The indoor trainer competition scene has kept me busy over the last month. The potential of the Kickr and other smart-trainers is finally being tapped into.
In comparison to other smart-traner applications Kinomap falls into the 'Training Tool' category. The videos are simply you against the clock, something I'm known to enjoy.
Anyone keeping an eye on my Strava rides might have seen a few references to the Kinomap Challenge rounds and final that were completed between late April through to May.
This was the first world-wide challenge run by Kinomap. There would be four qualifier rounds to complete over four weeks, where the top 16 qualifiers would be sent Wahoo Tickr HR strap to use in the final to ensure the integrity of the rides. I'll do another post on the challenges faced in regard to data integrity/accuracy for these types of challenges, in this instance Kinomap used a crafty twist in the final to ensure they could verify the efforts when there was something significant on the line.
I always need a carrot to chase in training to keep the motivation up, and a shot at a free heart rate strap was all I needed to sign up to this challenge. Stephen 'SLane' Lane was also up for a shot at qualifying for the free HR strap too, so it was game on for the both of us!
Round 1 - Cyclosportive Gran Fondo Eddy Merckx-Andenne 21.9km
I had no plan for the effort, I just cranked out the power from start to finish. Grinding up the hills and spinning out on the descents. Time: 32:29.
SLane completed Round 1 the next day and made an important observation on how to ride the course. It wasn't all about cranking as much power as possible from start to finish. Like outside, the descents didn't require stomping the pedals to maintain speed. As we were able to submit as multiple rides for each qualifying round (the best time counting to our total), I kitted up and gave Round 1 another shot.
Round 1b - Cyclosportive Gran Fondo Eddy Merckx-Andenne 21.9km
Using SLane's pacing strategy I set out again and knocked another 34 seconds off my time. Time: 31:55.
Round 2 - 16 Mile Loop Gillis Falls Climb Fest 26km
Knowing what it took each week to get the effort right, I set out to give the following rounds just one shot, all out, nailing it first time. Time: 38:13
Round 3 - Foggy PV Ride 39.2km
This round was one of the hardest things I've ever done on the indoor trainer. 25 minutes of rolling hills into 10 minutes of climbing, then another 20 minutes bringing it home. Time: 54:38 at just under 360W, ~5W/Kg.
Round 4 - Amgen Tour of California 2015 ITT 24.1km
3..2..1... Go! The video was a recon of the proposed AToC TT which was changed at the last minute for the actual race due to snow. Time: 33:02
1st place! Yeah! SLane rolled in 4th in the qualifiers and also had a Tickr sent his way. Great to see four Aussies in the top 11 places.
Side note - Note the name in 2nd place. That's Karl Zoetemelk. French National XC Champion 2002, and son of Joop Zoetemelk (Vuelta winner 1979, Tour de France winner 1980). We were in good company and I was a little worried what someone like Karl would unleash in the final!
On the line was an entry to the Haute Route of your choice ($1,100-$1,600) and $500 travel expenses. The Haute Route events are a whole week of epic mountains during August-September. By epic they're all around 20,0000m of climbing over 800-900km. I already had my qualifier prize, a Tickr HR strap for the 2 1/2 hours of indoor TTing, so I was competing in the final just to see where I'd end up.
I was expecting a horrendously difficult 90 minute video for the final and once it was released I was surprised to see Kinomap choose the same video as qualifying round 2. Crafty! They had a data baseline from everyone on the course already so could use this to help verify the integrity of the rides.
The final challenge was a one-shot only affair, no second chances. Once complete, ride data was then submitted to the Kinomap team for review before being posted to the final result sheet.
With the five previous efforts in my legs and the experience with how best to pace the route I knocked off a few seconds on the 16 Mile Loop Gillis Falls Climb Fest 26km video in the final and submitted that over to Kinomap.
At 1am on May 27th my phone beeped with an email from Kinomap. They'd verified my data and had confirmed I'd won! Hah! Wow!
After looking into the return flights and transfers from Melbourne over to the Haute Route events, I had to turn down the major prize. The team at Kinomap were understood my decision and with my ok they passed the Haute Route opportunity down the qualifying list. With Karl also unable to attend 3rd place getter from Canada is on his way and looking forward to the experience.
Kinomap kindly suppled me with an almost-lifetime access to Kinomap, and sent out a neat trophy (thanks guys!)