Zwift Games 2024 (B): Stage 2 – Jurassic Coast

An interesting one for me today. After yesterday I thought I was going to have an endurance ride today but I went to bed last night thinking I’d put in one shift and could probably do another back to back.

As is sadly a bit or a tradition now for me it appears I have missed Stage 1 of the Zwift Games so Stage 2 would be my starting point. I’m sure there will be a make up week.

As is also tradition I did barely any recon for this one beyond seeing what times the events would begin and a cursory glance at the route. It turns out the route is new and the whole mention of this being a Sprint stage something quite misleading. Personally 220m of climb and sprint do not got in the same event in my mind but hey ho.

It should be said that the climb here is really one reverse KOM of Titans Grove and then the rest of the climbing meters are done gradually over the remaining 10km or so.

My field size was about 150 strong and I got away well with a short stint in with the front 30 until we turned onto Titans Grove and I realised some climbing was involved in proceedings. 

By the end of my excursion through Titans I was sitting around 99th. C’est la cie.

In our small group there was one guy who was doing all the work and he pulled us for a long time. I had absolutely nothing left after the Titans climb and I felt so bad that in the end I put it in chat that I was grateful for his pull but there was no way I could take a turn on the front as his pace was more than I had to give. He didn’t reply with words but shortly  thereafter he set off and dropped us four. It then somehow became my duty to pull.

I took us for another 4k or so and then I could see the group of three behind us slowly gaining. I did some quick and dirty maths and could see if they kept that pace they would catch us at the line. And as we all know everyone inevitably speeds up either the closer to the line they get or if they can see a group ahead that’s flagging.

Realising this I eased off and told the two guys drifting me to take a pull. Neither replied it stepped up.

I was getting more and more frustrated so I decided to put my banked aero power up to good use and dropped my sprint with about 1.5km to go. I saw them respond but just as quickly fall off and I managed to gap them by 5 seconds. Knowing I would sag after that effort I fully expected them to catch me again but they didn’t. And whilst it was grim I rode it out to the end glad not to have done all the work to being home two lolly gaggers.

All in all I am not necessarily pleased with that result but for my current physical state I thought I did OK. God am I not cut out for Cat B.

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