Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Illovo Eston

After 2 days of travelling what felt like around the country, Mannie, Melt and I arrived at the Illovo Eston Mountain bike race. The event in the past was a drifter race, this year however it was not but this did nothing to detract from the three thousand riders that lined up on Sunday for the various distances. Our MTN team dominated with a first,second,third, riding a big gap into the rest of the field. Now I'm home, doing some last preperations to try and defend my marathon title this coming Saturday. I've prepared harder than ever and the raw data from Activeworx with the SRM powermeters is looking more than on track. The legs are feeling good and based on this weekends race, should be enough. Just need a small bit of luck too!

Monday, July 21, 2008

MTN Team training camp

Herewith just a short update on my last 10 days or so: basically flew home last week Wednesday after my short European trip and was great to spend some time at home with the family. Training at home was a bit of a shock hitting winter weather after being used to super summer days in Austria. Presently I'm in Nelspruit on a team camp with the road team. We raced the Jock cycle tour on Saturday, was my first time and I battled a bit with the adaption back to the road bike after spending all my time in Europe on the MTB. DG and I smashed Boulders and rode about 4min into the bunch in the next 40km, however with 25km to go I formed a "mushroom cloud" explosion as I blew badly. Just managed to peice myself together to the finish but at least Dave was able to stay away to win. Neil finished 3rd in the bunch kick to the line. The rest of the week will be spent doing some specific training with Activeworx and will be final prep for Marathon SA's. All said and done though I should be on track for that one. At least we have summer weather here, great for training! Keep you posted, hasta la pasta.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Race Report Worlds

Marathon World Championships, Villabassa ,Italy

Well my fifth Marathon World Championships is in the bag and although it was by far my best ever result, I have some mixed feelings about the race.
To begin with, I was only seeded in 88th place, and with the first climb of the day starting immediately, it would mean I would have to go flat out from the start, maybe using up too much energy for nothing.
So we began with the first climb of about 1000m vertical, and I had fought my way into the front pack of about 20 riders, containing all the favorites. After the long descent the group simply sat up. This allowed for more riders to join from behind and ultimately meant I probably could have saved a little energy up the first climb. I found this frustrating but none the less, you never know and always have to be near the front of the race to be in contention.
The second climb of the day, although not so long but steeper than the first, the race exploded and soon I found myself with only about seven riders, still all the big names left giving me extra motivation to ride myself into the ground. As we started the third climb, the remaining group began to splinter and soon I was on my own. I was starting to feel the first two hours of hard racing and needed to eat and drink more which is difficult to do when you on the limit.
At this stage in the race, I had left Karl Platt and Thomas Frischneckt and was riding in “no mans land” to try and get on to the wheels of a Swiss trio including Buchli and Naef. I think this was my big mistake as if I had just slowed down as paced myself with Thomas and Karl, my top ten place was almost secured. Instead I went with a “go until I blow” attitude, and it was a pity but a valuable learning experience as Thomas and Karl came flying past me just before the start of the final climb. Thomas would go onto catch some more riders and finish in seventh. I would suffer on riding with Frenchman Thomas Dietch, loosing three more places to finish in 14th spot. The final 30km was a real suffer fest and most of the riders were taking strain at this point, however with some reserved energy here, you could have made up a few valuable places. My finishing time was 5hrs5min for the course of 120km with 4000m of climbing, about 20minutes off Sauser and Paulissen who were simply in a league of their own. It was great to see Gilberto Simoni and Mirko Celestino finish only 2minutes ahead of me.
Anyway, another lesson learned and I have a good idea of what I need to do next year to ride into the top ten. As far as my preparation and training went for the event, with Activeworx and the support from the team, I could not have done more or been better prepared. I have a perfect blue print for next year, and hopefully a better seeding with a little more international racing to ensure this, I’ll achieve my goals.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

14th Marathon World Champs, Italy

Quick note- finished 14th today in the World Champs, my PB and the best todate by an SA rider in Marathon. Was so hard, I'm still battling to see straight. Was a pity as on the final climb I lost the wheels of Kessiakof and Spaeth and they managed to catch Platt and one other rider to just make the top 10. So close yet so far, perhaps if I had my skinsuit on I might have been that five minutes quicker!
Better report to follow later, awseome race for mannie coming in 18th position, well done Ou man! Till ,later.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Training Austrian Altitude

When an Austrian tells you we go make an easy ride, don't follow them, unless you don't mind 2000m vertical climbing in an easy 60km loop! The training has been good and the altitude adaption is fine, whats been hard is adapting to the after 12 in the afternoon schedule. As we only race at midday on Saturday, I've been doing all my training the past ten days in the afternoon, by this time my normal body routine is sleeping! Anyway, the Hotel Wiltschnig has been really good to me, best home preperation for the big day! Will let you know how it goes..