C Grade Handicap
Only 1 in A grade, 3 in B grade, 3 in C grade, 5 in D grade. C Grade was made up of Baldy, myself and one other. We all worked pretty well together till the turn around, the other guy didn't have the top end on the flats/downhill sections. Baldy and I waited once for him to catch up but he lost touch again, being a handicap we couldn't keep waiting so we took off after D grade who were not that far ahead, certainly not the 3 minutes they had on us from the start.
Baldy and I were swapping turns nicely and soon enough we were on D grades tail end. I mentioned we should stick with D with the idea they would pull turns at our speed but for not as long but there was no organization to we kept on pushing through. One guy decided to come with us so we put him to work straight away. Baldy thought he was not doing enough work to warrant sitting on so we upped the pace and he was soon out the back. By this stage the turn around was roughly 2km away and Baldy muttered something along the lines of he was faltering and didn't have much left. We slowed up a bit so Baldy could recoup some energy as it was going to be a long 10km false flat into a headwind, the last thing you need after 34 kms of pretty hard racing and I knew it would be nice to have some company on the way back to the finishing line.
With the turn around less than 400m away Baldy was really feeling the pinch and gave me the nod to continue on without him. Was a pretty tough 10km solo back to the finish line but I sort of new I had it in the bag when I passed the rest of the field heading in the other direction to the turnaround. None the less I still hammered myself to make it certain.
Got 1st overall, felt pretty strong. I was 1 minute slower than B grade, I was solo for the last 10km of the race into a headwind whereas they (B) were all still together (3 of them) all the way to finish, pretty sure this is where I lost the minute. Only a small field, made the race no less harder, just a little slower.
Avg Speed: 36.2
Avg Power: 308
Avg HR: 179
Avg Cadence: 101
Elevation gain: 380m
I wanted to race with my mate in a crit' so we both entered in D grade with Blackburn at Casey Fields. They were a little dubious of me, but let me start. I made sure I didn't effect the race in any way, other than doing my fair share on the front of the bunch. It was cold and wet, but good fun none the less. A couple of the younger blokes tried to get away a couple of times and had my mate in trouble a couple of times, but he hung on. It was all together for the final sprint and my mate just got up. I rolled over the line 300m behind after pulling up on the last lap. Funnily enough it was still harder than a training ride. It just goes to show that there isn't always a big jump between grades (except B to A).
I ride several bicycles, but not at once.
Another Sunday, another race.
In what could be described as the worst wind I have ever ridden in, the two laps of a 30km circuit around the roads or Richmond, TAS were tough.
Race format was graded handicap and as with all my races so far I set off with the C grade bunch 6 minutes after D and 6 minutes before B. A grade set off a further 6 minutes after B, but contained 2 Genesys Wealth Advisors riders. Instead of describing the circuit you can view it here: http://app.strava.com/rides/19740349
The wind was coming in from the west so the only time we had a tail breeze was the run in to the punchy climb on the circuit making for pretty quick times up the hill and the descent to the first corner. We were on the climb within the 1st 5 minutes of the race I was feeling the pinch already lack of warmup might have had something to do with it, but I didn't pannic and try on hold onto the "climbers" as it was a pretty short climb and I knew for certain I could catch back up on the fast descent down the other side. The group had about 10-15 seconds on me by the time I hit the summit, smashed the descent and got back on.
This section of road is pretty quick, aided by the tail breeze the guy running junior gearing simply did not have a high enough gear to pull a proper turn but he managed to stay with us to the 1st left hander. Turning into a cross/head we organised ourselves into an echelon and the junior got shelled. It was status quo until about 500m to the next turn, another left hander which put us into a head wind. I was feeling pretty strong so I decided to test the remainder of our bunch, I put in a little bit of an effort and managed to get a gap. I wasn't trying to get away I was just testing the waters. Reason being as I knew they group would drop me the second time up the climb so I had a plan to put some distance into the group when we hit the next turn, you guessed it, a lefty which put the wind into a cross/tail, mostly cross.
We came round the corner and I waited a little for the guy who I thought might be able to come with to finish his turn, luckily it was my turn next so I just ever so slightly lifted the pace and got the gap I needed. Kept the pressure on the pedals and got my gap out to about 200m at its biggest, not much, but enough to have me summit the 2nd ascent in front. This is where it turned to pain.
