My first Spanish Road and TT championships
After a recent break through in me being able to get my Spanish passport and DNI card, I was given the opportunity to represent Madrid in the Spanish road race, time trial and track championships. The road race and time trial took place last weekend, while the track championships starts in under 2 weeks.
Participating in the national championships in Spain is far different to the UK, where instead of racing for your club/team you have to be selected by your region to have the opportunity to race. In my situation, I was lucky enough to get selected to race for Madrid so I was equipped with a new red and white kit! I guess it is similar to school games or inter-regionals.
This year I have been very fortunate in that my first ever road race and TT champs were held on my home roads here in Spain; the roads I train on every day. The road race even passed my front door! Likewise the track championships are also being held in the Galapagar Velodrome in Madrid.
Despite the track championships being quite close to the RR and TT my plan was to focus solely on the road before, and then in the 2 week gap to the track championships to shift all my focus on speed work, i.e. on the track, motor pacing and standing starts. My road training consisted of time trial type efforts, all on road and tt course (they overlapped).
Both races were set in very hot climates, something I obviously hadn’t adapted to yet as I struggled… a lot, with hydration and the temperature. In hindsight, I knew the courses wouldn’t suit my strengths because of the hilly nature of my area but I tried to remain optimistic.
The TT course was very challenging, consisting of many hills and technical descents. Unfortunately I did not have my Time Trial bike in Spain for the race but I did have my Trek Madone, which was the closest I could get. Knowing the course, I thought I would prefer being on a road bike anyway and that a TT bike wouldn’t be necessary, but now knowing the results, the majority of riders who came high in the ranks used a TT bike.
For some reason last year, while others got into time trialling, I never did and now I wish I had. I think I got my pacing wrong as except from the individual pursuit on track, I have never had much practice at it. So pacing and learning how to time trial properly is something I really want to learn, knowing I am really not that great at it.
As for the road race, all was well on the flat section, being up near the front, but then came the rest of the course. I don’t really know what to say but it just went down hill from there. I rode like a yoyo from the front bunch, falling back on the hills and catching up everywhere else. I made sure to go to the front of the group every time I caught up, but because of the amount of hills, I spent most of the race in the convoy. It became quite demoralising and I was gradually becoming less motivated as the hills went on, but when I saw my coach, he gave me that one last mental push to get me to the line and finish. It definitely felt like a battle in my mind.
Both in the time trial and road race, I averaged a very high bpm, which shows I have quite a lot of work to do with my fitness.
All focus is now on track and I will be back with another blog after track nationals hopefully with some better results!