Race Report Thread

cerb
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Re: Race Report Thread

Postby cerb » Mon Dec 19, 2016 11:37 am

SKCC SuperCrit A-Grade Support Race
45km, avg. 46.5kph

Big day of racing down at SKCC for our annual SuperCrit. I was in the A-Grade support race and was feeling pretty good for a fun race under almost perfct racing conditions. Our team had 4 guys on the startline and had a basic plan for two of the guys to go into any moves and the other two of us to save for a bunch kick. We always try to take out a sprint prime or two during this event, however, we realised the night before that there weren't any awarded for our grade this year... a bit sad!

Pace was relatively cruisy from the start and (probably because of this) there were plenty of people trying to get a break happening. Our guys for the breaks were doing a great job of being in everything, so I was able to sit in and keep ticking the laps off pretty easily. My HR for races is typically averaging 173 bpm+, however, I was sitting pretty going sub 150bpm a few times and generally sitting in the low 160's.

The key deciding factor for the race was really bad riding... I don't know what it is about the race, but sh*t riders come out of the woodwork and just wreak havoc. Whereas I barely touch my break during a normal weekly crit, this week had me hard on the brakes into almost every corner as muppets would be braking down from 50kph to 40kph to take a corner you can go trough at 60kph... Irregular braking and people cutting/irratically changing lines made for pretty sketchy racing and many close calls in the bunch. Throw in some muppets doing pedal strikes and it was only a matter of time before there was a crash at ~20mins into the race.

The crash put our club president into hospital with two broken wrists, couple of ribs as well as the usual bruising, cuts & grazes. Couple of other guys went down as well, but nothing too serious that i'm aware of. I got caught behind the crash and probably should have taken a lap, but kept going anyway and closed back up onto the bunch who finally slowed for the yellow flag, which let me and a team-mate catch back on and get back into mid-bunch.

Once the carnage was cleared, the sh*tty riding continued, but fortunately there were no further crashes. A team mate moved me up in the closing stages of the race, but I got forced off his wheel and got left behind a bit coming into 2 laps to go, but he'd still managed to leave me in a decent position. Coming into the bell lap, I was in pretty good position, but still a bit too far back - so I was and moving up against the fence line when the guy one bike ahead did a massive brake check and almost crashed on the main straight... I only lost ~3kph, but also lost positions, instead of gaining them.

From there, I spent some biccies trying to get into position, but was basically too far back to be able to contest the sprint and ended up rolling through in about 15th.

Not the results we were hoping for, but our teamwork is improving and we all stayed rubber side down and free from damage.

I think the goal for when racing resumes next year will be to ensure we move up sooner and then work to maintain the position, rather than surging forward in the closing laps - which has been our usual tactic to date. This should mean some minor recovery for the legs before hitting the sprint and also provide more consistent results.

In the elite results;

The Elite Women's race was once again taken out by Valentina Scandolara, with Netti Edmonson 2nd and Peta Mullens in 3rd.

The Elite Men's race was taken out by Scott Sunderland (for the third year in a row) with an impressive sprint win, followed by Caleb Ewan, Steele von Hoff, Brenton Jones and Mark Renshaw.

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jules21
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Re: Race Report Thread

Postby jules21 » Mon Dec 19, 2016 12:14 pm

nice work Cerb. I heard about the crash. I signed up to SuperCrit, but in C grade and too late - got rejected. it's a blue riband event and massive kudos to SKCC, but the problem is that riders who haven't raced there much or at all come out of the woodwork for the 'big one' and the result can be chaos. riders really need it drilled into them - safety first, 2nd, 3rd.. then maybe moving up in the bunch if there's a gap. if you can't follow lines through the corners and have to drop 5-10 km/h, you have no business being out there, or at least, stay at the back of the bunch.

anyway Sundo looks made for that crit. he is a monster and I'd hate to see his power figures in that sprint. I dare say a few hills would sort him out though.

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Re: Race Report Thread

Postby cerb » Mon Dec 19, 2016 1:01 pm

Yeah, it's always tough to grade people who haven't raced with your club before and introducing many new people at a time is always going to be a bit contentious.

RE: Scotty Sundo, yes he's certainly built for the flat fast sprints! He also usually has a great team behind him. I wasnt there 3 years ago, but last year Budget Forklifts delivered him perfectly to the sprint and this year Inform Racing did the same. There's a lot to be said for being able to conserve all race and then being perfectly delivered to a sprint finish!

