That’s a mouthful. The short of it is I’m tackling a 21 stage virtual cycling series. It lasts all month with two days off and is killing me, but also making me strong like bull. I’m certain to be burnt out before setting foot outside for the year.

We just completed our first nine days, of which the last two bleed into “Episode 2.” I’m only going to summarize Episode 1 here.

My Class: Habanero. Defined by Compound Scores (TLDR; 5-minute power converted via a formula) between 1400 and 1600. Mine was 1522 so I should be finishing in the 61st percentile. Challenge accepted.

The Plan: I’m not particularly good at anything in cycling. Not a great sprinter nor a great climber. I’m not terrible at them, either, and I can last for days. This makes me an all-rounder, which in real world cycling means I never win. However, a “Combined” category exists (and may be the most targeted?) that uses sprint points, climbing points, and finish place. This would be my goal.

How It Went: Exceedingly well. I had attempted one of the single week stage races put on by these folks once before, but was dying after Stage 3 and ended up down for the count with what seemed like Covid for nearly two weeks (tested negative). It did not go that way this time!

Results: I ended up setting personal records across all power metrics, or at least the best I’ve done in seven years, and many of these were under extreme fatigue. 75 finishers of entire series, 12th by time, 10th in sprints, 8th in climbing (what!?), and 9th overall. I’ll save you the math; that’s 88th percentile.

173 miles, 8825 feet of climbing. That’s uhhhh… Maybe all I’ve done this year? Definitely not in shape for this, but also not falling apart and seeing great results.

Going into Episode 2 my CS has climbed to 1555 so 78th percentile. Spoiler alert: I was 1st place overall after the first stage!