The weather forecast was right. The Beast From The East did pay a visit to Blighty and it did cause the chaos and disruption that was promised. Anyone who has spent any time in the UK will know we are rubbish at dealing with any kind of unexpected or inclement weather. I did not want to be greeted by scenes like this of a morning.
However pretty snow can look, I knew it would cause me issues. These were compounded by inability to work from home due to Virigin Media screwing up the TV and internet connections for the whole of the area I live in……all week! Ever the cyclist, my brain had two trains of thought
- If the snow continues into the weekend there’s no way I’m making it out on the bike. Boo.
- If the internet outage continues Zwift won’t work in my shed and that will make a trainer session a whole lot more boring. Boo.
Fortunately the internet service was fixed and reactivated on Friday night so, while I looked out at the snow, at least I knew I’d get on Zwift.
I swapped the snow of Warlingham for the snow of the epic KOM on Watopia yesterday and did an hour’s worth of pedalling, so better than nothing.
Zwift is definitely my fall back option as I much prefer being outside and so my brain started thinking about the Zwift model. The more I thought about it, the more I got irritated.
Last year Zwift announced that membership plans would rise from £7.99 to £12.99 (though I am still paying £7.99 for this year, having been signed up before their deadline), yet I still have to reach certain levels that they define to unlock different courses and bits of road. I’m sorry, but for £7.99 (soon to be £12.99) I expect to have access to every road that is on Zwift! It’s bad enough that whenever I go to use Zwift it’s static map rotation is always on bloody Watopia, I want to be able to choose where I ride and I think the price increases should pay for extra servers to allow that function. I’m not fussed about different kits or bikes, let the levels unlock all of that extra content, not the actual roads.
Fortunately, Strade Bianche happened in the afternoon and that cheered me up immeasurably. I had backed Tiesj Benoot in the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and he had put in a stirling effort before falling away before the finish so I backed him again, this time at 20/1 E/W. He rode a great race, made sure he was on the right side of the splits, jettisoned the chasing group and bridged a 40 second gap across to the leaders (Romain Bardet and Wout Van Aert) before leaving them in his wake on the steepest last section of white gravel. It was a phenomenal effort.
I finished the race £125 richer and Benoot finished the race with his first professional win, delivered in emphatic style. Chapeau Tiesj, dirty faces do win races!
Paris Nice starts today and I’ve had a few quid Alaphilippe to take home the title, though Sky look very strong.