I kept looking back whilst climbing to see where they were. On about the 4th check, here comes the bright orange duo of Genesys boys. I put in a massive effort just to summit with them (by this I mean they caught me just at the top), took a quick sip of my water, jumped in the wheel and descended with them. I should mention another racer from B was also with them. It was probably a little cheeky but I came around the 3 on the descent and took to front, In a somewhat foolish attempt to indicate I am not just gonna sit on but happy to do turns. I didn't care if I blew myself up trying to ride with these guys, it was just awesome fun. Any how after about 20 minutes racing with them the time came where I was gone. Mind you the last 10 minutes was into a stiff cross/head wind, if it was with a tail I might have been able to hold on a bit longer. I doubt they were going full gas anyway, when I declared I was gone, one of them said just sit on. I had popped I couldn't hold the wheel. Had my 30 seconds recovery and started working hard again.
Was in no mans land for another 10 minutes until a C and B rider caught up, we all worked pretty well together for the next 10km, I got the sprint finish out of the 3 of us by about 20 meters.
Got the win in C and 4th overall.
Avg Speed: 32.8
Avg Power: 289
Avg HR: 170
Avg Cadence: 95
Elevation gain: 641m
hard race doggatas, its got to be one of the toughest of the season that one! and no shame in not hanging onto the wheel of two of the best riders in the country of Nathan Earle and Campbell Flakemore. I still cant believe that Gerald hung on to them in A grade for 30km on junior gearing, esp with 60km/h speeds in the tailwinds.
Raced at Warragul CC handicap on Saturday Arvo. Windy and cool conditions. There were 33 riders in total, with a strong scratch bunch. I was in the 6 minute bunch which included a couple of very strong riders. 44km, 4 lap race.
We caught all before us by the 2nd lap. I was struggling to keep doing every turn, and missed a few. If I didn't miss those turns I would have been shelled. It wasn't the neatest working group I've been part of, but with the 2 strong riders in it we kept the pace up. during the 3rd lap one of the others said that he didn't think we would get caught, but I said to him that scratch was strong and we would be lucky to stay away. With a lap to go I looked around and 400m back there they were. Scratch and the chopping block had formed a decent group. With 1/2 a lap to go we were caught. It got a little messy and the pace eased a little. I tried to get a sit but it wasn't the best spot. When we went around the turn for home I would have been about 8-10 back from the front. The scratchies started to build the pace up for the final 1km, but I was out of steam and let the wheel go with at least 500m to go. I rolled over the line behind the sprinting bunch. It was a good hard race and will make me stronger.
Next week is more of the same.
I ride several bicycles, but not at once.
Ya put about 1min into me in that last 10km. Everytime I tried to push a bigger gear I'd cramp. Was pretty much toast.
One interesting thing about that race was how I react to attacks/surges by different people. When you throw a little dig I don't react, just take a sec to decide if I have the legs or not and usually just keep the same tempo. But when I thought that D grade limpet was trying something, I got a huge rush of adrenalin, went to the front and spat him out the back
I probably don't have the right temperament for racing against my friends. But if I don't know you its elbows out and nostrils flared
This here I never had a problem with! But when we worked together, we were rarely beaten.
I don't suffer fools easily and so long as you have done your best,you should have no regrets.
This comment made my day mate, still laughing.
PDCC Presidents Cup Handicap Wandi
After my last attempt at a handicap race (go back a couple of pages, it involved gastric, get dropped, popping and then an exploding wheel), I was hoping for reasonable handicap and appeared to get one. The limit group consisted of the better riders from E grade. With the exception of their sprinter Scott, who was in the group at 3 minutes with Dave a sprinter from D grade, who won the last handicap at Serpentine from limit, Lara who can climb a lot better than those two and me. The group starting two minutes behind us included D grade strongman Mark who usually spends most his time on the front of the D grade pulling us slackers along.
The problem was our fist lap was slow, I did not realise it at the time, but my warm up lap was a full minute faster. I am sure we did not make any inroads into the time gap of the front group. On the 400m (AT) 4% climb on the 2nd lap, we were caught by Mark and Kyle from the group behind. Both Lara and I jumped onto the back of the two and bade Scott and Dave farewell. Most of the work for the next half a lap was done by Mark, with Kyle doing a share, with me and Lara making guest appearances on the front. By the end of the lap, Lara was gone. Halfway round the next lap, Kyle and I were struggling, I dropped back and kept a steady pace, by the end of the lap I passed Kyle who had popped.
