Race Report Thread

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Re: Race Report Thread

Postby cerb » Mon Jan 20, 2014 12:50 pm

jules21 wrote:great stuff mike. good luck in B grade. i'll wave to you as you lap me.


Cheers Jules! Better get some glue in those nipples to stop the spokes slipping. If they're Al nipples, it might also be worth switching them over to Brass, as they hold tension better without slipping!?

Xplora wrote:Nice, cerb! Very altruistic move by your leadout, but you deserved the win after the early attack :)


Yep - he's a good guy. He got stuck on the front earlier than he wanted, so he tried to break solo, but when we stuck to him he just kept the power on to lead us out. :)


Cul - Nice work! Getting dropped is par for the course while you're learning the ropes, so I wouldn't worry about it. Hanging on in B grade for your first race is impressive! My heart still beats quickly when I sit at the start line - it's the excitement of race day!
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Re: Race Report Thread

Postby Cul » Mon Jan 20, 2014 12:57 pm

cerb wrote:Cul - Nice work! Getting dropped is par for the course while you're learning the ropes, so I wouldn't worry about it. Hanging on in B grade for your first race is impressive! My heart still beats quickly when I sit at the start line - it's the excitement of race day!


Thanks Cerb :-)

Well done on the win!
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Re: Race Report Thread

Postby kb » Mon Jan 20, 2014 2:29 pm

Xplora wrote:Nice, cerb! Very altruistic move by your leadout, but you deserved the win after the early attack :)

Or he just wanted you out of C grade ;-)
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Re: Race Report Thread

Postby jules21 » Mon Jan 20, 2014 2:55 pm

kb wrote:
Xplora wrote:Nice, cerb! Very altruistic move by your leadout, but you deserved the win after the early attack :)

Or he just wanted you out of C grade ;-)

that was my thought i must admit :)
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Re: Race Report Thread

Postby Xplora » Mon Jan 20, 2014 11:20 pm

Penrith Regatta Centre B grade 20/1 4th place

Gosh, sometimes you've got to take the opportunities. Lots of guys were deciding that Did Not Start was more pleasant than Did Not Finish with the rain coming down. I was running a bit late and managed to miss filling my water bottle and calibrating the quarq... but dinner was ready for the family before I left and there was peace at home, so I think I made the right call LOL Just about launched my money at the signup table, pin the number on and get across the track for A grade to roll out. Cutting a bit too fine lol

So it's sprinkling harder and harder and I've resolved that vision is going to suck (going to contacts soon so I can wear sunnies) but didn't realise it would be this bad... we've rolled around 2 laps and I've been drinking tyre spray, and sweat is starting to wash down from the helmet. Wash your helmet liners, people. I've had this happen before and it's like getting stabbed in the eyeball. Constantly. A couple attacks then a bigger one from one of the strong break riders, but this week he's joined after a km by three other riders including me. I figure he's a good bet, but the bunch took fright and dragged us back. All good. A Penrith rider launches a solid attack, has a couple go with him, and he launches again and puts a hundred metres on the bunch. Today is not a day for a bunch sprint... the handling through the S's is diabolical at the best of times, don't want to fight 5 guys for a line today, so after a bit of disorganisation in the bunch I find a line and bridge the gap. We start rolling turns and I think we stayed off the front for 2 laps? All the while, I have one eye shut and the other barely open because of the pain in the eye. Why didn't I wear a bandana today? It's not like I needed air flow at 24 degrees. Lesson learnt.
The bunch catches us... or at least I think it does... seems like we were joined by 6 others, so I hold back because I've smashed myself in the break. I quickly realise my efforts to create a gap to the break have been misguided, and 3 of us starting rolling some turns to catch a couple attacks. The front group was stretching out bad onto the final looong straight quite a lot, far too much actually because I think now that all the strongest riders were up the road lol
We roll some turns in the 3, one guy decides its enough for him and I've taken the front to try and get my 2nd guy back onto the bunch. We rest but I kicked to bridge the 50m gap and dropped him... he must have been smashed from the chase earlier in the race. Still... I link up to make up the final 6 and we have 1.5 laps to go. I was a bit surprised that the bell went, but frankly I shouldn't have been surprised - no one wanted to be out there. We keep the pace up over the final lap rolling turns quite quickly. I'd realised that there was no chase, but my earlier Penrith break buddy was pushing the lads to keep charging. Not sure if he was just trying to fox or not, either way it was very effective. They roll and roll, half a lap to go I ditched my turn and the paceline broke down a little bit. 10 seconds of recovery and I made the play they did to me last week - big surge and put on a gap. Really needed to delay the move longer, because I was stuffed already, and I told the young Marconi rider to take the win with 1km to go while I blocked. He pumps twice and shakes his head. :lol: Can't even give the money away I tell ya! So I make a feeble presentation of a solo break - no water, and not much legs, it wasn't going to stick so a couple guys move past; I don't know what has possessed me at this point because I think I was trying to block or at least soft pedal through the S's onto the final straight. I haven't taken on a sprint with more than 3 people, and I got the final run home all wrong. I put on the gas and roll through for 4th and that pays the petrol and entry, places didn't change from the S's. I don't know what I was thinking, but I definitely didn't time my sprint well!

