Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Tour of East Taiwan Race Analysis

This weekend's race in Taiwan went OK- not great but OK. I had a bit of bad luck at crucial stages of both races. Full report is up on The short story is that on Day 1 I made it over the climb in the lead group but a crash in front of me going into the final corner put me out of contention for the minor placings having decided that breakaways weren't a good idea given the hardest stage was the next day. Day 2 was all going well for me, again making it over the main climb in the 2nd lead group until an untimely puncture as the race was kicking off put me out of contention (the dip in the blue speed line on the 2nd graph). A final breakaway attempt failed as I blew up on the last climb, feeling the efforts of my chase to get back on after the puncture. 

It'd be quite easy to be disappointed by this, given the amount of training, travel and organisation I've done for this race- to have all that wiped out by someone else's crash, a flat tire and a slow wheel change is very demoralising, but as the saying goes 'that's racing'. It's doesn't always go as you hope and you have to try and draw on the positives. Looking at the analysis graphs from the race I have to say I'm pleased that I was able to dig deep on the climbs with some very high Zone 4/5 anaerobic threshold efforts, which take a lot out of you, but the fact I was able to do these efforts, even on the 2nd day shows my form is good. I can also read that given the races (not including neutralised sections - marked with a lap counter) were run at average speeds of 42 and 41kph I  was able to hold a fairly low heart race for much of the race which shows I'm learning energy preservation skills, which is what stage racing is all about really- using as little energy as possible to conserve for when you need it. It's all a learning process and with a bit of luck and some harder training I think I could possibly do something in this race, which is about as high a standard as amateur racing gets in Asia. Had I known the score with the sprinters jersey I might stand a better chance with that, but when you've not idea what the difference is between a sportive feed station marker (run at the same time as our Elite race) and a 1km to the sprint sign it's pretty tough (learn Chinese?!?). Hopefully I can carry this form into some smaller races and get a result other than 'finished in the pack'. Some photos below:

Tour of East Taiwan Photos