Ask RIDE…Trust House Cycle Classic – Stage 2

Masterton to Admiral Hill

Yesterday’s stage went better than the last. With Chris Jory in 5th place it was important to have someone from the team in the break and in case it was caught that person could then help out if Chris or Geoff came across. After a solid first 20 minutes the break away of seven was formed. I got into the move just after a short and steep climb and before we knew it we had a 3 minute gap. Two riders from the yellow jersey team, Pure Black Racing took turns to control our gap which at one point was 5:48. The leading group worked well together but with the impeding two climbs in the last 20km everyone was careful not to push themselves too hard.

At the 100km mark came the 1.5km climb up Te Wharaw Hill. The climb was a 39-25 slog up the 200m of vertical ascent. This thing was a wall and peaked at about 20 percent! This split our cohesive group apart with three moving off the front and two of us chasing behind. A fast decent then led into the final 13km up Admiral Hill. A few kilometres into the ascent I was informed by Trent Wilson (our DS) that Chris was coming up with the yellow jersey group and once caught I was to “drive it, full gas!”. Chris saw me, immediately attacked and gapped the yellow jersey of James Williamson and rocketed towards my rear wheel. Some final last efforts with him on the wheel closed the gap to the leaders a little bit until I could go no more. He was off in pursuit and I came to an ubupt halt, zig-zagging across the road until I could breath again. My work was done for the day, continuing up the climb at an easy pace while staying aware of the work required over the coming days. There was no point in continuing to push hard. And besides, losing 15 minutes on stage one means I am not here to ride for classification. I’m here to do the job for the team and over the next three stages ensure Chris is kept out of the wind until the last possible moments. Sam had a great ride and came in with Chris’ group, just off the winner of the day Nathan Earle from Genesys. Chris finished 6th on the stage, 1:52 down on the winner of the day and is 1:26 from the new leader George Bennet (NZL).

Westley Gough (NZL) from the Subway team will be providing his averages for stage three. Unfortunately I’ve had some technical difficulties getting the SRM – TrainingPeaks files uploaded so instead I have listed my numbers for the day. Today (stage three) is a flatter route and covers 162km from Masterton to Pahiatua and finishes back in Masterton. Just a couple of kilometres from the hotel. Brilliant.
Here are a couple of images from the day. Thanks to Ali for taking them from the BikeBug.com team car.

Stats for the day from the SRM.

125km

255 average watts

160bpm average heart rate

1555m climbing

3,500 calories

Averages for the day

49 minutes at 344 watts

18 minutes at 438 watts

Garmin map courtesy of Sam Rutherford

p1270095Waiting for the start of stage two which started at the hotel – the Solway.

p1270117Pure Black didn’t put a rider in the break away and instead rode to protect the leader’s position. New Zealand Olympic representative Glen Chadwick did a mountain of work on the front.

p1270118Phil Grenfell and Chris Jory ride comfortably in the bunch during the 125km stage.

p1270131Beautiful country side makes life tough whether in the peloton or in a break.

p1270142A sign that the end is near. Adam Phelan and I wait for the approaching groups. Adam put in a ripping turn for last year’s second place finisher Lachlan Norris soon after this photo was taken. I waited a bit longer when Chris jumped across to me and put in some final efforts to help him close the gap to the front riders. He ended up moving one place closer on GC to 4th overall.

p1270148The view from half way up Admiral Hill is spectacular. A rain shower doused the riders for the final five kilometres which was not particularly well received. By the time we were getting changed the sun was out again.

p1270152Chris makes his way to a top-ten finish on the stage and another place closer to the yellow jersey.

Alex

Alex Malone is Technical Editor and staff writer for RIDE Cycling Review.

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