I was pleased that I'd managed to stay in touch, and bridged a couple big gaps - when B grade puts on a push it''s serious catching up afterwards is hard hard work. Data looks good, another big power day for me so I'm glad I managed to back up after a couple days rest from the big ride on Friday. Got some cash, and learnt a few more things. I still can't see properly after 4 hours. Also realising I need some better tactics for the stronger fields because I'm doing well in the weaker/less organised ones but much in the well organised ones. At least in B you can expect people to chase the front effectively. Guess you have to work out how to make that work for you, rather than against you.

Bad day, but first prizemoney in B. You could ask for better weather, but it wouldn't be the same. ;)
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Re: Race Report Thread

Postby MREJ » Tue Jan 21, 2014 6:58 am

Digging your reports xplora!

I got a placing in the rain at Lansdowne a couple of months ago. A filthy business, but exciting in an epic kind of way, and I was very pumped afterwards. The grit pasted all over me and my equipment felt like a badge of honour.

The following week, same venue, and it was raining again. So of course, I had visions of a return to the podium.

Well, I only made it half way through. Coming around the left hand bend at the bottom of the hill, the rider in front started to fishtail. I had to change my line abruptly, and tried to pass him on the outside.

Yep, you guessed it. He stayed upright, while I ended up head over heels on the grass. At least it was the grass, I suppose. I limped back to the line with twisted bars, a buckled wheel and a sore chest. It's two months later now, and I've just stopped noticing the cracked rib.

I haven't really decided what I'll do next time it's raining on race day, but it's quite possible it won't involve the bike...
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Re: Race Report Thread

Postby Xplora » Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:10 am

MREJ, did you have the B grade prang? I think it was a couple weeks after my C grade prang?
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Re: Race Report Thread

Postby g-boaf » Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:44 am

Good work Xplora.

MREJ - that's not a nice way to go. :shock:
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Re: Race Report Thread

Postby MREJ » Tue Jan 21, 2014 5:20 pm

Xplora wrote:MREJ, did you have the B grade prang? I think it was a couple weeks after my C grade prang?


Yes, it was in B grade. There were two in a few weeks. The other was worse, from what I'm told. (I was away that day.)

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Re: Race Report Thread

Postby Chuck » Tue Jan 21, 2014 5:21 pm

Xplora wrote:Penrith Regatta Centre B grade 20/1 4th place


I don't know what has possessed me at this point because I think I was trying to block or at least soft pedal through the S's onto the final straight.


Are you exaggerating here ? One of the most notorious places for accidents on the Sydney crit scene and you intentionally try to block ? The words I'd use to describe that kind of tactic would probably get me punted from the forum.
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Re: Race Report Thread

Postby iaintas » Tue Jan 21, 2014 9:50 pm

CCCC - Sandown Raceway Crit

So after 12 months out of racing and never raced a crit before (only did road racing in Tassie), i rocked up to the Sandown twilight crits not really knowing what to expect. Paid my money and got placed in C-grade having raced B grade road 12 months ago, pretty fair i thought as i am still carrying a few extra kilos and i had ridden 60km in the Dandenongs a few hours earlier.

No idea how many people lined up, maybe 30! first thing i noticed was how much bigger the groups are compared to the 5 or so racing B grade in Tasmania. We got under way, into a pretty stiff headwind up the main straight, my main objective for me was to sit on the back and see how things run and get used to the corners. Thing went pretty smoothly to start rolling around at about 37km/h, i slowly started to get some soreness out of the legs that i had from yesterday and began to feel comfortable rolling around in a pretty organized bunch.

A few people tried there hands at a breakaway at various times throughout the race but were all shut down quickly by the bunch. The with about 4 laps to go someone made a move and they dangled like a carrot about 200m of the front of the main pack, with 2 laps to go someone else attempted to chase the sole breakaway and they were left dangling about 100m of the front. 1 lap to go, i was feeling good and thought to myself "well might as well have a crack at chasing the break away", so i lept off the back of the main bunch into the headwind, caught the guy 100m of the front, looked at him for help, but knew he was spent so told him to jump on my wheel, caught the next guy up the road (leader) and told him to jump on. looking around expecting to see a chasing bunch i was surprised to see them approx 400m back. so i just put my head down and kept going with the other two on my wheel. Finally my matches burnt out when we came out of the last corner the other two sprinted it out, but i was happy for those guys to take first and second as they had done a lot of work prior. I was pretty happy with a 3rd overall in a breakaway and really enjoyed my first crit in Melbourne.

