Race 2015 Giro de Hotaka - The perfect Storm - The Final

Adam Cobain

Maximum Pace
Jul 1, 2014
153
257
83
42
Yubiso
veloxchange.cc
#1
Sometimes I come away from a training ride or race thinking why? Why torutre and punish yourself, what is the point of that? Do I have a problem, or does the modern world lack the certain hunter/gatherer fight to survive, or an honest battle of will power and survival. I mean we don't hunt for our food anymore, generally are not involved in tribal battles and while life has its ups and downs, it is generally moderate. I have often mused to myself that the suffering on a bike, riding yourself inside out so that you want to puke is a connection to a deeper human instinct. It makes you feel alive and it brings you somehow closer to a euphoria that does not readily exist in the day to day.

The first signs that I was gonna have to dig deep were subtle, a simple passing thought of what was coming up on the course ahead of me, gone from mind as quickly as it came. This is not usually a bad thing, but what I knew all too well is that it was a negative thought. I have had them before in races, and they indicate one thing and one thing only, get ready for some tough times. I pushed on and did some quick sums, I had about 1 hour to ride, but maybe 10 or 15 minutes until the fuel light came on. I smashed down some gel and a bit of bar, but already it was too late. 3 hours in and the cracks were starting show and I still had the last major climb and final 5 km climb to go. And that wind... I put it out of mind and focused on the road ahead.

Still feeling the chase was on, I needed to get off the main drag through Kawaba as quickly as possible. It is a long drag and dead straight, about 3-4%, but the wind and fatique were making it tough. Negative thoughts were rolling through more regularly now and if the group were spotted back there somewhere, I knew I would have nothing for them. That is the nature of the beast, all or nothing! Finally, the road turned and I was into the hill, out of sight again, average speed was still 32kmh, but it was about to get steep. I pulled forward on my saddle and felt my muscles on the verge of cramp, any sudden adjsutment or movement and they would hit. I gingerly stood up on the 14% corners, leverging with what I had left of upper body strength, but I was in bad shape. Quick short breathes, unable to raise HR, I was a train wreck. Small goals now, next corner, get to the next steep bit, now stand up, now get to the hairpin, it's flatter now, nearly there, the tunnel is coming, you made it and I let out a yell of pain as my legs struggled to make the shift to descending with a sharp knife like pain. I did not know my gap, but I had to nurse it home.

I smashed down another gel and nearly puked as it mixed with the hydration drink. Cherry and chocolate seemed so tasty before, now it tasted like warmed up death. I winced and made the left turn for the final 5 km. The wind smashed and my pace slowed. Watching my average speed fall away 30.5 - 30.4 and then below 30, there was nothing I could do. I was just a passenger now and needed to find every ounce of will to push through the wind and up this very easy gradiant. It levelled out, the road works, of course, the road works, I deeply wished for a red, it was green, I had to keep going but so wanted to stop and throw the bike. What started so well, was now withering and dying, there is no glory in this, just a place in your mind that is totally alone. Nothing can help you but you. I made the turn onto the final 400m steep finish, nearly at a standstill I lunged out of the saddle and told myself just a few more minutes and it will be over, I didn't dare look back and focused only on the road ahead. The fnish line came into sight, the cheers, the finish, and the collapse.

I lay down, head spinning, short sharp breathes and felt nothing but relief. Nothing else mattered.

I am not sure what people thought of my ride and it must have seemed strange to them. Why would somebody do that? The answer is I don't know, but I needed a release and a challenge. I did not care about the prizes, it has no other meaning, and it was not about winning, I was riding for me, and that felt great. I milled around and waited for a bit, chatted to the moto guy and made sure he was ok. Got changed and then went and waited agian for 2nd, and I waited and waited ...35mins later, a lone rider crossed the line. I congratulated him, a few minutes later the remnents of a chase group rolled in. I congratulated them and then quietly slipped away. I had no story to tell...

Hope you have enjoyed the read. It was a great day and is a great event. 2016, get on it. Cheers

https://www.strava.com/activities/419696361
 
Last edited:

theBlob

Bokeh master
Sep 28, 2011
2,865
1,451
129
...
#3
Great write up of the whole race. Great result too. 35min up on your closest rival is no trivial win! Well done Adam!

Love the anticlimactic end. Like if you look away it never happened. No photos... Maybe it didn't happen??!! ha ha ha! But in a way that must have how it felt, I know that feeling of challenging yourself with no-one around to witness anything of it. You start talking about it after and eyes glaze over. We might be able to understand but not really.
 

Adam Cobain

Maximum Pace
Jul 1, 2014
153
257
83
42
Yubiso
veloxchange.cc
#4
Great write up of the whole race. Great result too. 35min up on your closest rival is no trivial win! Well done Adam!

Love the anticlimactic end. Like if you look away it never happened. No photos... Maybe it didn't happen??!! ha ha ha! But in a way that must have how it felt, I know that feeling of challenging yourself with no-one around to witness anything of it. You start talking about it after and eyes glaze over. We might be able to understand but not really.
Yeah, thats the thing isn't it. The bigger picture is actually a smaller one, and accomplishments and efforts are like a fibonacci spiral, they all turn in on themselves. :tup
 

D'Pioneer

Far beyond the black horizon
Oct 9, 2015
458
229
83
#6
Definitely the best race report I have ever read.

You need to get into ghost-writing for others.

The first signs that I was gonna have to dig deep were subtle, a simple passing thought of what was coming up on the course ahead of me, gone from mind as quickly as it came. This is not usually a bad thing, but what I knew all too well is that it was a negative thought. I have had them before in races, and they indicate one thing and one thing only, get ready for some tough times. I pushed on and did some quick sums, I had about 1 hour to ride, but maybe 10 or 15 minutes until the fuel light came on. I smashed down some gel and a bit of bar, but already it was too late. 3 hours in and the cracks were starting show and I still had the last climb major climb and final 5 km climb to go. And that wind... I put it out of mind and focused on the road ahead.
This is so true. The tiny negative signs, that you can initially pass off as nothing, slowly start to build until they blur your vision, and take over the whole scene.
 
Likes: Adam Cobain

leicaman

Maximum Pace
Sep 20, 2012
2,548
2,245
133
Asakadai, Saitama
#8
35min up on your closest rival is no trivial win!
Understatement of the year there Mr.Blob ;)
Bloody hell, I thought you were going to say that second place was about 5 mins behind, not 35 !!!!!!!!
Amazing racing and a great read too. Very entertaining. I am very disappointed you didn't manage to hit 30kph Av. though. You obviously need to try harder next time ;)