Spain take their Masters riding seriously; we had closed roads,
team cars, support cars, ambulances following us and the Guarda
Civil blocking off the traffic. It was amazing.
Day 1 was 95km; the first 4 km was meant to be neutralised but I
knew this would be manic when I saw we were surging at 400w in the
After 4km apparently the red flag went down and it was now
officially a race; to be honest I didn't notice any difference!
The better riders stay at the front; the further back you are
the worse the accordion effect - gaps open and it's a nightmare to
get on a wheel. But I decided that given this was my first road
race in probably 10 years that I would stay out the back and
'learn' on the go.
My only previous race had been a crit last year at which I got
dropped after half way - it was windy and there were way too many
surges for my liking. Today had all the hallmarks of that again -
it was really windy and as soon as a gap opened you were pushing
500w trying desperately to close it.
The first 30 minutes were crazy and I was sure I was going to
pop; and if that happened it was lights out; there is no way you
would ever bridge back to the group with that head wind.
That first half an hour was done at an average speed of 44 km/h
and a NP of 305.
My highest heart rate in training has been 175; today I looked
down with alarm and saw 179! I thought there was no way I would be
able to do this for 2 hours.
Fortunately it slowed down eventually; and we got in a steady
space of c 42km/h and around 250w - though if you daydreamed for
even a moment you left a gap and had a very unpleasant 20 secs of
max effort to get back on a wheel.