Next week maybe ill give a solo break a bit of a go further out :)
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Re: Race Report Thread

Postby Xplora » Wed Jan 22, 2014 12:11 am

Maybe don't ride 60kms before the race, Iain! :lol: Great work, and kudos for honouring the attackers. Sounds like you completely broke them when you bridged. Love the break!

Chuck, it's easy enough to just make sure you stay in front and soft pedal to allow a gap to grow. Sounds like you've had some really bad experiences with soft pedalling during your races in the past?
Why did I decide this plan with 500m left? I just don't know, it wasn't a good one. Severe aversion to a bunch sprint? :shock:
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Re: Race Report Thread

Postby toppity » Wed Jan 22, 2014 7:54 am

Well done iaintas. Sandown Crits are probably the best on this side of town as far as quality goes. The Vets also race there on Thursdays. If you can make a break away stick there in any grade you are going o.k. "A" grade there often has NRS and the odd Pro rider. Great to watch.
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Re: Race Report Thread

Postby iaintas » Wed Jan 22, 2014 11:16 am

toppity wrote:Well done iaintas. Sandown Crits are probably the best on this side of town as far as quality goes. The Vets also race there on Thursdays. If you can make a break away stick there in any grade you are going o.k. "A" grade there often has NRS and the odd Pro rider. Great to watch.


Actually I re-caught A grade when I jumped from the bunch. I wasn't sure of the protocol regarding sitting on A-grade for a tow so i backed of a touch just in case someone didn't like it. I should have clarified what the go is with sitting on other grades but i just presumed it was not the done thing!
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Re: Race Report Thread

Postby Xplora » Wed Jan 22, 2014 11:56 am

"Wiser heads than I" have told me that you must not gain an advantage by following the higher grade... so no drafting. Doesn't mean you can't pace off them, use them as a rolling roadblock, or use them for other chaos and distraction. If you are catching the higher grade, you might need to race with them next time :)
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Re: Race Report Thread

Postby jules21 » Wed Jan 22, 2014 12:04 pm

as the marshall on sunday yelled out at the top of his lungs "GET OFF THE BACK OF B GRADE OR YOU'RE ALL DISQUALIFIED!" :)
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Re: Race Report Thread

Postby iaintas » Wed Jan 22, 2014 12:20 pm

Should have just gone and sat on the front of A grade, then they could have yelled. "A-GRADE GET OF THE BACK OF C-GRADE OR YOUR ALL DISQUALIFIED" hahah. The problem i had was A-grade was going slower than me when i was on the limit of my attack, but i knew that the likelihood of being able to go around them and stay ahead of them for the rest of the lap was going to be slim and i certainly didn't want to get in the way on their last lap. I guess its just something i will have to learn in crit racing. Coming from road racing in Tas grade interaction is a bit easier to manage, I think next time ill have a go at a solo break a bit further out, i am a terrible sprinter so probably my only option for the win really.
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Re: Race Report Thread

Postby Xplora » Wed Jan 22, 2014 2:28 pm

Discretion might have been the better part of valour. Just checked the track on Strava and you did the right thing not being familiar with the track. I reckon you could justify making them pass you, sheep stations and all that, but would it be worth it?
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Re: Race Report Thread

Postby jules21 » Wed Jan 22, 2014 2:31 pm

iaintas wrote:The problem i had was A-grade was going slower than me when i was on the limit of my attack, but i knew that the likelihood of being able to go around them and stay ahead of them for the rest of the lap was going to be slim

if you want to be super-sneaky, wait until A grade are catching your grade, then attack.. your grade will have to slow when A grade are passing and voila - you have a gap :)
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Re: Race Report Thread

Postby Xplora » Wed Jan 22, 2014 2:45 pm

jules21 wrote:
iaintas wrote:The problem i had was A-grade was going slower than me when i was on the limit of my attack, but i knew that the likelihood of being able to go around them and stay ahead of them for the rest of the lap was going to be slim

if you want to be super-sneaky, wait until A grade are catching your grade, then attack.. your grade will have to slow when A grade are passing and voila - you have a gap :)

Have to time this well - in the Waratahs club you are expected in the lower grades to roll neutral until the higher grade has passed. It works much better in the reverse - you pass the lower grade near a technical part of the circuit, and let the ensuing mess bog down the corners while you breathe easy. We managed to pull it off last year at the Enduro but gosh it hurt; still recovering from the last attack, and then boom had to capitalise on the next opportunity :shock:
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Re: Race Report Thread