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Re: Race Report Thread

Postby Cul » Mon Dec 19, 2016 2:23 pm

Crashes are never good! SKCC has a fairly strict grading policy so I'd be surprised if there were that many newbies racing (particularly in A), its probably more a case of riders that had not ridden Crits at SKCC in recent times and simply a little nervous in such a big, fast moving munch! :shock:

Still well done Cerb may the new year and new tactics bring some fresh results! :D


I was hoping to get down to Muzz on the weekend for some racing, however I come off my MTB on Friday morning which left my right leg quite sore and stiff (still managed 2.5hrs Sunday). I've done bugger all racing this summer so hoping to get stuck into it on the over side of Christmas!
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Re: Race Report Thread

Postby Xplora » Wed Dec 21, 2016 12:49 am

Marconi B last week and A2 this week 1st

Race reports are always more interesting when they win, so hopefully this is interesting.

Short and sweet, I've done a ton of gym work to help address a serious deficit in my bell lap power and it appears to have paid off finally. We raced in 32-36 degree heat last week and my 5 clubmates (of a bunch of 25) were driving the pace. WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU ALL :lol: I tried to get them to share the load, but they wanted to dish out the hurt. I rolled through for a couple short turns and shut down an attack, that was enough for me. I hit the final corner feeling OK considering the suffering all race in the heat, and rode hard through a gap between two leadouts much faster than them all, horrified that I was in front with 250m to go, but held on with a fast finishing Marconi sprinter on my wheel.

A week of sandbag comments compelled me to show up today and race A2 (an inbetween grade to convince riders to compete, just no NRS riders present). Breakaway wind direction supported a couple great attacks including one from the club President but the bunch was motivated to catch. I didn't chase, but I helped keep the pace up so I definitely did my turn. Crushing rain in the first 20 minutes *PAINFUL* and wetness for the next 30 kept things very touch and go. I found my wheel half a lap from the end but the bunch was super dicey at times, so I poked my head out the side and lifted the pace just before the last corner. No one went with me except young Alex from LACC. 25m gap quickly establisted, but I had resigned myself to being the leadout. I told him to finish the job at the top of the straight, my race was done. Alex came around with 400 to go, but faded quickly. I suspect he was afraid of the charging bunch as well as me but went too early off the wheel. I scooted onto his wheel to protect 2nd place, but then came over the top of him, looking behind again and again working out where the bunch was. Nowhere to be seen, and the finish line was miraculously close for a change, so I didn't have to wait to cross for the win. One in a hundred move, very lucky to get away with it, but I was in the right spot and both weeks rode the race I needed to ride to ensure I had a chance to finish the job so I'm quite proud of my efforts, I think its the first wins in 18 months for me?
Congrats to MREJ for his win of the bunch kick, strong finish!

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Re: Race Report Thread

Postby g-boaf » Wed Dec 21, 2016 7:30 am

Xplora wrote:No one went with me except young Alex from LACC. 25m gap quickly establisted, but I had resigned myself to being the leadout. I told him to finish the job at the top of the straight, my race was done. Alex came around with 400 to go, but faded quickly. I suspect he was afraid of the charging bunch as well as me but went too early off the wheel. I scooted onto his wheel to protect 2nd place, but then came over the top of him, looking behind again and again working out where the bunch was.


He's pretty quick, huh? :)

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Re: Race Report Thread

Postby Xplora » Wed Dec 21, 2016 10:28 am

I have to laugh, first time I raced with Alex a few months ago I chipped him on the road for attacking so much, because it was a bit windy and he must be 50kg wringing wet and physics is against him. I didn't realise he was punching on at Junior Nationals... and since then, I've seen him win A2 last week, done awesome at other times, lead the B grade LACC track table. Definitely a rising star like Steve Cuff from Penrith (who just won the Omnium at nationals and the Austral Wheel race). Alex did a TON of work in the break last night as well, so he would have been a bit tired.

Quick look at my data showed not much to write home about except I hit a 90s PB for power in that final run. Just goes to show, all the training in the world doesn't win races, sometimes a bit of luck is required too.

