Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Tour of Japan, stage 5 madness

So the tour of is over and in between long bus trips and tasty bento boxes there hasn't been much time to think anything let alone even write anything. So the best most memorable events must get blogged first

So check THIS out.

That is Shawry's garmin/strava file from what was far and away the most ridiculous race of my life. It bordered on insanity.

Rumour has it when Kristian House won the same stage in 2010 for Rapha Condor he said it was the hardest stage of his life and he was glad it was over. Well back then they raced 98k.

We raced 148k!!!! (This point needs a severe and comprehensive exclaiming.)

Have a look at what Wurfy wrote about it

Or maybe peek at the youtube video

And don't miss all the purty pictures that Cycling iQ has posted

Just look at it!

Or maybe just trust me when I say it was ludicrous.

Like a roller coaster ride for road bikes. The course twisted, turned, climbed, dropped, cut back on itself and managed to give everyone motion sickness, whip lash and the urge to cry. You would come out of a corner with G forces throwing the rice in your stomach around like clothes in a washing machine only to whip out, up and around onto 'yet another' climb that not only sapped (these climbs were especially potent 'sappers', one would almost deem them to be 'grippy') all your energy and momentum but every time made you contemplate why on earth you were doing this.

But each lap you would remember why;

-You would pass your soigneurs handing out drinks.
-You would see the time gap to your team mate suffering out in the break (thanks Shawry)
-And you would look back and see your DS bored out of their skull in the team car

After 4 hours I can safely say all riders went through every stage of the emtional cyclist mental scale

1) Apprehension of the extreme fisting your are about to endure
2) Slight excitment whilst pondering the 'epicness' of the ride
3) Denial after the first lap; "Surely they didn't mean 12 whole laps?"
4) Frustration after the 2nd lap; "This is going to be a long day"
5) Contemplating death on the 3rd lap
6) Contemplating death of the 4th lap
7) Laps 5-11: See Laps 3 and 4
8) Lap 12: "Thank you sweet jesus that is over. Someone find me a corner of the bus to die in. Wake me once we get to Tokyo."

The whole day was rather analogous to the famous Milgram experiments

Give a normal person the authority of a UCI endorsed race organisor, and they can convince a bunch of directors to do absurd things to a bunch of cyclists under their control.

Or maybe we wanted to do it? Maybe we are just masochists.


I just like that fact that I get a tuna sandwich and some free sashimi after the race. How cool is that!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Ultimate Blogging Australia

Wow it's been a while. But I'm back on my feet!
Since oceanias and queenstown there has been plenty happening

-Tour de India got cancelled so that landed me an extra three weeks training back at home
-This training was highly satisfying. Mostly consisting of the half wheel variety with Mark O'Brien who lives round the corner. He also makes a tasty fish taco. Let it be known

-There was a bit of suffering at Baw Baw with myself playing a team role and the team going 1-2. So that was good. And it didn't snow. Bonus

-Next cab was down to Mersey Valley in Tassie for a week of checking out the course for the Upcoming NRS tour and hanging out with Kane Walker and Blake Hose.  On our first day we spent $200 on vegies. A week later, after been stuck in tight in the small cabin, we were all pretty sick of the smell of each others (mostly mine) farts/

-We raced Mersey Valley Tour itself. Nathan Earle was the standout for us with a 2nd on stage two and winning stage 3. Our DS gave us a bollocking for messsing up tactically on the 2nd stage. We deserved it. It also pissed with rain the whole weekend. Then all the results were wrong. Honestly, it's like the only correct result was that of the winner (because Mark O'Brien kicked cleary won..) Anyway apparanely most of that has been sorted

-Then it was off to Borneo. That was were the hot action was at. The only downside to Borneo (like the rest of malaysia) is that once you've seen a palm tree, there isn't much that will exite you when you proceed to spend the next 1000km riding past palm tree after palm tree. My god. It's like groundhog minute. For 360 minutes a day. Despite that we went, well, alright

We got 2-3-5th on GC, won 3 stages, won the KOM and won teams GC. But, we screwed up the first day tactically and that lost us our chance of winning the Tour as we let the eventual winner Michael Torckler from PureBlack get up the road.

Now I find myself hanging out in a tight little hotel room in near Osaka hacing just smashed round a 2.5k prologue.

I must apologise for the lack of bloggery (yep that's a word) but I have been busy writting some features for Ultimate Cycling Australia . One of the articles is a summary of the Interview I got to do with Chris Boardman back before the track world cup and the other is a bit of a thrown together mish mash involving interviews with Dan Macpherson, Steve Bracks, Shane Perkins and Tony Abbott. It's been a busy time!

That's it for now I do believe.


(PS: no editing going on here ;-) )

PPS: anyone interested in following Tour of Japan or any othe Asian racing you should check out Cycling iQ on the net, and on twitter.