You know that moment when you think… “have I just bitten off more than I can chew?” Well that happened for me just the other day when I entered the 2018 Tour of Bright. Yes, I have entered it before (twice infact), but due to various circumstances, I’ve never been able to actually compete… until now – fingers crossed.
The problem is -in terms of fitness- where I am and where I think I need to be are two vastly different places. But I have just under 9 weeks to cram before the exam, and that is what I fully intend to do. I’ve just completed three good weeks of training, and am using that satisfaction as a motivational spring board to push even harder for the next nine.
The Tour of Bright is a 3 day stage race in and around picturesque town if Bright in the Victorias North East alpine region. Spread across the opening weekend of December, it encompasses 160 competitive kilometres across 3 stages. Stage One – a 14km Individual Time Trial. A long enough effort where pacing will be important. Overall placing is however less relevant due to the finishes of stage 2 and 3. That said, I love time trials, so it’s certainly one where I would like to put my best foot forward and give a solid effort.
Stage Two – 90km road race around what is called “the Gaps Loop”. A flat start from Bright followed by an ascent of Rosewhite Gap, and topped off with the finish at the summit of Tawonga Gap. It’s here where the race really starts to take shape, the climbers come to the fore, and it becomes immediately apparent who has done the work in the lead up to the event.
Stage Three – 55km. Seems simple enough. Oh, but you are racing up Mt Hotham. Yes. Racing. Up. To anyone who has ridden this climb, it is a tough day out regardless, but I think racing will certainly be a few levels harder again! With the brutal finishing grades hovering around 10% after already climbing for 20km, you can start to understand why the stage one TT might start to become insignificant. A blow up here, and you’re losing minutes. Hopefully I can hang on long enough to not disgrace myself, or at least have a good laugh in the grupetto!
With the breakdown above you can start to understand why it feels like I have written a cheque my fitness can’t cash. However I’m determined to put in the hard yards to give it my best shot. I’m aiming to check in here each week with a brief training progress update, and discussion of my approach.