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Re: Race Report Thread

Postby vosadrian » Wed Dec 21, 2016 11:41 am

Nice work Leigh!! Sounds like the strength training and experience in positioning and timing are all coming together really nicely.... Well done!
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Re: Race Report Thread

Postby jules21 » Wed Dec 21, 2016 12:09 pm

congrats Leigh, those are great results!

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Xplora
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Re: Race Report Thread

Postby Xplora » Wed Dec 21, 2016 12:10 pm

Very much luck, but yes, squatting 100+ kgs for 5 reps 9 times a week seems to the thing I needed to be competitive :D

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Re: Race Report Thread

Postby cerb » Wed Dec 21, 2016 1:20 pm

Xplora wrote:Just goes to show, all the training in the world doesn't win races, sometimes a bit of luck is required too.


Yes, but you alsom make your own luck!

Nice results - chapeau!

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Re: Race Report Thread

Postby Xplora » Wed Dec 21, 2016 2:37 pm

cerb wrote:
Xplora wrote:Just goes to show, all the training in the world doesn't win races, sometimes a bit of luck is required too.


Yes, but you also make your own luck!

Nice results - chapeau!

Thanks mate :) definitely agree - I had worked hard all race to keep myself safe and in contention because a westerly is a guaranteed breakaway win at SMSP GP circuit, and it was blowing quite hard, and I had found the perfect wheel only 250m earlier on the bell lap. The luck was with me, but I had to run to make sure it didn't walk away :lol:

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Re: Race Report Thread

Postby andrewjcw » Sat Jan 14, 2017 12:21 pm

HDCC Crit 20km D Grade
Avg 37km/h

It's been 3 years since I did a race and a good 18 months since any serious riding, but on the back of a decent amount of riding in the last 2 months I thought it would be fun signing up for a race. The club handicapper said I could go in D grade on Facebook which I was quietly quite happy about, thinking 'D grade has to be full of old slow people right?' Well I rocked up on Friday arvo, and I was a little confused about why my fellow D graders were all slim young blokes on carbon bikes, but nonetheless thought it just must be for show and it should be some easy prize money up for grabs. The only racing I've done before was at a small country club where the whole racing contingent was about 15 people and D grade basically meant you were very slow and probably had to ride by yourself. I thought I was a fair bit fitter than those old bygone days thanks to some serious Zwifting in the last few weeks, but of course you never really know until you get out there.

1 lap of the 3 race down 7 minutes later and I realized I may have to readjust my expectations from winning, to not dieing of heart attack or heat stroke. We'd covered the first 7km lap at an average of 39km/h (despite the strong headwind down the back) and I was doing all I could to stick to wheels and keep my heart rate below 180bpm.

I was doing ok staying in the top 5, and I was probably the slackest out of the top 5. The guys were doing hardish riding and doing some attacks around 2/3 of the lap but down the back 1/3 into the headwind everyone was just looking for shelter and trying not to blow up. I mostly kept my nose out of the wind. First my time racing in a while and my first time at the club I probably should try to avoid getting a reputation is a bludger so early, but I wanted my $15 race entry fee's worth and wasn't about to roll about by myself so I just tried to follow wheels.

It stayed pretty much like that until the final 1/3 of the final lap where everyone seemed pretty much resigned to an all or nothing sprint for glory and just rode out the last bit. I had a vague idea of where the finish line was and gave it a bit of a burst and ended up earning myself a 4th spot out of 12 starters. Out of the money, but a good way to get back into some racing on a 35 deg summer day in Newcastle, and in a good spot to think about chasing a illustrious yellow C grade number in the future.

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Re: Race Report Thread

Postby foo on patrol » Sat Jan 14, 2017 6:42 pm

Good on you Andrew for havin a crack. :) One thing you should never underestimate is..... Just because you see blokes in their late 40s to 60s and the're in D-grade, it doesn't mean that they will be slow. :lol: You also get as you said, these young skinny bastards in there too. :wink:

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Re: Race Report Thread

Postby cerb » Mon Feb 06, 2017 9:09 am

SKCC A-Grade Crit
avg. 46kph, DNF

Was a fairly windy and slightly ominous looking morning for racing, but the rain managed to stay away for the whole race.

It was a small field and the final of a week long inter-club crit series, so the few names on the start list included some quality riders. With the small bunch, block headwind up the back straight and a few of the top riders looking for a win to secure the crit series, I figured the race was as good as gone to the breakaway.

