Coach Ken,

My big race at Rangitumau and I had a rotten weekend. No sleep Saturday night, three hours Sunday. I was wasted again.

Slept most of the day Monday and was back at work today, feeling tired. Of course. [editor’s note: he is paramedic]

At venue, warm afternoon, 19c, light wind. Legs felt fresh even though my head felt very tired.

The course for the road race is tarmac, very smooth, power way better than on the sealed roads. The course is in the valley and offers snaking powerclimb and long sweeping downhill. Ride fast flat section back to powerclimb. The finish line is atop the climb Lap 4. I love normalized watts on this course, comparing to other road races and crits.

Less than 15 riders in A grade, less than 15 in B grade, about three dozen in C grade.

The start is usually fairly brisk. I did not want to get gapped and started briskly. I lead into the climb and rotated back. I stayed with kopgroup on the climb, then pulled near top of climb. I expected the next person to come through. No one came through. I was ahead about 20yds. I eased up on downhill and waited for the three others to join me.

We rotated through the flats and back to the climb. I was at the front again and pulled away without realizing. I eased up, they caught up but seemed a bit slow, I took the lead and pulled away again.

I was on the flats when I eased up to allow them to catch up again. I was trying to keep my head down a lot more after what you told me and I was going much faster, I just did not want to bake on next two laps.

We rode to climb for Lap 3 and I rode at the front but not pushing it. Three riders passed us. I accelerated and got on the back. One rider – also a friend – later told me he thought I would never stay on.

The three riders weren’t super-aggressive so I was able to stay with them. We rotated smooth and efficient to Lap 4 and we were climbing again. This was final lap and I set pace for half the climb and one of them must of thought I was a bit slow, so he took over.

Two of the riders pushed pace and kept sharing the lead. I was maxed out as we climbed to the finish. I was expecting to watch a big attack but it didn’t come. We finished in a line, one behind the other with myself 4th overall.

Not all the hotshots were there. A few riders who can sprint up that finish weren’t there. But, I was there and will take my first podium with absolute pleasure.

The HR shows I was working hard. I was working hard.

I have picked up where I left off last season in terms of performance and I have never climbed better. Thank you for helping me keep my kilos correct this winter. I mentioned that I wasn’t sure the power meter was reading right, but that isn’t worrying me. The increase in speed up the hills, and the times on certain courses, is confirming my fitness. I am loving it.

Now the caffeine has worn off and I feel really tired again.




Your talk of motorbiking and racing has me thinking about getting another one. I have been watching some more of the Irish Road Racing, like the Northwest 200 and the Ulster Grand Prix. Amazing.  Watching bikes drafting at 160 -190mph in a similar way to cyclists, Wow Dude!