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OPINION

The ultimate end of season race

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Martin prepares to race up another mountain

I was sitting down with Dave and Tony, pondering the idea of Everesting my local bump (I’d have needed to climb it 180 times as it provides just 100 feet of climbing per ascent) when they mentioned  the Taiwan king of the Mountain (KOM) challenge. Having just completed an MBA with a few Taiwanese students I was aware of this bonkers race and my first thought was absolutely not a chance!

The race starts right next to the beach, and over the course of 105km it winds itself up to the grand height of 3275metres. Of course I was going to say no, you’d have to be mental to want to ride that….

Then, over the next couple of hours, as I rode back home from Birmingham I gave it more considered thought. If you’ve ever considered a challenge you’ll know that when you get to the stage of serious thought then it’s going to happen!!!

Of course, regular readers will know that my wife may well be a stumbling block in such a challenge, so over the course of about 5 weeks, I primed, hinted and bribed her until last sunday she said YES! Bloody Nora, I’m off to Taiwan! (she’s got herself a lovely pair of Rieker winter boots out of it!)

First things first - get a new passport, as the last one was left in a hotel safe in Verona during the Transcontinental. Done, it’s being printed as I type.

Over the last month I have tried to prepare for this final race of my season, as things stand my board shows 2 DNF’s, with the Transcontinental and the British University 25m TT, so this is the redeemer. 3rd time’s the charm an’ all!

How the chuff do you prepare for 105k uphill? well I contacted Dave Smith aka @ffflow, rather like Dave did himself and sought to trim a couple of kg off - as things stand now, I’m wearing a ‘tailored fit’ suit for the first time in my life, and the slim-fit shirt actually fits! Without wishing to blow my own trumpet, I look akin to a bearded James Bond - with dark brown hair and no gun.

I’ve messed myself up at the gym, pushing harder watts every week, and trying to improve my cardio overall - including rowing and running my first 10k (62 minute, including warm up time, if you are wondering), and there have been improvements! Last night, according to the Wattbike, I pushed over 700 watts for 30 seconds (didn’t puke), and I can do nearly 250 watts for a full hour. Add in a dose of adrenalin, sitting in a peloton, and the necessity of finishing this race and I am hoping to complete in about 5 hours.

I fly out in just over a week, and will have some time to acclimatise and take in the sights of the Taiwanese national cycling festival before the race - there will be pics!

To be continued…..

 

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