I'm also at the point of the season where my form isn't great and I'm trying to 'ride myself into some form'. Which basically consists of me throwing race tactics out the window and racing like a rabid dog - constantly attacking and chasing breaks, demolishing myself and hoping to hold on to the finish...

From the start, no-one even wanted to roll up to the start line, with everyone hovering 2m back... first time i've ever seen this! So I rolled the neutral lap around on the front at an agonisingly slow pace. As we rolled toward the start line, 4 guys wanted to take off, so I followed them and just rolled around for ~2-3 laps before the bunch took any interest and sped up to catch us.

I pulled back in near the front and did a few turns, watching one guy launch solo off the front and get a good gap quickly. By the time I hit the front again, he had a whole straight's advantage. So, in the theme of riding like a rabid dog, I decided I would chase him down and gassed it to close the gap in a little over a lap. A flick of the elbow and I pulled off, then jumped back into ~6th wheel to recover a bit.

Two laps later, one of the best TT'ers in the bunch tried for a break. Myself and one other jumped hard to get across to him and two followed across on my wheel. Problem is that I can't hold this guys wheel on the best of days... He's the sort of guy that you sit in tight behind him doing 600W and you still lose the wheel. None of us were strong enough to match him, so our break crumbled within 1.5laps and we quickly got re-absorbed by the bunch.

Soon after, a strong break went (with most of the expected race contenders) and the remaining bunch got split into two by the wind. I was in the back bunch and put myself back on the front of that bunch to bring it back together... Once back together, a short recovery mid-bunch and I went back to the front and helped the few others driving to bring back the break. We came close to bringing it back, but each time it'd get close, someone would jump across the gap and then all the momentum would be lost and the gap would drift out again.

After a big turn up the back straight into the headwind I was drifting back, looking for my team mate to pull in behind. A gap came past me before my team mate and when I checked again to see where he was, I found the gap was the last rider of the bunch - now almost 15m ahead of me and sprinting to catch the bunch which had sped up. I tried to sprint and knuckle down for about 3/4 lap to get back on, but still had nothing after my turn at the front.

My team mate then came past me with a marshall's vest on, marshalling C-Grade... doh!

Definately went too hard, too early. But that is my aim for the next few races - go hard from the start and try to hang on to the end. Still a good fun ride!

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Re: Race Report Thread

Postby jules21 » Thu Feb 09, 2017 12:54 pm

your form sounds alright from that description Cerb!

raced B at Hawthorn last night. got a puncture early on, took a 'lap' out (maybe a few) to find a replacement wheel, got back on. it was hot. I ate too much at work due to leftover food from stakeholder meeting. I suffered like a dog. I clipped a pedal and almost went flying, but the bike pulled itself back into shape. I had nothing left for the last lap and rolled in without crossing the finish line. I'd also slaughtered myself on Burbs loop the evening prior, so that didn't help.

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Re: Race Report Thread

Postby cerb » Fri Feb 10, 2017 8:45 am

Clipping a pedal! You must have been tired... I can never race well the day after a tough bunchie. Some people thrive on it and race better... I don't understand it.

Correlating my best results to pre-race preparations, I've found 'best practice' for me for me is to go hard on the beers and eat junk food all night before a race. Turn up to race, loaded with carbs, low on sleep and with only a glimmer of will to live - then punish myself all race for ruining my usual race preparations.

I don't do this very often these days... perhaps why I haven't been on the podium lately! >.<

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Re: Race Report Thread

Postby jules21 » Thu Feb 23, 2017 10:24 am

well Cerb I like your preparation! I might try it. it definitely works for some people, including apparently some of the pros who love challenging themselves in a race after a big night :)

I had a better race this week at HCC crits. no pedal strikes. hot, 30+ degrees and windy conditions meant it was going to be a hitout. to top it off, someone has let some sandbaggers into B grade, I can't quite see who from my position but they are tearing the race apart. usually B grade is a nice even pace, quick but even and it all stays together, with maybe a break forming between 2 or 3 prospective A-graders.

not the last couple of weeks. someone or people have been tearing it up. the pace just got higher and higher, leaving me breathing at my absolute maximum, even the whole way down the back straight which is normally the recovery bit until you hit the hill again. I could see that I pulled a 1:18 mid-race, which is 45 clicks avg. and my fastest lap time. at that point I let go of the leaders - about 6 riders.

