I’m starting to show some cracks. Today was pretty damn brutal. We did three big climbs; the first and the third were for KOM points, and I got second on both of them. It’s not the end of the world since I’m miles ahead on KOM points, but what hurt the most was that Newsom beat me on the last climb. I was hoping to get a bit of a lead once the KOM points roll into the yellow jersey, but it doesn’t look like I’ll get as many as I thought.
We had a bit of a later start this morning rolling out around 8:15. It’s weird; I’m starting to miss getting something out of the way at 6am. Getting our daily run or swim over with before breakfast seems pretty nice. However, when we have a huge day on the bike, it’s also nice to be a little fresher for that. An easy 10k run puts a little fatigue in your legs that can be nice to have on a KOM climb. Breakfast was amazing again. We had our personal chef make us scrambled eggs with all of the other usual stuff. Scrambled eggs have been rare enough this trip to still be considered pretty special.
Rolling out was also pretty casual. We started with a 20k descent, so a lot of people started off early since they are slow descenders. I always thouht climbs separated people, but on this camp, there seems to be a huge differential in descending speed as well.
The first climb was for KOM points, so we regrouped at the bottom. As soon as we started, something was off. Turns out my back tire was nearly flat, so I bouncing around a lot and hitting my rim on the cracks in the road. Not good. I contemplated just riding it the entire way since it wasn’t completely flat, but luckily Julie was right behind us with the van. My tire was pretty bald, so we just swapped the wheel. Unfortunately we swapped it to an 11 speed cassette (my bike was 10 speed.) It worked, but the gears were jumping all over the place. I was expecting to take this KOM pretty chill, but this flat set me back 7-8 minutes. John stopped and waited for me up ahead, but everyone else took off. I had to push harder than I have all camp in order to catch people. I got everyone but Walter. I was a little disappointed since I wanted to get every KOM, but this one was out of my control.
Descending the Cormet Du Roseline was absolutely frigid. In hindsight, I should have put on another jacket. It was beautiful though, but we were in the shadow of the mountain, and I turned to ice. Once we got to the bottom, we regrouped at Ian’s van, fixed my bike, and warmed up. The climb up Saisies wasn’t for KOM points, so we mostly climbed together and took it easy. There was a really nice aid station at the top of Saisies, and most of the group was there. Rarely does that happen. We descended and regrouped at the bottom in anticipation for the last KOM.
The last KOM was probably my least favorite climb of the camp. It was short, but the first part of the climb was a descent. I couldn’t get away from Newsom, and as soon as the road pitched up again, he took off. I think the main part of the climb was only about 8km long, but it was a mentally tough 8k. Newsom was about 200m up the road, and Peter was about 150m behind me. Newsom got neutralized by a stoplight with 2k to go, but I didn’t have to stop. As soon as that happened, he had the win. I wasn’t going to pass him, but I did sprint a few times to make him push. The top of Aravis was pretty underwhelming, so we descended pretty quickly and made our way to the accommodation.
We still had to do our swim and run for the day. We had the option of running into town to the pool or running back. Newsom decided he was going to do his 7x1k reps after the swim, so we drove to the pool. It was a relatively uneventful swim other than grabbing some low hanging fruit in terms of swim points. I did the 200m butterfly that I missed the other day and the 12x(100m IM + 150m free) set.
I was dreading the 1k run reps after the swim. My quads are trashed right now, so I was hoping to use exclusively my hamstrings on this run. We found the flattest section of road that we could which happened to be about 1k from our chalet. Before I knew it, we were done with the reps. The first one was tough, but once I warmed up, they got a lot easier. I was pretty happy about that.
The rest of the evening was pretty uneventful. Dinner, internet, and blogging. The wifi is good here. For once.