Yesterday Linda had been persuaded to swim out to collect our buoy after the aquathlon, earning herself a swim wild-card for today. She immediately gave it to Andrew allowing him a sleep in and was up at the crack of dawn for an extended swim, with Stephen and Jo this morning. The rest of the group were swimming at just after 7am and completed a lap of the Ironman course. It seems that she has truly got caught up in the challenge of gaining the most hours of training this camp!
The main even today was the Tabeyesco TT. This was handicapped (off our El Golfo TT on day 1) and would be for points. We all know that “points mean prizes”, and in this case we have a Freespeed bike fit to give away. We took the least pleasant, but most direct route to the start of the climb, riding friendly to preserve our energies, though Steven managed to make a real shambles of getting his group through San Bartelome, adamantly blaming it on the new one way system and thereafter felt obliged to sit on the front of the group all of the way along the LZ-1 to make up the lost time.
Everyone set off at 1 minute intervals based on their handicap order. Through the camp we draw on this competitive element, which really helps most people to get a surprising amount out of themselves despite being very tired on day four of the camp. Emma kindly agreed to go ahead and record the timings at the top so that for the first time on any of our camps, rather than having to time her own ride 5 minutes ahead of the “real” race, Jo was able to start on in handicap order. This really demonstrated how important this aspect is, since for the first time Emma’s time wasn’t as super -fast as she usually would be, whilst Jo cranked out an awesome 32:15- ranking as the fifth fastest ascent out of all our camps. To put this in perspective only Steven and Jon Heasman have ever gone faster on the camp. Mel continued to show how strong her cycling is with a 35:25 which is a 3 minute PB. Matthew showed he must be pretty handy with a multitool as his crank fell off just as he turned on to the zig zags, he fixed it and still finished in 39 minutes. Steven managed to post the fastest time of the day in 30:43, which is the fastest ever ridden on one of our camps. Some decent pedalling.
Lance’s excellent third fastest 33:35 was enough for him to win on handicap and thus get the Freespeed bike fit. He didn’t compete in the aquathlon which means he won’t complete the camp and as such Gregory is leading the points competition with 9 points.
Everyone enjoyed a coffee and food in the cafe at the top of Haria whilst Jo worked out the provisional results. Then we split pretty much in two with half of us heading straight back to give time for a longer run, or the opportunity for a more relaxed afternoon by playing run wild cards earned yesterday.
Those that chose to ride longer had an interesting afternoon, with a multitude of mechanicals all occurring within a very short time of leaving the cafe. First there were two punctures together with a faulty tube and a broken valve. As it happened, we were already on our way to Pro Bike to fix various bikes including: a new bolt for a set of cranks two inner tubes, a tyre, a new computer battery. Whilst there we discovered the need for new bearings for a front wheel, two other front wheels bearings tightening, and a new headset. We are lucky that it happened today when we had the time, but it did reduce our ride :o(
Already back at the PdC base, Andrew and Linda each went out and ran 12k immediatly after returning from their rides. Andrew appears to be getting stronger through the camp which augers well for Friday. This run kept Linda in the lead for total camp hours. Jo was the only one to take up her offer of a long run with a 20km trail run – one of the longest runs ever done on camp…or so we thought until Matthew returned from his late-afternoon run in the middle of dinner, having run 26.5km in 2hr 19!! This batch of campers are proving to be a seriously hard-core!
Tomorrow is a big day with two final races which will pretty much decide the camp winner, assuming that that person manages to complete the camp by riding the Ironman route on Friday.
You can follow Emma’s updates from camp via her Kinesis-Morvelo Project blog