Ainslie firing up after his bad performance in olympics


Ben Ainslie Finn for Great Britain

Ainslie fired up to redeem “terrible day”

Ben Ainslie hopes what he described as a “terrible” day on day two of the Olympic Regatta at Weymouth and Portland will fire him up for the rest of the week.
The three-time Olympic champion sits third overall in the Finn  class after four races, 11 points behind overall leader Jonas Hogh-Christensen (DEN), after posting scores of six and 12 from his two races today.
He said: “It was a difficult day. For whatever reason, I wasn’t finding the wind or reading the wind very well. I don’t think I went the right way once all day so that was pretty frustrating. That’s a challenge to overcome and hopefully I can get my act together for the rest of the week. I’m not very happy with that at all. I had a terrible day. I really didn’t perform and hopefully it will fire me up for the rest of the week.”
Ainslie, who picked up two seconds yesterday, enjoyed a clean start in race one and managed to once again capitalise on good pace downwind to punch his way clear of the pack, working his way through to fourth at the halfway point. But with Dane Hogh-Christensen once again revelling in the shifting conditions, Ainslie lost ground upwind, rounding the fifth mark in sixth then crossing the line in the same position.
The Brit was handed a massive boost at the start of race two when Hogh-Christensen got stuck on the pin end boat, forcing him to do two penalty turns.
However, the delay to his start actually ended up playing into the Dane’s hands as he was able to get a clear view of which side of the course was paying off and headed straight in that direction. When Ainslie, who had gone out to the left-hand side, saw his rival head right he immediately changed direction to temper Hogh-Christensen’s progress.
But although the move initially helped the 35-year-old Brit, he couldn’t find an answer to the Dane’s exceptional turn of pace throughout the rest of the race and trailed across the line in 12th, while Hogh-Christensen consolidated his overall lead with a seventh. Jonathan Lobert (FRA) sits second overall after a fourth and second today.
Ainslie had been keen to play down hype before the regatta that the gold was simply his to lose and he makes no bones that he will up his game if he is to claim his record-breaking fourth Olympic crown.
He added: “Hopefully it will begin to get a lot better. It goes without saying it will have to go a lot better otherwise I’ll be a very unhappy man. I certainly have to sail a lot better than that for the rest of the week. It’s a number of very small things; there is a very fine line between success and failure at this level so I will certainly have to raise my game for the coming races.”
The Finn class is scheduled to resume at 12pm tomorrow (Tuesday 31 July) with both of their races (race five and six) scheduled to take place on the Weymouth Bay South.
The Olympic Sailing Regatta runs from Sunday 29 July – Saturday 11 August. The Finn medal race is scheduled for Sunday 5 August (2pm).

Obree sportive 2012

I feel tired as I type this

more so than I should after a 109km cycle …. I blame the fact that my bike still has too many white bits on it and also the fact that I gave blood on Thursday …… Well I was more curious on the affect of giving blood so I googled it ….

An article in Omega Cycling by Dr P A Lambeti (MBBcH), said, in part: “A study has been done looking at the effects of blood donation on exercise
performance in competitive cyclists. This study evaluated 10 male cyclists before and after phlebotomy (donating blood), to determine the effect of donation of one unit of
blood on exercise performance. Each subject underwent maximal exercise testing with oxygen consumption measurement at baseline, 2 hours after phlebotomy, 2 days after
phlebotomy, and 7 days after phlebotomy. The results found that maximal performance was decreased for at least one week and that submaximal performance was unaffected by blood donation.
Thus, if you are a competitive cyclist, do not donate blood within 7 – 10 days of a competitive race, as your performance will be compromised. If you are a casual cyclist
performing submaximally, you may not experience any deleterious effects apart from a higher heart rate than normal from the day after donating.”
Monster facts. Also 150,000 people faint or feel faint after giving blood each year.

So there you have it – if I hadn’t given blood I might have been a minute or so quicker.

readout of gps on endomondo

To the event … Graeme Obree is the most famous Scottish cyclist not plauded enough for his achievements … The breaker of the hour record, the inventor of the superman and the prone position both subsequently banned by the UCI. He now runs an annual sportive which takes place in his native ayrshire. This year was the first time I entered and the event was fantastic. A great course taking in 3 smooth climbs with great descents. The sportive was also fantastically marshalled and signposted so I was over the moon. My only downside was the fact the polar RCX5 heart rate monitor ran out of memory due to the fact I forgot to delete all the old records and the memory was nearly full when I set off.

