Weekly Wrap January 18, 2015

The Weekly Wrap is a weekly series taking a look back at the past week in racing, bikes, and at the Wannabe Racer.

Post Wrap Up

Tour Down Under Kicks off Season

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The 2015 season got underway unofficially early this morning in Australia with the People’s Choice Criterium.  Marcel Kittel (Giant-Alpecin) took the win in the event that marks the start of the Tour Down Under.  The German sprinter seems to be up to his usual tricks so look for another great season from the World’s top sprinter.

The Tour Down Under officially starts the UCI calendar for 2015.  Without last year’s winner, Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEdge), Richie Porte (Sky) looks to be the favorite.  Porte looks lighter and stronger than he did in 2014, a season which was thrown off by illness.  Cadel Evans (BMC) appears to be Porte’s main challenger for the GC in what will be one of the last races in the former Tour de France winner’s illustrious career.

Tour de San Luis

On the other side of the world, the Tour de San Luis in Argentina marks the start of the season in the Western hemisphere.  A number of teams not present at the Tour Down Under will start their season in Argentina including the debut of the new Garmin-Cannondale squad.

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A number of big names have headed to South America to start their season, among them is defending champion Nairo Quintana (Movistar).  Michael Kwiatkowski (Etixx-Quickstep) has chosen the Tour de San Luis as the debut of his Rainbow jersey calling being World Champion “a pleasure, but also a responsibility.”  Mark Cavendish (Etixx-Quickstep) has also made the trip to Argentina to start his season.

The Tour de San Luis should have an interesting general classification battle with Nairo Quintana being the heavy favorite.  Quintana will have to deal with other talented South American climbers who are looking to impress the big teams and earn a chance in Europe.

New Season Means New Jerseys

With the first races of the season coming up, it gives us a chance to have a look at the new jerseys for 2015.  Here is Cycling Tips gallery of the kits of the World Tour for 2015.

A lot of black and navy blue this year.  With the lose of the bright blue of Garmin-Sharp and the green of Cannondale, the peloton for 2015 is looking to be a somber place.  If they were looking for ways to allow fans to distinguish between riders better, this was not it.

Weekly Training Wrap

This past week marked the end of Base 1 which means it was a light week for recovery and testing.  I spent only 4 hours on the bike this week but part of that time was spent testing my 15km time trial.  My plan is to use the 15km TT as the standard by which I judge my progress.  So every time I need to do some testing, I will crush a 15km TT.

Result: 24:36

I am satisfied with that result since I had set a goal of completing a sub-25 minute 15km time trial sometime in May.  Shows what I knew about my own capabilities.  Surprising since I have done very little work on my Functional Threshold Power over the last 3 weeks, its been all about building an aerobic base.

Take those results with a grain of salt though.  It was done on a trainer so who knows how that will translate on the actual role.

Base 1 stats:

  • Time: 24:44:50
  • Distance: 585km

Base 2 means its time to up the intensity a little but the goal is still to build endurance ahead of the more intense training later in the season.

Helmet Shopping

With my birthday coming up I was planning on spoiling myself with a nice, new helmet.  Currently I am trying to decide between three: Kask Infinity, Giro Air Attack, Giro Synthe.

Really the decision comes down to if an aero helmet is worth it.  Giro claims that the Air Attack will give you 17 seconds over 40km at 25 mph.  Every second counts right?

I was initially leaning towards the Infinity because it is a fully aero helmet that allows you to open and close the front vents, but it is also by far the most expensive of the three.  The Air Attack is a good price while the Synthe apparently offers the same aerodynamic advantages as the Air Attack but with better looks, ventilation, and weight.

If you have any thoughts or suggestions, please share.


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