Postby vosadrian » Wed Jan 22, 2014 3:20 pm

Guys, this sounds to me more like dirty tactics than good tactics. Even the pros with a lot more on the line than us will wait for a rider who has copped bad luck rather than take advantage of their bad luck. Where is the satisfaction in winning because you took advantage of other people's bad luck rather than because of superior skills (fitness/strength/tactics)? I mean there is always luck in these races, but attacking when others cannot respond is a bit more than lucking the right wheel in the sprint.... but then again I get more satisfaction out of battling a result in higher grades than burgling a result in lower grades, even though one is more profitable.
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Re: Race Report Thread

Postby Pravda » Wed Jan 22, 2014 4:15 pm

vosadrian wrote:Guys, this sounds to me more like dirty tactics than good tactics. Even the pros with a lot more on the line than us will wait for a rider who has copped bad luck rather than take advantage of their bad luck. Where is the satisfaction in winning because you took advantage of other people's bad luck rather than because of superior skills (fitness/strength/tactics)? I mean there is always luck in these races, but attacking when others cannot respond is a bit more than lucking the right wheel in the sprint.... but then again I get more satisfaction out of battling a result in higher grades than burgling a result in lower grades, even though one is more profitable.


You could say they're taking advantage of their own good luck rather than someone else's bad luck. Regardless luck is part of all competition.
It's not kids sport where everyone wins and noone loses. Some days are good, some are bad.
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Re: Race Report Thread

Postby vosadrian » Wed Jan 22, 2014 4:49 pm

Pravda wrote:
vosadrian wrote:Guys, this sounds to me more like dirty tactics than good tactics. Even the pros with a lot more on the line than us will wait for a rider who has copped bad luck rather than take advantage of their bad luck. Where is the satisfaction in winning because you took advantage of other people's bad luck rather than because of superior skills (fitness/strength/tactics)? I mean there is always luck in these races, but attacking when others cannot respond is a bit more than lucking the right wheel in the sprint.... but then again I get more satisfaction out of battling a result in higher grades than burgling a result in lower grades, even though one is more profitable.


You could say they're taking advantage of their own good luck rather than someone else's bad luck. Regardless luck is part of all competition.
It's not kids sport where everyone wins and noone loses. Some days are good, some are bad.


Where do you draw the line. When someone crashes and others stop to help, is that the time to attack and take advantage of good luck?

It has little to do with expecting that everyone should win and nobody should lose, and luck has a big place in racing. It is more a question of whether it is cheating to use a rule designed to neutralise a race for fairness/safety instead to neutralise others for your benefit and intentionally... making your own luck??. My thoughts are that this is just as much cheating as drafting someone you are not racing against. It is the intentional part I have issue with. If you are in a break and you get benefit from above without trying to orchestrate it that way, I say go for it. This is inevitable and true good luck. But I am new to this, so what do I know? Morally/ethically I prefer to get a result knowing I did it on even footing and using riding skills.
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Re: Race Report Thread

Postby Pravda » Wed Jan 22, 2014 5:08 pm

Should I slow down if someone crashes? I'd say no, unless the race is being interrupted because someone needs proper medical attention. But you don't neutralise a race just because someone comes off unless, as above there is a serious injury. If you stop to help someone when there's a crash then good on you but you shouldn't expect the rest of the race to wait for you.

As far as going in a break with the idea that you'll be able to draft off another grade to get an advantage I'd say that would happen so incredibly rarely I highly doubt anyone rides with the expectation that this'll happen and as was mentioned above the race officials are usually pretty on the ball.

Apart from that blocking is a part of racing though there are rules about what you can and can't do like deviating from your line in a sprint.
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Re: Race Report Thread

Postby toolonglegs » Wed Jan 22, 2014 5:40 pm

Personally I don't believe it is cheating to attack just as another grade is about to pass you, but I think it is pretty low. If the only way you can get away is to force a break in the chaos happening or about to happen then I hope you get shoved up a grade quick smart.
Catching a higher grade in your attacking move, or having a higher grade catch you as you are in a solo or small breakaway is always tricky... I have been on the wrong end of the coin a few times with this. You can try and ride apart from them but unless they fly past you the marshals may tell you to go back to your grade. Every situation is different.
Sitting on another grade in a break is just plain cheating ... I think it happens reasonably often and don't say much ( maybe because people don't know the rules ) 9 times out of 10 that or those riders will be disqualified.
I had to learn ( or loss ) a whole new set of morals here in France... :lol:
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