Approaching the 400m climb on the 3rd lap, I saw the 4 riders from limit group for the 1st time as Mark caught them. I set myself a task of catching those 4 and continued riding at a steady pace. The next lap and half was a solo effort, I was making small inroads into the gap and wondering where everybody else was. When an A grade rider went flying past, followed another 33 riders from all groups behind me. I make a mistake, I should of accelerated as soon as the 1st rider went past, instead of waiting to jump on the back of the group. After touching 50kmh to get on the back of the bunch, I decided to save my effort and try and catch my original target.
The next time I saw the limit group was approaching the 400m climb for the final time, there was only 3 of them and the gap was smaller. I put in an effort to catch them, it was a slow process and it took another half a lap to close the final gap on the last climb, 2km from the finish. I got my breath back, rolled to the front with a km to go and rode off the front with 700m or so to go. Finishing 35th out of 55 riders and 40th on overall time.
After the race, I talked to a few people, the final limit rider managed to stick with the big bunch for a little longer and then rode in with another rider who got dropped, most of the other D graders got caught a lap before me, some managed to hang on the bunch for two laps, before getting dropped in the final km and Mark who rode by himself until the final climb when his was caught by the bunch and managed to finish with them. The visiting Strawburger got a generous handicap 9 minutes off limit, 6 minutes from scratch, equipped himself well finishing with the big group and narrowly missing the $50 cash prize for best visiting rider.
Overall happy with my performance, power data showed my best efforts ever from 7 minutes to 75 minutes. So I can't really complain, I could of done with an extra couple of minutes advantage over scratch and the fast guys, plus I needed to of put more effort in on the first lap or two. Then it would of been interesting
Well done Nickobec, sounds like a hard race. Always good to try and jump on the scratch train when they go past. Sometimes it's possible to get a bit of a free ride, sometimes you get cooked. I like the risk though.
I raced the Warragul CC handicap on Saturday. 44km with 42 riders due to some visitors coming, and a decent days weather for a change. This sort of turnout makes it a good race as there aren't too many groups with low numbers. I was in the same group as last week but with 1 minute more on scratch. This made sense as scratch was stronger (due to the visitors) plus strong groups at 1.5 minutes and 3.0 minutes ahead of scratch. It appeared they would form a strong group before the end and they did.
However with bigger groups ahead of them, plus good weather, the scenario gets less favourable for the scratch markers. Last week one of our blokes missed the sart and didn't get on. He made it this week. He was strong and vocal. It was a little off putting but kept us going and in the end helped our chances. In our group there are 2 other strong riders. One is a veteran who still is a great pedaller. The other is late 20's but was once a champion junior rider named David. These 3 were the mainstays of our group. I struggled every lap on one side of the traingle shaped circuit, but I do my turns on the other 2 sides. So all in all it was a very good group and we went hard from the get go. Last week we caught all ahead of us by lap 2 of 4. This week, we took over 3 laps to get everyone. With 5km's to go, we still couldn't see scratch behind us. But we all knew they would be strong and would not slow. The last 5km's revolved around the 3 strong men of our group towing the rest of the now 15-20 strong combined limit group to the line. I didn't look around, but concentrated on the first 3. There was only one other rider who I knew was behind me and could sprint, but David was the one to watch and I was on his wheel. The only problem I had, and it's one I suffer from a bit, was cramps. I knew I didn't have a kick to match David, but if I stayed with him I might get second. We left the sprint for so long that I couldn't belive it. Less than 200m from the line. I cheeckily said to David, when he looked around, that we were all watching him. He smiled, kicked and we watched him win at will. At the same time as he went I did get upto have a go. But both calves and my right hammy mini cramped. I kept going but was messy. My only hope was to get up to some pace and crystal pedal over the line, perhaps holding on. It looked good for 50m but then the other good sprinter came past me for second. I held on for 3rd.
A tough but rewarding race. I've got to do something about these cramps.
It's a great thing to be in a group with such good riders.
I ride several bicycles, but not at once.
Great report Nickobec.
Enjoy reading about Peel and I look forward to having a crack next year. Hopefully I won't have my butt handed to me too much in my first year. Lol
Keep up the reports.