Graeme in the spirit of the sportive cycles the whole course at around 22kmh in order to chat to people … I passed him on an uphill and he shouted an encouraging ‘good climbing’ I said thanks in reply but had I known it was the man god himself I would have slowed to chat.

Well maybe next year …. Watch the film the flying Scotsman then come and take part.


Olympic road race

A bit of a disaster today – starting favourite and over hyped was always going to prove a curse. All the teams left the Brits to chase down the pack of 22 escapees and sadly 4 men can’t tow a pelaton and catch up with a group of 22 elite riders. Germany decided to help at the last but by then it was too late …. The group of escapees worked together well and as they were about to sit up and play for position Vinokourov shot off the front on the left and the Colombian diced through on the right – no one chased and pretty soon gold and silver were sorted.

Vinokourov and Rigoberto Uran (Colombia) had escaped from a larger breakaway in the final kilometres of the 250-kilometre race around London and Surrey. Vinokourov opened up his sprint in the final 500 metres as Uran appeared to look the other way and miss the move.

The young Colombian had to settle for silver, with Alexander Kristoff sprinting at the head of the large 30-rider chase group to claim bronze for Norway.

Cavendish came home in the main bunch 40 seconds behind the leaders after Great Britain failed to bring back the escapees on the journey back from Box Hill to The Mall.

A pre-race favourites and with such strong home support, it was Great Britain’s race to lose. Cavendish, Ian Stannard, Bradley Wiggins, Chris Froome and David Millar had controlled the day’s events admirably on the nine ascents of Box Hill, pegging back the time advantage of an earlier 12-rider escape group, an attack by a group containing Vincenoz Nibali (Italy) and a lengthy solo move by Philippe Gibert (Belgium). But the effort took its toll.

A large group, led by Spain and Switzerland, launched at attack on the final Box Hill circuit. With no other teams willing to assist in the chase, Great Britain looked tired and isolated on the road back to London as the lead group forged ahead.

Cavendish’s hopes of an Olympic medal once again evaporated, and he crossed the line in London shaking his head in disappointment.

“The Germans came a bit too late and the other teams seemed to be more content that they wouldn’t win as long as we didn’t win. That’s kind of how it goes,” Cavendish told BBC Radio Five Live after the race.

“I can be proud of how the lads rode today. I’m proud of my country because there was incredible support. The guys are sat there, they are spent. They have got nothing left in the tank. It’s incredible to see what they gave for the cause.”

There were several notable casualties during the race, not least Fabian Cancellara (Switzerland) who crashed out after misjudging a corner whilst in the lead group. He appeared to have injured his shoulder, throwing some doubt on his participation in the time trial on Wednesday.

Tom Boonen (Belgium) also had his chances dashed with a badly-timed puncture in the final 20 kilometres. A wheel change meant he lost contact with the peloton.

Controversial winner
Vinokourov will be seen by many as a controversial Olympic champion, after he failed an anti-doping control for homologous blood transfusion at the 2007 Tour de France and was ejected from the race.

The 38-year-old has always strenuously denied any wrong-doing and returned to cycling in 2009 after a two-year suspension.

Earlier this year, Vinokourov announced that this would be his last season as a professional rider.

Grand Day Out
The result may not have been what many British fans were hoping for, but the support for British riders along the route was unprecedented.

UCI president Pat McQuaid’s estimate that one million spectators would turn out to watch the race cannot have been far off, as crowds lined every street and road on the entire route.

It was once again proof that cycling is riding on a high in Britain after this year’s Tour de France success.


New tattoo – spot the bike bits

Had my tattoo yesterday at lucky cat in glasgow – it is a well respected parlour with a 5 month waiting list. Had a tattoo done which mixes a love of Mexican day of the dead illustrations with my love of bikes. Can you spot the bike bit? Look up now before I reveal the fact it is in …. The eyes – spot those single speed cogs.
It is still a bit ouch but should be fine by the sportive on Sunday.

Have any bike (or sport) tattoos? Send me a pic and I will splice them on underneath.