The End of an Odd Season
So last time I'd managed to fit in a couple of Gran Fondos, and it had all gone better than I could've expected, with wins in both the Trilogie Maurienne and the Madeleine Gran Fondo. After a week back in London, Hannah and I decided to go back out to Europe to make the most of the late summer sun.
First up was the Marmotte, the first weekend of September. Unfortunately, this one didn't go to plan; still nervous after my previous crashes, I was overly tentative on the descents and came a cropper on the way down the Col du Galibier, fracturing my jaw. Having just started to get over the previous injuries, this was far from ideal, though it did mean that all I could eat for a few days was ice cream, so every cloud...
In any event, I took the start the next day in an event at Mont Ventoux; though due to my condition, only went for the medium route, where I managed to finish second - not too bad given the circumstances! I actually thought I'd won as I was first to the top of the mountain from the front group, but it turned out someone had been up the road all day and had already finished.
The final race was this weekend, the Mercantour Madone-Peille, and the home event for my team, Granfondo France. After the crashes and subsequent recovery, my form wasn't what it had been, so I was pleased to come away with a podium alongside a teammate.
It's obviously been a bizarre season, certainly one like no other. The Coronavirus has ensured there's been very little actual racing, but with the other objectives, such as Strava hunting, Liam and I have managed to keep the riding and training busy and motivating throughout. It's also been interesting to focus the work on some different kinds of efforts, developing some weaknesses along the way, such as my shorter duration power.
Having said that, it’s been a tiring summer. I certainly feel I’m ready for a break! I'll be spending the coming week exploring some new roads in the Cevennes and Massif Central before coming back to the UK, for a couple of weeks off the bike. During this time, Liam and I will sit down and map out the season to come, using the knowledge and insight that we’ve gained from this rather usual season.