Monday, August 22, 2011

ECFR11 – Day 7 – Chicked again

Swim 40mins
Bike 172km (Col du Forclaz, Col du Pre, Col du Saisses – 3000m elevation gain)
Run 8km

There was not a lot of chat at lakeside at 7am this morning. The epic fatigue is now deeply rooted in some of the campers and we were staring down the barrel of a BIG day. The swim was a hoax swim but a good way to wake up.

We had some guests along today. Rachel Joyce emailed me saying she was in the area so she came along and we interviewer Tamsin Lewis on IMTalk a week back so she came along with her boyfriend Declan as well.

Our route today had us heading to the far end of Lake Annecy to some classic climbs. Hywell has helped pick these out for us and assured us they would be epic. Getting down the lake on the bike path was horrid but the pace was easy which I think most of us were OK with. Annecy is simply a beautiful place which is why I wanted to bring the camp here but at this time of the year it is seriously heaving with people.
Finally we got to the first warm up climb, the Forclaz. Tamsin’s electronic gears weren’t working so she spanked us all up the climb out of her seat in a large gear.
Up through Beaufort and onto the Col du Pre. We’d been forewarned this was a tough climb. The usual attacks started and as usual I just settled into my rhythm. With a few athletes caving today I found myself in a good position just keeping a steady rhythm. I could see Steven not too far ahead as we came through switchbacks. For a moment I tried to put in a spurt but then hit another section of over 10% and decided survival was the best course of action with at least half the climb to go. My plan was simply to keep it steady which I thought would mean level pegging him and if he faded then I would pounce. This carried on for a while then all of a sudden I came around a switch back and he was not far in front of me at all struggling up a particularly steep section. When I came up to him a slight ease in grade meant I could easily get out of the seat and put in a good surge to get a gap straight away. Then I saw Zach not far up ahead but I ran out of real estate before we came over the crest of the climb. I was feeling the best I have all camp. My effort was not higher but I think a combination of improving fitness and the others getting tired meat I was 4th over the top

Next up was the Saisses. A 15km climb with a good mix of all sorts of gradients. A near carbon copy of the previous climb and I was 3rd to the top behind Clas and Rob P with Zach fading. He put up an awesome challenge to Clas on the this camp in the KOM competition, the Tri and running race so no wonder he’s tired. A good dose of lunch and then downhill to the lake and home. The temperature was getting out of control around 36c I think and I was not looking forward to a run. Rather than an epic camp zombie run I wanted to tap it out at an OK pace (you can choose to run 8km or 50mins on camp for a point – whichever comes first). It ended up being a little faster and uncomfortable than planned. With Rachel and Clas we were well under 4min/km pace which under normal circumstances is pretty easy but with today and the rest of the weeks cumulative training along with the heat I was rather frazzled at the end. I promptly went straight into the lake to cool off.

A solid day indeed.

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