From his coach, Bill McLaughlin, “Christopher trained very hard and did all that was asked of him to reach his “A” goal of the season and he did it to perfection. I am so proud of him and proud to be his coach. Way to Go Christopher!”
Here is Christopher’s full report from nationals, “Here is how things unfolded: The Greek Master National Championships took place in Corinth on weekend of May 31 – June 1st. It was our “A” priority event of the year, I had trained well and form was there, just on time!
On Saturday afternoon I raced the Time Trial. It was a short 14Km, out and back course, with a flat initial part followed by a shallow descend with a tailwind, turnaround and back to start. We did a route recon in the morning with the team and then I tried to follow the timeline: kits ready, meal 4 hours before start time, rest, transfer to the race, equipment check and finally warm up and be ready on time.
I took the start with legs feeling good and I tried to stick to my pacing plan. A bit hard in the beginning, a bit easier on downhill/tailwind section and just above FTP on the return. It worked well with Avg. Power ended right over FTP. Normally, I could go a little harder for that short duration, but I always hit smaller numbers on TT bike.
I managed to set the 2nd best time of the day and won the silver medal in GC! I couldn’t be happier… or could I?
On Sunday morning, RR was in the menu. A 105Km course with two consecutive, 7Km but medium grade climbs, followed by a long descend, a rolling, mostly flat terrain and a hard 1.2Km finish with 10% grade.
Attacks started immediately after we hit the first climb and made things clear, leaving only 10-15 riders in the first group. My team, TALOS, was strong enough to be there, with almost zero losses. In the second climb, last year’s champion and our strongest opponent attacked pretty hard, trying to breakaway but I managed to stay on his wheel and break with him. At the summit, we already had a 2’ advantage over the 1st chasing group, consisted of 6 riders, with 5 of them from the team! Things were looking good…
Our instructions, from the DS were clear: I would cover our opponent without working in the front and the others would control the chase. If our opponent kept working in the front, I’d have good chances in the end and if he quitted and the rest of the team joined us, we’d unleash consecutive attacks! The other guy chose to work alone in the break, he tried to break from me a few times, but I was ready and covered all of his moves. When we reached the last climb, I was prepared and ready. I attacked hard from the bottom, I took some distance and maintained that to the finish line!! It was the hardest 4’ of my life, averaged over 6.5 watts/kg, but our VO2max training had been proved solid and effective. The National jersey had been won… mission accomplished… how cool is that?
Bill, I really want to thank you for your help. It was a long and tough journey from November to today, but we did everything right and look what we achieved! Let’s get the bar even higher… I look forward to that…”
Great job, Christopher!!
PCG Coach: Bill McLaughlin