I was so delirious from the effort that I thought I was being dropped, but in fact I was behind the leading 6. all around me there were riders dropping off and withdrawing (we run D grade as well at the same time). eventually I realised I was on a reasonably good ride and that most others were behind. I circulated with a couple of others, then 1 fell away and we picked up another.

we got lapped by the leaders but we weren't caught by anyone behind us. I guess I finished top 10, out of maybe 30 starters? I was happy with that, as I'd smashed myself on Tour de Burbs the night before and was too lazy to put racing wheels on, so I was riding my 2kg aluminium rims.

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Re: Race Report Thread

Postby cerb » Thu Feb 23, 2017 12:26 pm

Nice job Jules. HCC is brutal... I see second place went to a TT'er/whippet last night, so that may help explain the pace...!

It was a night off spcific intervals for me, so I jumped on Zwift to get some extra TSS. Did a 50km 'challenge' to win a signed trek jersey and threw in some sprints.

1h20mins earned me 125TSS, so not too far below race pace and at least one of my sprints was decent >.<

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Re: Race Report Thread

Postby jules21 » Thu Feb 23, 2017 12:39 pm

cerb wrote:Nice job Jules. HCC is brutal... I see second place went to a TT'er/whippet last night, so that may help explain the pace...!

yes it did and does. N is a regular and as fast as he is, doesn't explain the sudden increase in pace! I suspect he will be departing B gr. shores soon for new, more painful pastures.

I rode with another clubmate of yours for the 2nd half of the race. I didn't catch his name but he said he used to be in A grade and had no intention of going back :)

cerb wrote:It was a night off spcific intervals for me, so I jumped on Zwift to get some extra TSS. Did a 50km 'challenge' to win a signed trek jersey and threw in some sprints.

1h20mins earned me 125TSS, so not too far below race pace and at least one of my sprints was decent >.<

I think I will get into this Zwift thing, but I won't be taking you on any sprints..

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Re: Race Report Thread

Postby foo on patrol » Fri Feb 24, 2017 4:07 pm

Being consistent with your training and race will pay off for you two blokes. Jules and Cerb. :wink:

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Re: Race Report Thread

Postby Carriage » Sun Feb 26, 2017 1:33 pm

SKCC D grade crit

I've been looking at giving racing a go for a little while and after giving e grade a go last week (mostly under marshal control) I entered d grade this week to see what an actual race was like. Having read about the surging that happens at the rear of the bunch I found a starting spot near the front and things seemed like they were going okay. The pace picked up a bit and I started drifting back, unable to keep my position and then I did indeed feel the surging at the back until I was dropped about 12min into the race. I tried to set a pace I could hold and was lapped about 10-12 minutes later. The marshal riding with me said that was it but I mentioned the commissaire said that we only had to drop out at 3 laps to go. Given that I'd driven down and paid my money I was keen to keep going at least for a bit. I ended up abandoning the race after I was lapped again at around 33 minutes. I was starting to slow and at the rate I was getting lapped it was possible I'd be in the way at around the 45min mark (I.e. 3 laps left) so I thought I best to stop then. I averaged just over 34km/h.

Overall I enjoyed myself and did like the high intensity however there are cheaper ways to ride by myself. Given that it's the end of the season I'll probably use up the last race on my 3 race permit but if it was the start of the season I'd probably be looking at racing every few weeks or month to see how I'm going. I do have a winter ahead of me to get ready for next season.

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Re: Race Report Thread

Postby cerb » Mon Feb 27, 2017 9:50 am

There's a big jump from E-grade to D-grade, so the transition isn't going to be easy. But I reckon if you enjoy the racing, then you should keep going back to it Carriage. The best way to get in shape for racing is often just to go racing! The first time you go out, you get dropped at 10mins, the next time you make it to 30mins, the next 45 etc. etc.

It can feel a bit demoralising to start with, but once you get around with the bunch the first time, it's a pretty good feeling! It also helps you gain the confidence that you need to race - the feeling of 'I deserve to be here. I know I can do this.'.

