Theatre Thursday: Dirty Kanza


A bit of gravel – and a nice knee wound

My buddy Nico invited me to do the Dirty Kanza, a 200mi GRAVEL race through the Flint Hills of Central Kansas. I’m never one to turn down a challenge so I accepted, and I’m still mad at him for it.
Let’s start off with the weather: 90 degrees, not a cloud in the sky. Normally my dream weather but in this case? All sunburn and dehydration party time.
Then there’s the wind, the dust, the never-changing green&blue scenery (just the occasional river crossing). “FUN” is not the word I would use to describe racing for 10+ hours in these conditions. But would I do it again? Probably.
Nico was aiming for the single speed record. Tim Johnson was aiming to finish his first go at this event and to support his wife (former Olympian Lyne Bessette) but she had a mechanical early on in the race. Rebecca Rusch, former Kanza winner, rode the 100mi and then announced the winners of the 200mi. Her advice to get through it? Don’t Stop. Seemed simple enough for a girl nicknamed “nonstop”.
I was just aiming to have a good time and finish. And I did (till the end). I guess there’s always next year? Big props to Nico for bonking and then getting through to the other side.

I want to do events like this ….


This type of racing is taking off in the good old trump of ASS

Would be good to do something like this in UK (race event not the buffoon poiliticians like trump and Boris)

 

the climbs to watch in the second week of the Giro


Cycling weekly look at the climbs this week – exciting

We’ve had a few tough ascents so far in the Giro d’Italia, but we’ve not experienced the true mountain stages that the race is famous for just yet.

As the race heads north the number of climbs on the route increases and the less the sprinters look forward to the stages. Three of the six stages before the next rest day are over 200km in length and there are 16 categorised climbs to take in between now and Sunday.

The sprinters will have their fun on stage 12, but week two belongs to the climbers and here are five of the toughest tests they will face this week, including a mountain time trial on stage 15.

Forcella Mostaccin (stage 11)

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It’s by no means the longest climb in the race at just shy of three kilometres in length, but coming at the end of a pan flat stage the Forcella Mostaccin climb could split the peloton.

With a maximum gradient of 16 per cent and an average of over 10 per cent for the last kilometre of the climb we could see a few attacks go off the front on this climb.

The race still has around 25km to go from the top, but the rolling nature of those final kilometres means it almost certainly won’t be a bunch gallop.

Montemaggiore (stage 13)

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Montemaggiore probably won’t be a decisive climb in the Giro because it comes so close to the start of the stage – the climb starts at kilometre 48 – but it heralds the start of a tough stage for the climbers.

Just over eight kilometres in length, the climb averages nine per cent, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. The first 2.5km kilometres are pretty straightforward, but then the hill ramps up to over 10 per cent for the rest of the climb, maxing out at 15 per cent in the final 500m.

There’s a sting in the tail of this one, and after a short descent the riders are heading uphill again on this very up-and-down stage.

Cima Porzus (stage 13)

The Montemaggiore climb earlier in the day may be more relentless, but after 130km of racing up and down mountains this climb of Cima Porzus could see a few riders crack.

Again, the climb averages nine per cent, but rarely does it go below that gradient. The riders will have to plug away for 8.5km at a steady gradient while they plan their finishing strategies.

This climb is followed by a shorter ascent to Valle, so attacks may come there rather than on the Cima Porzus, but this climb will certainly sort the men from the boys and the sprinters autobus will be stamping a lot of tickets.

Passo Giau (stage 14)

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Anyone who has completed the Maratona dles Dolomites sportive will know the Passo Giau very well.

The scenery is stunning, but the ascent is pretty relentless. From Selva di Cadore the climb starts off hard (a kilometre at over 10 per cent) and continues in a similar fashion for the next seven kilometres.

Again, this climb might not be in a location to be the place of crucial attacks, with another climb following immediately afterwards, but it promises to be a great part of this year’s race. One for the breakaway, maybe.

Alpe di Siusi (stage 15 ITT)

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As if riding up mountains wasn’t hard enough, imagine smashing it up as hard as you can with no teammates to help you out.

That’s what the riders face on the Alpe di Siusi on stage 15 as a mountain time trial could well separate some of the favourites for the maglia rosa.

Movistar‘s Andrey Amador holds the Strava KOM on the climb, set on a recce back in March, smashing up in 31 minutes at a modest 166 beats per minute on the heart rate monitor.

Piece of cake.

my 3rd etape Caledonia


I feel like i have done this event now – my first year was 2014 and the weather was fine and last year was in the pouring rain and howling wind and yet I was finished in nearly the same time.

This year I trained more and went on more rides and with good weather forecast I was hoping to smash my time.

But it my girlfriends mums 60th and a big house was rented and fine food booze and food was consumed. To top this off I left late in the morning to drive up and was stuck in traffic going to event parking when i should have been at the start line getting ready to head off.

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the course is a good one with 130km of riding around a pretty loch and then a wee ascent (about 1200m in all over the course)

6:30am and the elite and VIP’s head off. I should have started in Wave A with the faster boys but by the time I made the start wave C was heading off so for the first 20mile I was completely solo hoping to find a small group that was going faster and I could work with.

NO SUCH LUCK

Until a man caught up – he had punctured at mile 2 and had lost everyone so we worked together for a good hour. At one stage 4/5 people were tagged on behind but only we two were taking turns at the front so he drifted back and I heard him yell ‘I don’t mind you guys taking the wheel but take a f***** turn a the front’ 

That caused all but one to drop off and that person definitely took his turn from then on in.

Just before the climb I recognised my friend Carla who had started on time (8min in front of me) and we said hello and then the climb up Schiehallion started. I took this easy as I had been working pretty hard up to this point (in fact my slowest ascent of the 3 times)

The downhill was as lovely as ever …. and then into the back of a big group around Fortingall on the narrow singletrack road. The wind was unseasonal and Easterly so the last leg was into the wind but i was quite sheltered in a large group of 30 – never really making it up through the bunch to make a turn at the front.

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The thing about groups like this is that my speed is so much higher than normal with the massive slipstream benefit and after all my solo rides this year the time (miles) passed quickly.

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Average speed 33.6kmh (imperial says nearly 21mph) average.

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so my best time but not the sub 3h50/3h45 i was hoping for.

At the end a medal and a text with my finish time according to the tag on the bike ….FcertA4.tmpl-347-YRNJ

Etape Royale next – 100miles ….

 

The Giro is about to start so get your fantasy squad sorted …


The challenge is on … go here 

register a team – it’s free

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then enter my new league – lets see how good/bad we can be ….

MY LEAGUE:

League Name: The bike Blog league
League Code: 02090731

My thoughts this year run as Nibali as outright winner … but Vivaldi might give it all this year.  So spare 5 min and get your team sorted. Past experience has shown me that the longer I spend choosing the worse my results.

 

 

Friday bike poster: pantani


  
Read yesterday that the mafia have been implicated in pantani being thrown out of giro. Doctored a medical as they needed hi. Out as they had put large bets on him not completing the race …. So this Friday I celebrate him as the magical, lonely, manic and magical man he was.