Yesterday was a bit of a mad day.
I had a long cycle planned to finish off my latest block of training and see me into a rest week. The British Cycling E-Racing National Championships Qualifier was being held on Zwift and, despite the beautiful weather which was tempting me out onto the road, I decided this could be an interesting new experience.
I haven’t tried many races on Zwift; I tend to go all out in competitions so too many would be detrimental to my training plan and Ironman goal. In the races I’m used to, there is no drafting, no peloton; you’re completely on your own, effectively racing against yourself to get the most out of your body. So my (possibly amateur) tactics going in to the race was to stick with the front group for as long as possible. At first it was to stay in the front pack for the first lap, then the next KOM hill, then the last KOM hill, then the final sprint to the line. I went in with no expectations and managed to finish 2nd, amongst a very strong group of professional cyclists.
In hindsight, I’ve noticed I treated this as any other interval training session; only focussing on the next sprint or hill and not thinking about the length of the overall race. This may be why, during the final sprint, I came from the back of the pack and passed almost everyone to finish in 2nd. I hadn’t worried in the run up that a sprint was coming; I just dealt with it when it arrived.
The commentators seemed just as surprised to see me there as I was; “Adam Labbett- not a name I’m too familiar with…”
I’m now in the pretty surreal position of having the opportunity to go and race in London at the British Cycling E-Racing National Championships Final. Now I just need to buy a race licence and gather as much data as I can to prove to British Cycling that I deserve to be in that final.