It’s time for a new episode of Ed’s Vlog and this time Ed’s joining two-time World Track Championship bronze medal winner Kirstie James and husband Michael at the Karapiro 100K Flyer, the 20th anniversary of the race but the first time the race has headed for the great lake.
We were greeted to some truly awesome conditions for this year’s 100K Flyer as 1200 riders across the various categories lined up for the big lap. Taking on the challenge meant tackling a first 50km that was largely tame but for the final 10-15km that raised in elevation slightly. The sting, however, was very much in the final half that rolled its way back to Karapiro and the finish line.
I know the roads around Karapiro fairly well, they’re roads that have been well used in races like the Grassroots Trust Team Championship, but following races in a car is nothing compared to donning the lycra, turning the pedals and doing it.
In our infinite wisdom Kirstie, Michael and I began in the first of the open race groups to leave the start line. You know when you look around and see that you’re racing alongside someone like Nick Kergozou who’s posted themselves in the same group that you’re in trouble! I lasted with them for the first 37km in what was a very nervous, stop-start bunch. True what they say, the safest place to be is at the front.
When I’d finally been shelled from the bunch it was a case of the long road home. Thankfully I had great scenery and the occasional overtaking company to make the time pass. I quickly came to terms with the fact that I was quite possibly quite under-fuelled and more under-trained; there’s nothing more disappointing in a ride than being dropped by your group, riding on and then being caught and immediately dropped by the next group . . . and the next group . . . and the next.
But cycling is cycling, and even in pain it doesn’t cease to be the best sport in the world. Gradually the finish line showed up and I slotted home 7 minutes under my target time; my minor triumph.
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