Sail-World.com : Haute Route day 4 - The time trials take place + Video
Haute Route day 4 - The time trials take place + Video
'Haute Route 2011'
Artemis Racing’s Coach Andrew Palfrey reports on the fourth day of the Haute Route cycling race taking place in the French Alps.
Well, today was the time-trial. 12km uphill at an average of nine percent.
It was like a vacation today. Got to sleep in until 0700! Followed by big brekkie, then out to destroy myself for just over an hour.
The climb was really nice in terms of views and the history of the region. I got to the top fairly knackered, but was good five minutes later. Still trouble taking deep breaths at the top, as it was 2350mtrs altitude.
It was pretty cool being part of the whole Time-trial vibe. We set off at 20 sec intervals. You go into a cattle-shute set-up with about three minutes to go. You eventually get to the front. The guy holds you upright as you clip both feet in, the announcer gives your details to the crowd in french, people cheer and Paul Larsen yells out 'Go Dog!!'. The guy holds up his hand counting down from five with his fingers and you are off! Despite thoughts of going easy today, the adrenalin rush saw me get to max heart rate one minute into the climb..... Had to tell myself to steady down.
The ride today seemed to suit me well - most of my training is based on working at regattas etc and grabbing shorter rides here and there around the sailing schedule. So I normally get out for 90 or so minutes and try to destroy myself. That was the story today. I was about even par on being passed. about four really skinny French blokes passed me and I passed about four blokes who looked like they might expire at any moment.
Team-wise, Mark was similar to me. Paul said he did it a bit tough, but still set a really good time three minutes or so better than Mark and I. Fraser again dug really deep and got up there eight or nine minutes in arrears of Paul. Simon did not ride today. He is resting up after the hornet sting and will be back into it either tomorrow or the next day. Simon went in the van as support with Helena. As always it was simply awesome to be met at hte finish line with a handshake or a hug and to be handed a cold coke and a recovery drink. It seems also that our team of sailors have strengthened the grip on second place. The results are here.
Haute Route 2011 -
Helena has been at every feed-stop with a smile, some food, drink and general info. It is really solid. I would say that without having a few mates here and the support of Helena, this would be a really, really tough gig. but having team-mates and someone to hear your lies over dinner each night has made it pretty special.
After the climb, we waited until the rest of the riders finished and then cruised back down in convoy with the motorcycle escorts. This afternoon has been mostly about recovery and getting ready for tomorrow.
The nightmare continues tomorrow. It is the second hardest stage. We do three climbs. Two of them - the Iozard and the Col du Vars - are really difficult and we finish uphill at Pra Loup. The profile is attached. We set off at 0730, so it will be an early start trying to cram some food in. This is tough when you have no desire to eat. It is solely the promise of pain that makes you eat.
Finally, have a look at the video below, It is Mark Turner on the second climb of yesterday. I am the guy in blue next to him toughing it out. The funny thing is that I don't remember this interview happening - but I remember the old bloke in the van giving us some water and actually giving me a push start again up the hill!!