I wasn't expecting to win. I was expecting to get dropped, and I did. Positives though: I stayed in as long as I ever have in a 2/3 race, in conditions that could reasonably be described as 'challenging'.
So I've been working up to this by doing indoor training, on TrainerRoad. And trying not to eat too many pies, which at this time of year is easier said than done. I started doing some indoor stuff back at the start of August, with an FTP of 310W and weighing about 95kg, so about 3.25W/kg. Back then I reckoned I'd need to get up to 3.75W/kg to stay in a 2/3 race at Odd Down. In the end I made it up to about 3.5: weight down to 92kg, and power up to 323W. And that wasn't enough.
On another day it might have been: it's not just about the numbers of course. It was a horrible day up at Odd Down, with the wind gusting to gale force and squally rain showers: probably the worst conditions I've raced in at Odd Down, and that's up against some pretty stiff competition. I've tended to find that conditions like that don't suit me, what with my large surface area. Also I found I was definitely missing some top end power; the plans I've been doing on TrainerRoad (even the crit-specific one) have tended to be light on actual sprint efforts, and with two hairpins and a tight corner into the home straight there are a lot of sprints in an Odd Down race. I'm aiming to add a bit more sprinting into the indoor mix but as much as anything it's turning up on a Saturday and just getting on with it that's going to help there. And maybe mixing up the commute a bit more.
Back on it again on Saturday. Hopefully it'll be sunny and calm, and all the second cats will have Christmas shopping to do.
Dave is a founding father of road.cc, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.