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Thu, 14 Jul 2005

Boring stages - 22:40
The tour stages on tv live right now is supposedly a mountain stage. Liars, look at the stage profile, there is not even a single Cat 1 climb, nothing harder than a Cat 2 climb. Geez the sprinters are on the front of the peloton with their teams chasing down a break away, obviously the sprinters have a chance of winning the stage today.

Any stage sprinters can win is going to be boring to watch live I reckon. So sure there are a few Australians who sprint well, who cares, I don't. Just because Australians may do well is not a good enough reason to make a stage worth watching unless you have excessive amounts of spare time.

This was a problem with the live coverage last year, 3 of the 5 stages they showed live were sprint stages, SBS probably thinking the Australians doing well in the stage would encourage an audience. How much more wrong can they be, real Mountain Stages are where its at. Fortunately with the live coverage of the entire Tour this year we can tape and watch the mountain stages and the time trial stages and simply watch the highlights package for the rest of the stages.

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Doing battle with the arch rival of the day - 21:52
As I had missed out on a ride this morning (for some reason my phone's clock was an hour out, thus my alarm woke me an hour late) I felt the need for a bit of a ride this afternoon. My enemy of choice for the day was Mt Stromlo (satellite image) (wikipedia). This is a climb I enjoy doing, it suits me quite well, and I am able to compare times with past efforts.

Today, starting from work and arriving back to work, riding the road bike, was 1 hour 10 minutes, distance 36.14 KM, average 30.9 KMh with a 59.4 KMh max. So 2 minutes slower than last December, and 2 minutes faster than on the mtb in January for the same ride. However I really did not feel too fast, mirrored by my performance climbing Stromlo on Sunday just past.

On Sunday I was unable to hold my speed above 20 KMh for the entire ascent, dropping to 18 or 19 KMh quite often. Today was worse, I was unable to get my speed over 18 KMh for the first half of the ascent. I kept the top half at 20 but not much over that. The total time for the climb was still around 12 minutes, which is an interesting thing, all three of the larger oft ridden road climbs in Canberra (Black Mountain, Mt Ainslie and Mt Stromlo) take me approximately 12 minutes at a hard pace even though they are all very different styles of climbs.

I think this lack of uphill speed helps show my form is indeed a fair bit lower than it was back over summer, which I guess mirrors most of my friends in that our form is better in Summer due to increased hours riding.

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