Last week I mentioned that I was hoping to get a different perspective on a KOM effort. Luckily enough I have Liam Garriga on board to run us through his experience of Bolton’ up to Bonds.
Introductions first. Liam Garriga is an Eltham cyclist who can hold some serious speed up and down hills. I’ve been put in the box on more than one occasion whilst trying to hold his wheel on Mt Pleasant Rd in Research, Melbourne, and I think he is fairly similarly minded when it comes to KOMs…. they are there to be taken. Incredibly, he uses cycling as fitness for his main pursuit – inline speed skating. It certainly made me feel better about my times when I found out that he races for Australia at a world level!
As described last week, he managed to best my time on Christmas morning, and his effort really blew me away.
P.P. What prompted you to have a crack at this segment?
L.G. I’d had a general chat with you a few weeks prior about KOMs in the area and any plans to get some. When you mentioned the idea of taking KOMs and being a “Christmas grinch” on Christmas day, it then clicked that if I ride on Christmas, that one of your favourite KOMs would be in the firing line. All went to plan but I opted out of naming my ride “Christmas grinch”.
P.P. How did you rate your chances of succeeding?
L.G. I rated my ability highly on the bike at that point, so I was confident in getting it. Hadn’t given it a real go before that day so I didn’t quite know what I was in for!
P.P. Any tips for the segment?
L.G. The run up is essential of course! You need to come off the downhill, through the intersection with the green and hit the start at 50km/h and breeze up the 20%er at the start. Don’t bother turning onto it at 15km/h!
P.P. How did you feel during the effort?
L.G. The effort itself felt pretty solid, was happy with the speed throughout and the final burst over the last hump in the road.
P.P. How did you feel after the effort?
L.G. Absolutely atrocious. I stopped immediately, started violently coughing and was hunched over for well over five minutes. I convinced myself to keep rolling but not too long after, I vomited on the move (and copped a little on my own jersey/arm!) FYI I had bacon and eggs for breaky!
P.P. Final thoughts?
L.G. One of my favourite KOMs because I know how much the segment hurts. It’s one KOM that if I lose, there’s no way I’m coming back to reclaim it. I must say it’s one of the least enjoyable 1.5km climbs I’ve done…
Liam’s vitals from the ride:
Average Heart Rate: 191bpm
Max Heart Rate: 197bpm
Average Speed: 31.5km/h
Max Speed: 56.2km/h (yup – that run up helps!)
Give him some kudos and follow him on Strava – his rides often incredible to see.
Getting those ugly emails from Strava about having a KOM stolen can really suck, but I actually appreciate them when someone does it cleanly, and even more so when it’s a mate. Whilst I love getting out and claiming segments, I get far more excited when I see friends pushing themselves and constantly improving. Bolton up to Bonds gave me a massive confidence boost, but the effort was physically very taxing. To have it taken away was hardly a downer when I realised Liam had pushed himself even more than I had. I really don’t want to do it again, but if I did, I’d take his advice and get that bloody run-up!