It's been a very long time since Mongo has finished a ride, stripped off my gear, and dropped exhausted into my quickly moistening bed. Today, I got to relive exactly what it feels like to be on the verge of a complete body shutdown.
Mongo decided this morning to take my new Sub-19 out for a run on the 23/2300 Hammerfest loop. During the last couple of months Mongo has hammerfested solely on LPE, so I was excited to see how my training would translate to the Sub-19. Mongo was in full racing trim along with a full array of computer data retention. It would have been a great ride except for the fact that it was thirty eight degrees and windy as f**k!...I'm talking about a constant headwind of at least twenty miles per hour...seriously!
I rode well. The climbs were brutal and the descents were slow. I had wind in my face all day and my speed suffered, but the overall workout was extremely intense. It was what I needed to take my "Cat 5 Domination" training to the next level.
The "Bandito" loses the final TT to "LL Cool Chez" but manages to retain his overall lead and win the Volta aoAlgarve for the second year in a row. Levi finishes fourth and AK47 finishes eighth.
What is most shocking about this race is the quality of the podium girls. If you compare this year to last year, the difference is overwhelming. "What's up, Portugal...are all your hot girls on location in the San Fernando Valley?"
It is only appropriate that as Mongo sheds pounds, trains hard, and prepares for the upcoming "Cat 5 Domination" season, my bike should also get in on the act. With the addition of my American Classic "Hurricanes", and some new "Open Corsa" tires, my road bike has dipped below nineteen pounds...with pedals. Not bad for an XL aluminum frame with a triple crankset.
The foundation of my training this Winter has been on my mountain bike, Li'l Pony Express. Hill training, speed training, distance, sprints...all have been done on a twenty four pound bike with one inch, 100 psi slicks, compact gearing, and a power sucking suspension fork. I'm here to tell you definitively..."The shit worked!"
Mongo has spent the last two days and about seventy five miles on the road bike, and boy, I am freakin' fast!...er and stronger than I was last year. All of my hard work is showing some significant benefits, and it's quite satisfying. My leaner body is a lot more comfortable in the drops, which in turn allows me to maintain a higher speed for longer using the aero benefits of my position. I've also noticed that my heart rate isn't spiking during climbs. The increase in HR is more gradual and steady.
Let's get to today's smackdown! It was as sweet as the nectar from Mrs. Butterworth'shoo-ha.(In a figurative, squeeze-bottle kind of way)...Two Cervelo P3's adorned with the appropriate and expected Tri-douches, and a Specialized Tarmac with a friendly guy who was out of his league.
When Mongo rides alone and has no outside stimuli to motivate me, I often get lost in my music and pay no attention to how fast I'm going. I'm like the stoned driver on the expressway. I don't notice anything's wrong until somebody passes me, and when I look at the speedometer...I'm doing thirty five. When I'm on the bike, it's more like seventeen. At this speed, there are always people ready to jump you...and that's what happened.
Long story short...Mongo and the Cervelos drop the Tarmac after about two miles. Mongo then drops the Cervelos on the only semi-climb after they employ team tactics by attacking me with back to back sprints on the flats. Just for shits and giggles, a few miles later I let one of them catch up to me after I let off the gas...and I dropped him again. There is no mercy in "Cat 5 Domination".
There were two things that Mongo didn't expect to hear when I woke up today. Firstly, that apparently Floyd Landis is a felonious computer hacker, and secondly, that my arch nemesis, Snow Bunny, is retiring from cycling.
If there's one thing Mongo knows about hacking, it's that you don't use a computer with an IP address that's traceable back to you. Floyd probably thought that his hacking could be done with the same anonymity as his predication for Indonesian porn. "Floyd...not only are you an idiot, but you are officially dead to me!"
Let's move on to the more shocking news...or maybe it shouldn't be?
It was inevitable that word of my "Cat 5 Domination" training would get back to Snow Bunny. He obviously realized that there was no chance that he could get his own game up to speed to be competitive with me by this Spring. So, instead of taking his lumps early and being beaten by "everyone"(including girls) come Hammerfest time, he decided to fade away and pursue a new love...sucking at golf. "Red tees anyone?"
Finally...a legit stage race with upper echelon GC contenders. Mongo is looking forward to seeing strong performances from not only Kloden, but from Americans, Li'l Bronze Medalist and Van Down By The River.
This Saturday marks the first race of the season where many of the SBCT (Smyrna Bicycles Cycling Team) will be making their 2010 debut...It's called the Tundra Time Trial, and it's ten miles of all out effort at 180 BPM. Racers from the Pro level on down will go off at thirty second intervals against the clock.
Mongo isn't competing in this race because...I don't own a TT bike. Sure, I could go on my road bike, but my time would be irrelevant compared to everyone who is riding one of these babies above. Plus, I have kept to my long term road racing goals, and this race offers no real benefit for my "Cat 5 Domination" training.
That being said, Mongo is looking for big things out of all of the SBCT competitors. But, for the owners of the five bikes pictured, this is how Mongo predicts they'll finish.
Congratulations to Smyrna Bicycles team member and Furman University team member, Jimmy Mitchell, on his first podium of the season at the 2010 Southeast Collegiate Cycling Conference-Gainesville, Florida.
Mongo recently added a set of Cane Creek Speed Bars to the cockpit of LPE...and the results have been promising. They allow me to get into an aero position that previously was impossible, and my abs are getting a much tougher workout because of it. Training heavy just got a lot faster. I can't wait to take down my first Cervelo TT bike. Another weapon in Mongo's "Cat 5 Domination" trainingarsenal...(Thanks,B-Rog...for the bars and the well-framed photo)
It is done! Mongo went the entire month of January without ice cream of any kind. As you probably remember, my attempt at this same accomplishment last November was thwarted by the now famous, "Klondike Incident".