Well, it's done! Rode the route with Dave Youlton and Scott Muller from work and had a good outing. I'm afraid I'm still below par and once again I'm grateful for the support and courtesy extended to me during the ride by my companions, I'll hopefully return the favour when I'm firing on all cylinders. That said we all got round under our own steam and achieved the Gold Standard for the ride with is set at a finish time of 5:40 regardless of age, I reckon that's a high bar that's been set, more or less an 18mph average over 100 miles and 7000+' of ascent.
Our official finish time was 5 hours 27 minutes, the actual ride time by my watch was 5:25, the timing arrangements kept us standing at the start line for over two minutes having had our chips scanned before we were allowed to set off but no big deal.
The ride itself was hard and the similarity in my power outputs in comparison with the Polka Dot Challenge was startling and remain below what they were a while back, the Polka Dot figures are shown in brackets. Today's figures were:
Training Stress Score 414 (445)
Intensity Factor 0.876 (0.867)
Average Power 216W (214W)
Normalised Power 259W (257W)
Variability Index 1.2 (1.2)
My PowerTap gave me a distance measurement of 99.12 miles and my mapping software calculates the ascent for the route as 7307', our average speed was 18.4mph.
Ok, enough of that, just have to wait now for the official results sheets to see how we fared in the overall standings. The event itself was excellent, the route beautiful and predominantly on quiet roads. The organisation was brilliant, particularly the availability of motorcycle support for those people who were unfortunate enough to hit problems. The timing arrangements spot on, picking up your timing sheet with split times immediately on walking into the finish is really very very impressive and much appreciated. The feeds were well stocked, I don't think people could ask for more, I would like to ride the event again and I'll be trying to get a place next year.
Hopefully this current dip in form will pass but I just feel in my bones that it's going to take a while be it general fatigue from all the training, my dental infection and treatment with antibiotics, or a combination of both. As I've said before it's often what you do when things aren't going well that makes the difference, throwing in the towel would be no answer, well, not an answer I'm keen on!
So here it is...
If you would like to view the results sheet in finish time order click here.