Whilst my goals have changed, this will still be a key event for me for 2012. It'll now be used as a 'training event' for me, as I build towards a couple of big road races in August.
That's me in the white helmet on the right side of the picture, during the 2010 race.
The last couple of months of training have been terrific. I've been averaging almost 200km/week, and I've felt the improvement in my legs. The only hiccup has been a couple of weeks off the bike to work travel and a cold - but I think that almost worked in my favour. While 2 weeks was clearly too long, the break did help my legs have a full recovery from a big increase in mileage through May.
I did my last 'hard' pre-race sessions on the bike today as well, and set personal bests for my overall commutes to and from work - another positive sign for the race on Sunday!!
My race day goals.
I've raced the Avanti Classic twice before. In 2009, I completed the 80km race in 2hrs 51min (and was the 3rd last finisher!). In 2010, I had a much better race - a course change caused by roadworks meant it was a 90km race, but I finished in exactly the same time of 2hrs 51min (this time, I was the 6th last finisher).
While it's hard to goal set when you are at the mercy of the handicapper, which can have a significant effect on the final outcome, I'd like to see a quicker time for the 80km race. How fast? I'm not sure, but finishing under 2hrs 40min would definitely be a big success in my book...
What's left to do?
I'll take tomorrow off to rest my legs, and maybe have a short, easy spin on Saturday morning depending on how I feel.
More importantly, the bike will get a good clean on Saturday. A sparkling clean, freshly lubed drive-train will add that bit of extra zing, plus give me a mental edge as I toe the start line.
It should be a great day of racing. The weather forecast is for fine and sunny conditions, with a coolish top temperature of 19 degrees. Whatever happens though, at worst I know I'll enjoy a great 80km on the bike... :)