Description: Stage 1 -> ITT Climb, 2.4km in Fei Ngo Shan Stage 2 -> Po Kon Village Cycling track -> 15km qualifications, 30km final Stage 3 -> Tin Shui Wai ->15x8km 120km road racing Targets: 1) no crash 2) get some good cycling sessions to conclude a tough training week (leading up to another 70.3 Ironman in 2 weeks…) 3) and (bonus) try to get a decent result…if possible The Race: 1st stage In Fei Ngo Shan, did it a few weeks ago just under 8min with training wheels, felt good. I feel a bit shitty today but i took the racing wheel (lighter) to compensate… I had a hill reps session in Fei Ngo Shan on WED so I know the course now! Basically 1st 900m are pretty fast (feels 8-9% grade with some ‘flats’ parts) -> can go fast, stay seated often 2nd 900m are much harder (probably 12% avg), out of the saddle, trying to keep the momentum last 500m are tough with a short section at 14% i think… On Sat I blew up after the 2nd section…and finished ‘ugly’ I had 2 cars blocking the way at some stage but they did not slow me down much anyway, just a bit hard to yell when grasping for air! Finished in 8min flat, got 3rd (Thomas in 7’47, Kan in 7’59 and me in 8′) 2nd stage Where in the world can you ride here…? A 1k track in the middle of the city, fully closed for cyclists only. 1st heat had a decent race, 2nd heat were stopped after a few laps due to the rain (track gets easily slippery…shame for such a $$$ track) and we did not get to start at all. Which is a good thing actually (this kind of crit is not my best event for sure…although i would have liked to give it a go) More rest for me then (but a wasted afternoon doing nothing but waiting) I did a few laps under the rain to see this quite peculiar track! Nice and fun. 3rd stage The real race. Sunday morning. No rain, no clouds, it will get hot for sure… 7am start for 15x8km loops. Out and back on a fairly flat course with only 1 short climb (you do it twice tho) and 2 sharp turns Strava As expected a few attacks on the first few laps. I know Mark is eager to break early, I go once with him but we are caught immediately (lap 2 or 3) Then he went again on lap 3 or 4 joined by 2-3 other guys. They’re going for it. We’re only 20k into the race, 100k to go…no one from the yellow jersey team in the break, i assume (wrongly) that they’ll get caught quickly. It happened that they were 6 in the break (Direct, SCAA, CS, Neilpryde…i think) with only 3/4 guys working (no idea why CS was not working? Good for us/me since CS guys worked at front to close the gap) Direct and Neilpryde did a bit of tactical ‘slowing the pace down’ in the pack to let the break get a significant gap (up to 3’30 i’ve heard…? seems a lot…i also heard 2min…) And before I knew it I was in trouble…I was really expecting racing force (yellow jersey) to come at the front and do some work to bridge the gap (the only chance for them to get some results! But no…nobody came! Awkward…) Well…that’s unless you ‘hope’ that something will happen. For instance I wont let the break go/win without a fight. Luckily Lewis was also in for a good TT session (without anything to win really…except to do some work for me?) And CS did not work in the break so CS was in for a TT session too (John and one other rider) So there we were, 4 guys, riding at 43kmh+ avg to catch up the break….with all the pack sitting behind It took us 70km approx to reel them down…I was pretty spent when we did to be honest Thank you to Lewis, John and the other CS rider for spending 70k with me at the front bridging the gap! When is the next one? Ride safe!