to this ride with a good ten minutes to spare.

The only failure was in leaving my headband / sweatband thing on the radiator, and only noticing after we’d set off. Whoops.

Five stages in and it’s been a fairly intensive few weeks. I’m definitely more fatigued than usual, but enjoying myself. Going into this one I wanted to get a decent start and stick with the third pack, if at all possible. I’m well aware I’m not strong enough to stick with the leaders, but so far have done OK in the third big bunch.

And so it was.

Lap one was going well enough. I struggle on the flats and Zwift was giving me no help by way of Draft Van power ups. Just lots of + experience. Boo. A feather would have been nice for that first climb… but no.

Definitely went too hard on the first climb. I think I hit 190bpm heart rate even staying in the saddle. I definitely pushed above 4w/kg average, which was silly.

Coming out at the top, the pack I’d been with had fractured entirely and I found myself on the grinding slog to find some leg power to reach 23rd Street.

Unfortunately I suffered a major mechanical at the top of 23rd Street.

Going from the little ring back to the big, I lost my chain … and about three minutes of time. I struggled to get the chain back on, and once I had I was so filthy with oil I had to spend a minute or so washing off what I could.

Ahh well. It’s not a race, but it wasn’t a good feeling to lose so much time.

I’ve only ever had my chain come off three times. Once outdoors, and twice on Zwift. Both times on Zwift have been on Richmond in this very spot.

After that I did manage to find another bunch by the start of lap 2, and found myself working hard again with them to swallow up several small bunches ahead of us.

I always like to think of the game PacMan when doing this. See the bunch ahead and try to eat them up. Maybe is a more accurate representation though.

So yeah, whilst I kept up my effort, my time today wasn’t what it could have been.

That’s not a real pity other than it meant I didn’t get as much time to shower and grab some food before having to get back to my desk.

Overall though, the only other thing to add today was that whilst I enjoyed this one, I kinda wish I had gone outdoors all the same. It’s cold out there, but it’s dry and I need some fresh air. Hopefully the weather holds now till tomorrow and I do get something of a recovery ride on my dinner break then.

Then it’s looking like Saturday for Stage 6, whatever that may hold.

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