The day the Wattmeister broke away
Coffee and cakes on the Wattmeister, for today I broke clear from the group after the crossroads at Potters Bar and powered away from the motorway bridge up the 5% rise to the Duke of York pub, putting out 669 watts for 44 seconds in the process. Chaos reigned in the chasing group. Iron Mike, Plastic Pete, The Lion King and Saul the Slayer looked at each other. Who would make the move? Chancing a glance over my shoulder, I saw that I had pulled out a gap of about 100 metres with just 1700 metres to go to the green Welcome to Barnet sign which would signal the ‘winner’ of the sprint.
There was a ferocious headwind, but it was all or nothing. My heart rate nudged 180 beats per minute. Not too shabby for a 55 year old endurance rider. Must keep pedalling, must keep pushing, don’t look over my shoulder. The pain is just about manageable but I’m dying a death of neat lactic acid coursing through my muscles with 200 metres to go. I steal a quick peek behind me and see the big guy, Ian, the Lion King of the sprinters bearing down on me, but with one last dig, I have it in the bag, I’ve nicked it.
How must German rider Tony Martin, known by the heavyweight soubriquet as the PanzerWagen, twice world time trial champion, have felt after launching out on his own from the start of stage 6 of the Vuelta 2013? He rode 175 kms on his own. As he approached the final kilometres, still leading from the front, those of us who witnessed it on Eurosport were willing him on. The commentators threw aside any notion of impartiality and gave us all hope that he would triumph. But, alas he was caught right on the line by the specialist sprinters.
Thankfully, the same fate did not befall the Wattmeister over 1.75kms on stage 1 of the Muswell Hill Peloton Sunday Tour of Hertfordshire. The ride will go down in the annals of the fledging club’s folklore. For sure, the Wattmeister will not let them forget.