One more TTT Win – Congratulations Guys
WTRL TTT Premier League Race Report – CRYO RDT Vultures
Course: Watopia’s Figure 8 – 30km / 253m
Time: 00:37:56 at 46.81km/h
Position: 1st Platinum League, 1st Overall, Course Record
MVP: Robert Maertens
Powered by: Powerbar, Cycle Dynamic Coaching
Last night marked our first attempt at racing Watopia’s Figure 8 course in forward configuration. We’ve raced it loads in Reverse and have found it a pretty happy hunting ground but there were more nerves than usual in the start pens this week – signs of the level the team is riding at and the reputation we now need to uphold. This week, we were without the mighty Teutonic Trio (again) but in came Vulture incumbent Robert Maertens to fill the rather big shoes of his brother Martin while Jason Frank slotted in for Harry Mustard. The goal this week? Getting to the finish line as quickly as possible, and whatever happens, happens.
Robert Maertens, A+ (C, 17)
Aaron Borrill, A+ (VC, 39)
Eddy Hoole, A+ (28)
Jack Polley A+ (28)
RJ Cowan, A+ (19)
Jason Frank, A+ (4)
Jorn Andersen, A+ (3)
Johannes Begrich, A+ (2)
Owing to his efforts as Directeur Sportif/team car duty on Tuesday’s ZRL TTT, Aaron’s mic got damaged from a deluge of sweat rendering him unable to give the calls. Thankfully, Robert was up for the task and was happy to take on the role of captain – something he does weekly for his ZRL team. With 15 seconds to go, Robert began the countdown before the metal-on-metal clatter of chain and cogs, and the rhythmical whirring of smart trainers filled Discord. We got off to a superb start and the Jack Hammer was tasked with taking the first pull to 30 seconds. Our paceline has become a bona fide watt production line and the factory is operating at full capacity.
Our strategy of 6.5-7.0w/kg on the front at all times has become the norm and secret to our success but as many reading this will know, producing power of that nature is no mean feat. Each and every member of this team is putting in the work behind the scenes in an attempt to up the game and contribute to the best of his ability. That’s the secret really – adapting to the greater stimulus of riding with these absolute animals. The Star-Spangled Zombie duo was on fire last night with RJ riding at his strongest ever and Jason having enough legs to follow and pull through with gusto.
The only two hurdles – a focus for many teams we presume – were the Reverse and Forward KOMs and the latter would prove the tougher of the ascents given its positioning in the final 7km. What we’ve done in the past is ride the Reverse KOM at a maximum of 6w/kg on the front as it’s a relatively flat, draftable climb. Not only does this nullify riders going anaerobic it ensures the pace is constant and without surging. Again, we exercised this strategy with precision and moved back towards Downtown Watopia and the Esses – a section of the race that is known to send curdling pools of lactate through the legs.
We unfortunately last Johannes and Eddy in quick succession, the duo did an amazing job. Johannes rode a textbook TTT and sacrificed himself for the team, while Eddy smacked his knee on his handlebar which debilitated him and put paid to his further involvement in the effort. This would mean less rest and more work but the boys were hungry and RJ was doing his best to motivate the boys – this could only mean we were going to slow as Zombie mode was yet to be activated. With the gap between us, WeZ and the other teams consistently dropping we all knew we were on course for another goodie but we stuck to our guns.
The Forward KOM loomed in the distance. The number of stragglers we passed en route suggested many teams had haemorrhaged firepower getting to this point and we were in a better position than we had initially thought. Aaron led us up the steep approach and forward through the twisties ensuring the power was smooth and steady. This allowed us to crest it with six riders intact. RJ pushed over the front and got us up to speed on the descent with Jason and Jorn providing the much-needed back-up. The descent is tricky as it’s marred by a couple of unnecessary kickers which have caught many a rider out in the past – but not tonight
We smashed the descent. Enjoyed a little respite in the supertuck position and began our approach to the finish line. Ah yes, the Esses. Again. WeZ were in our crosshairs just after the sprint banner and we used them as visual bait to get over the undulating, leg-sapping rollers. RJ was laying down the motivation which soon kicked into Zombie mode. “All in, all in!” The right-hander down to the finishing straight was taken at full chat and we crossed the line with six Vultures. Had we done it, again? We weren’t sure. We were all still strewn breathless across our handlebars, Zombie mode engaged for the lot of us.
We’d later learn we had not only won the Platinum League for a 9th week in a row but also bagged the fastest time overall for the night which could only mean one thing – another course record. Next week, we head to London for an assault on the Greatest London Flat route. Having won on Tuesday in the ZRL TTT on this very course, the boys know exactly what is needed to make it 10.
Until next week,
March 5, 2021
Categories:Team Time Trial