The Royal Pump Room 8 course
What a tough course! Its also quite complicated, so I had to give and repeat quite a lot of information at the outset!
There is a 14% wiggle (the Strava segment is the Pot Bank reverse wall (in this direction)) at the stream at the western extent of the course – see it here:-
This is quite apart from the two sprints, the first KOM (the Harlow climb) taken at tempo as a peloton, and a second, reverse KOM taken as part of the 10kms minirace to the finish. Probably a good thing my HRM wasn’t working, I might have frightened myself! All ride data is at https://zwiftpower.com/events.php?zid=262499 for those registered, and on Zwift Companion for everyone.
We had 162 booked to ride, with 146 riders and 64 finishers which says something about the difficulty of the course!
Companion dropped out three times in this ride, but David was able to keep communications going on screen. He, Sean Ekblom and I were on Discord which is a BIG help in coping with any tech issues!
It’s a difficult course to keep a peloton together, as it is so undulating with stiff climbs, as we saw in the “wiggle” picture above. This figure 8 course also has the sprints and KOM too close together to regroup easily in between. Eventually the course flattens for the last 4kms run into the finish, but by then the damage is done! I did have a little group to sprint with to the finish! I beat Bisani, but the “nearly” philosopher Nitschke beat me!
I lost too many to the fence for my liking, some quite near the beginning, as the first sprint is only 2kms from the start, and the fence needs to be tight for the lead-in to that.
Maybe two forward or two reverse laps would be better – to be researched! Congrats to Christiaan Stange for his win (he suggested this course and now we know why!) and to Sean Ekblom for his podium, both regular riders of ours. Sean will get his Tron bike on his next big ride later today, following the 490m(!) of climbing on our 6Points course. Here are all the results:-
As we can see above, this week I was actually slightly under the advertised pace, averaging 2.3w/kg and 177 watts. To be honest, I was having to peer so closely at my pace notes to make sure where the sprints and KOMs were, I couldn’t press on as hard as I might have done.