2015 Specialized Tarmac
2012 Avanti Giro3
You will probably get your butt handed to in your first race. I was lucky, I thought I was going to get dropped every time I had to accelerate out of a corner in my 1st race. But each time I made the effort, I got on the back of the group, thinking the next corner will get me and made it through to the finish.
It gets easier after that.
PS Why wait until next year? If you ride 28km solo in 60 minutes on the flat, you should survive PDCC E grade race in the bunch
I'm probably not too far off that pace. I'll give that some serious thought. Do you do the Crits over summer?
I don't really mind getting beaten. It's just an opportunity to find out what you need to work on.
2015 Specialized Tarmac
2012 Avanti Giro3
I will do my 1st ever Crit in November when the crit season starts (only been racing since April)
You can get a 3 races in 3 months temporary licence from the Cycling WA site for $44 http://www.wa.cycling.org.au/default.asp?Page=42219&MenuID=Membership%2F20210%2F19974%2F
Which gives you the chance to try before you buy, it you try a road race and don't like it, try a time trial (a hilly one with BBQ is coming up soon), then a crit in November. If you like racing upgrade to a full licence, your $44 will be credited against your licence cost. Note licences run until 31 December each year and are full price until 1 July when the cost is halved.
ps do come over and say hello, I will try and introduce you to the smarter E grade racers Connor and Ken, who have to race smart due to their age Connor is 14 and Ken 76.
Cycling Tasmania - Deloraine to Launceston Handicap 70km
Hadn't been graded yet for a Cycling Tasmania race, handicapper placed me in D. This will be a short report. I might add, A in cycling Tasmania is basically pro level, from the Genesys boys right through to Riche Port, Cameron Wurf...
D was made up some up and coming juniors, a few inexperienced racers (myself) and some stallwards for a total of around 12-15. I travelled 200km in the car for this race, I well and truly have the racing bug. I even borrowed a mates Pretend aero wheels (Mavic Cosmics).
Our bunch was all over the place and ended up doing a fair bit of the work on and off the front. I wasn't attacking, I just find it easier to go at my pace as opposed to someone else's. No one got dropped from our group, not even the juniors(guns) who were on junior gearing. I might add the juniors never shirked the issue of working on the front. We whizzed past E no problems and a few jumped in with us.
C caught us 12kms from the finish so I jumped in with them and started working. There was a bit of a rise and some of the c starting going backwards whilst I was still moving through the field. This put me in the top 10 at the top, the pace lifted, I thought to myself must be near the finish so I responded to all the moves.
With 700 to go(didn't know at the time) a guy jumped well clear of the bunch, jumped on his wheel, he started to fade I could see the finished line so I came around him with about 400m to go and gave it everything. Got pipped on the line for 2nd place, lost it by .105
Was talking to an official after the race, he had some nice things to say to me and as it goes I am bumped up to C grade open. I must give credit to the program I am on provided by Alex Simmons at RST, it's not a coaching plan just an online plan based on my power output. I'm 3 weeks in to a 6 week plan. Once that is over I'm gonna take on the silver plan.
It does help being able to have a good sprint, just need to work on the endurance and weight loss now.
Avg speed was 40.4km/h
Great riding, congratulations.
Hope this works.
John and I have been riding a tandem with F grade in the ACT Vets Cycling Club recently. It has taken some time to overcome the reluctance to mix single bikes and tandems.
This was not a particularly tandem friendly course being a hotdog with two U turns, but much better than the hilly races the week before and after. In retrospect we were faster than F grade on the flat course so we'll be riding E grade in the next flat race. I'm working on ideas for a better camera mount too.
Les Portes du Bugey... Nice 100km race with about 1750-1850 meters climbing...strava gave me over 2000m!.
We were running a bit late so no warm up... No worries as the first 20kms are flat and fast.
Tried to stay near the front as this is a big mass race (4 or 500 registered this year apparently )... Any way I warmed up by staying near the front... In the wind a bit as we go through many little towns and it is super dangerous until we hit the first climb. Over my shoulder I heard a big crash... Didn't look round, I wasn't in it after all. But two team mates went down apparently. Both ok but one destroyed his frame.
Hit the first climb and I let the bunch go... No way I am going to match the climbers on 10km long climbs!... My aim was a better time than last year and to enjoy.