I had these same issues going from B to A. Turned up and got dropped from A every week for 3-4 weeks before I finally could hang in for the whole race. Now i'm comfortable and confident it's a lot more fun!
Last edited by cerb on Mon Feb 27, 2017 10:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Race Report Thread

Postby jules21 » Mon Feb 27, 2017 10:01 am

cerb wrote:I had these same issues going from B to A. Turned up and got dropped from A every week for 3-4 weeks before I finally could hang in for the whole race. Now i'm comfortable and confident it's a lot more fun!

yeah, this. except for the A grade part :lol:

if you can circulate at 34 km/h you've got enough to hold the bunch. racing is different to riding around, it requires short bursts of high power, the nothing, then another short burst to hold your position. you need to race to get your legs used to that.

also consider the winter Northern Combine road season which starts April 1.

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Re: Race Report Thread

Postby cerb » Mon Feb 27, 2017 10:30 am

SKCC A-Grade Crit
46km, avg. 45kph

I've had three weeks without racing due to family responsibilities, wash out and marshalling, so it was good to be back and racing this week. Nice day and not too much breeze but a relatively small field of just 33 riders. Unfortunately, I had no team mates. But, that meant I was free to ride however I wanted - no real plans, just go with the flow.

As the bunch was small and there weren't many big hitters racing, the pace was fairly easy, which helped me with my current 'training build' mentality of go hard all race long (rather than sitting in and trying to sprint).

Started on the front row and the initial neutral lap and subsequent slow ramp up meant it was a cruisy warmup. There were no real attacks in the opening 15mins and I rolled a few turns on the front helping to keep any small gaps to a minimum - mostly because it was fairly easy and there were at least 4 cameras pointed at us around the circuit... >.<

One of the guys who has been pretty consistent in winning breaks went to bridge across to a few riders at about the 20min mark, so I went with him and we pulled hard but the rest of the bunch had clearly marked him too. We never really got more then 20-30m gap, and when he sat up after a lap of being just a stones throw off the front, I did too.

I pulled back in to the top 1/3 and was rolling around happily when a decent move went, with both of the major teams in the race represented in the group of 4. It was still a bit early in the race, but with only a couple of guys taking any interest in chasing, I ended up rolling a few turns to ensure the pace was kept up.

About 30mins into the race, the gap to the break had been slowly reeled in and they were sitting only 50m in front of us. I was in second wheel, so as we came onto the home straight and the guy in front flicked his elbow, I opened up in an attempt to either bridge across solo or drag the bunch with me. Turned out the bunch came with me, but the gap closed up nicely... However, having just attacked the bunch, they didn't want to come around me and the break started to slowly open their gap again... doh

My effort really hurt and I was in the hurt box for the next 3/4 lap just hanging on. Fortunately, someone moved up the outside and dragged me right back to the top 1/4 again with very little effort required on my behalf. :)

We reeled the break slowly back in by around 40min mark and after a few flurries of attacks, another break of three went at about the 45min mark. They established themselves well and appeard to be working well together sitting between 50-100m off the front of the bunch. At around 10mins (+3laps to go) I was getting frustrated by the slow speeds and lack of tempo. I started to think the break might stay clear. After a few more attacks from riders and a lot of people sitting up and looking around while one of the regular winners was spraying people for not doing any work (purely motivational tactic - as he had been sitting inthe whole race without pulling a turn).

However, as he was doing this, everyone sat up and blocked the road and the pace came off even more, so I threw caution to the wind and attacked - hoping that if I could get across, the general lack of commitment to the chase would let us stay away. I bridged across pretty quickly and started rolling turns with the other three straight away. However, we were caught by the bunch after only 2 or 3 more laps off the front. Right before we were given 3 laps to go...

I pulled back into 5th wheel and rode fairly strongly through until the start of the bell lap, when one of the teams put someone on the front to bury themselves and bring the pace up for the finish. It worked pretty well on my cooked legs and having to chase so hard straight after being in the break led me to pop with <1 lap to go.

Turned out that the sprint wasn't very hotly contested and that I probably would have stood a better chance in the sprint than in the late break... but oh well. On reflection, there were no teams represented up the road and as the two decent teams did have a few people to put down some power in the closing laps. It was therefore likely that once the teams fired up they would probably make the catch.

BUT.. you can't really second guess your moves after the race already been won! Still a good hit-out.

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