The Occasional Athlete

A cyclist trying to be fast(-ish) again

Cotswold Cyclo Race Report

Posted at — Mar 28, 2019

The week before last was week 17 of The Plan, and a big week it was too! It started with another ramp test and with it another bump in my functional threshold power (FTP) - a 5% increase to 271W. I’m starting to get in genuinely good shape now! At the end of the week, I had my second event of the year, the Cotswold Cyclo by Hammer Sports, which was 143km around the Cotswolds. This was another “race”. I finished 8th of 55 in just under 5 hours and 20 minutes. The course was rolling with a few substantial climbs, the largest of which were Foxcote Hill out of Ilmington and Campden Lane out of Winchcombe. The latter is an absolute brute, averaging 9% for 2.1km with a 600m section averaging 13% and maxing out at 25%! 400W at 45 rpm is not fun, but is probably representative of what I’ll face at my target event, The Fred Whitton Challenge in May.

I’m sure you’re all dying to know how the race played out! Well, it was less exciting than my previous race. After a sedate start, I was sitting comfortably in the main group for the first hour or so, with a few other guys up the road. I dropped the group on the first big descent. Not deliberately, but when I looked round at the bottom there was nobody there so I cracked on! Aside from the massive headwind, the next couple of hours were fairly uneventful - a few from the main group behind caught me, and we caught and dropped of few of the riders ahead of us. It was down to three by the time we reached Campden Lane, the major climb of the day. I was straight off the back! I really put the hammer down once we got to flatter roads but couldn’t get back on, so I had a lonely final 50km!

What went well

There were lots of positives to take away from the race and the training leading into it. In particular…

What didn’t go well

There was also some things that didn’t go so well. In no particular order…

What next?

Well, firstly, I’m spending this week building back into hard training after my knee trouble. Then next week it’s back on it, with a five-week block of hard training followed by an easy week leading into Fred Whitton. I’ll be addressing the limiters I mentioned above - lots of supra-threshold intervals and hopefully dropping a few kilos - and may do the occasional time trial.