So pretty much settled in to a solid pace and rolled. Got in a nice little bunch of ten after the first big climb and conserved on the rolling ground. We stayed together for a long time and I did a fair bit of work but never on the limit.
When we hit the big climb of 8kms at 7% ish I went to the front and set a solid pace for me... Dropped my group and started picking up plenty of others... Got to say it feels good being able to climb!. Ok I am no climber but I found it quite comfortable and was often not in the 39/28 .
Over the top of the big climb and a beautiful 10km'ish descent averaging about 50 with a few flattish bits thrown in.
One guy latched on and by the bottom there were 3 of us. 15kms to go and I am remembering last year how the last 15kms were fast and flat. But no, last year there was road works and we missed the last climb. About 6kms at 4 or 5 % av... Not to hard, good for us big guys!. Passed plenty more guys and dropped my wheel suckers... Seems I paced myself well.
Over the last climb and 50-60kmph for the last 5 km's.
Last year minus the final climb I did 3h42m... This year my strava time was 3h20m. Slight difference!.
Felt pretty comfy at the end... So good days training .
Still waiting on final results... But I 9minutes minutes behind the fastest strava time!.
Well done TLL, seems like a great improvment.
I raced SMCC B grade 75km scratch race. Three laps of a dead flat circuit. I'm still building up fitness so I was never pushing for the win. The wind made it interesting, but it was never too strong. I did my turns and the race went o.k. Although there were a few attacks, there never appeared to be anything too serious going to happen. On the first corner on the second lap i noticed my front wheel move a little under me. The ground was still wet so I put it down to that, and I took the next couple of corners easier. However at the start of the last lap it happened again. I thought to myself that it was a front puncture, but I have sealent in there so it will not get worse. I was wrong. Down to the fisrt corner on the last lap and the wheel moved a little more this time. I thought I better check out what was going on so I got out of the saddle and felt the tyre roll a little. Not wanting to come down and bring other with me I pulled up. Not only was my front 1/2 flat, my rear was the same. Double puncture on tubs. I turned around and nurse the bike back to the start/finish. My front tyre is buggared, but the sealant seems to of held on the rear (i hope). A frustrating and expensive race.
I ride several bicycles, but not at once.
STCC race in Hobart, 52km out and back with a hill at about the 20km mark, second race back after a long illness stint off the bike.
Not feeling great at the start of the race, 50km/h gusts of cross wind mixed in with headwind, 7 of us starting in B grade, with A grade 5min behind with similar numbers. I was in the Box from the get go, people smashing it through on the paceline and not slowing on the slow line, grabbing a wheel every time i swapped lines, HR was in the 180s for the first 5km and i popped. Luckily so did two other guys just up the road and we regrouped and paced ourselves limiting our losses to the 4 boys up ahead. Finally A grade came through at the base of the Hill and i had recovered enough to jump on with them up and over the hill to the turn, then around the turn and the rubber band effect took place and i was riding at 65km/h with a tail wind trying to get back on, finally got back on when the hill started over again and two A grade boys decided that they would push the pace a little, unfortunately my last match had been burnt and i was gone, soloed the last 20km with a crappy swirling cross tail head wind, feeling like vomiting for the last 10km i slowly picked off some straglers from C and D grade and rolled over the line in 5th position in B grade and well down the standings overall.
On the plus side i feel like my top end power is coming back in the hills and holding on the A grade was an improvement, but still a long way from my consistent form in B grade that i had a few months ago when i was pushing to get into A grade. oh well i am sure it will return slowly!
I did a TT last Saturday. 19.2k, 35.4kph, 353W, NP 358W. The fastest time of day was 44 seconds quicker (250W whippet). And Ross beat me by 21 seconds (also a whippet).
First time with bar end shifters, windy as all hell, and I wussed out on the steep descents and bumpy bits. This really cost me as at the top of one descent I was ~ 10 - 15m behind the rider in front and by the time I got back on the aero bars he was about 30 - 40m ahead. This is on the Ribble frame with bolt-on parts, it's twitchy and the saddle position could use some more adjustment. But given I was able to make the power numbers, I don't think that will make a lot of difference. And my avg HR was down, only 163 BPM, so either I'm (a) fit or (b) I wasn't pushing hard enough. I also need a bigger chain ring (52T on there now), as every time the speed went up the power dropped.
I ride, therefore I am.
...real cyclists don't have squeaky chains...
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