First crit for me this weekend and after a wedding and a few too many frothies the night before decided to nominate for C grade.
The Speeddome course here in Perth goes around our local velodrome car park with the finish line inside thr velodrome - but not on the track.
That means a very steep but very short ramp up to the finish to get to the velodrome concourse.
The C grade race was a fairly sedate affair for the first 15 minutes of the 30 minute race.
On 15 one ride attacked on the back straight lufting the pace over 35kmh for the first time. He was quickly reeled in but after realising I was probably riding a grade lower than I should, I decided to spice proceedings up with an attack with 10 minutes to go.
I took off on the back straight to about 40 odd and built a nice gap. Up to about half a lap of the 600m or so course.
With 3 minutes to go the bunch began reelung me in and wanting to have something left for a dig at the sprint I sat up.
The pace duly dropped right back which suited me just fine after about 8 laps in the wind.
With two to go the bunch seemed to remember we had a race on our hands and we ramped it up. Myself and two of the up and coming juniors went for it on the bell and built a gap before I got hung out to dry on the front.
I decided to make the best of it and put my head down. Coming into the finish straight I had one junior left on my wheel but as we went up the finish ramp he kicked and got by me. Leaving me second by a wheel.
I knew he was there and I guess the lesson is kick earlier as I reckon I could have outlasted him plus hauling 20kg more up the ramp probably had a little more effect on me than him.
That said I think it'll be a very different race next week in B grade.
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2012 Bianchi Via Nirone Veloce
Puegeot Aneto 105
Kona Jake the Snake CX
Raceline Keith Oliver Signature Edition
PDDCC criterium C grade
8 December 2013
Even with a few warm up laps, I was not confident riding the newly widened first corner. I was feeling a little better about the bottom corner a 180 degree turn. While I could not carry a great deal of speed through that corner, it played into my strength of being able to accelerate hard from a slow speed up an incline.
I started mid pack, but found myself slowly sliding down the bunch, to find a spot I was comfortable with.
The fourth time through the bottom corner, I was about to turn in an the rider behind, appeared to cut inside me. I braked a little more, went deeper into the corner and can out much slower. I chased hard up the rise, but could not get back on the bunch. I did not realise it at the time, but that was there was a couple of attacks, the bunch reacted, but the four riders got away and the breakaway lasted.
For the next couple of laps I chased hard, hoping the bunch would sit up, let the breakaway go and let me back on. They did not, the chase from the bunch was half hearted. Not enough to catch the breakaway, but too much for me to be able catch them.
I was not the only rider in difficulty, the rider who put their wheel inside me, as a result of late braking I found out later due to late braking and was not trying an aggressive move, came out of the corner later and even slower than me. The rider following them was even farther behind.
After a few laps, I knew I was not going to catch them, so I settled down to TT and cornering practise. I was trying not to get lapped, but in the end the breakaway got me a little over 5 minutes and a lap to go. I could see the main bunch bearing down on me, I managed to hold them at bay, until the last corner, so I ran wide and deep and rolled in behind the bunch one lap down.
I was a disappointed with my ride, until I realised why I was dropped, it was a combination of being slow out of the corner due to another rider and not being able to get back on because the bunch was chasing hard. Any idea of dropping back to D, was resolved by looking at the lap times. If I rode the times i did solo today in D, I would of ridden away for a solo victory. So next week I will ride in C again and see if I can last longer and make it to the end.
Waratahs C grade 8/12
What a day. Didn't quite have the bike ready to roll so watched the start roll off. I started a lap later. Bad move lol. The ticket collector was reaaaally struggling to stay in touch over my first lap, he was going to have a crappy morning if he fell off up the hill so after some forceful encouragement he jumped onto my wheel and we closed the 5m gap on a fast moving C grade pack pushing up the hill. Some events recently have me questioning the wisdom of giving orders to men 10-15 years my senior (par for the course in masters) but I was thanked for keeping him in touch. It's a bad track to be TTing for the wooden spoon.
So we charge around, I really dislike being at the back. Can't control your destiny even if it is harder. You get better looks at the hard heads who will launch breaks. Lets face it, you don't get to witness a sprinter until the end so put the stinky eyeball on the breakaway threats. So I roll around. Checking it all out and focussing on staying upright.
10 minutes in, a hard effort up front stretches the pack but they respond well. James Tan does his signature grind for half a lap which normally drains the pack so I move up ready to counter. Mr G was helping keep James In the hurtbox and noted that I came charging through right after the last attack was shut down. I put some pace on, and someone came with me with about 50m gap put on but we just lifted the heart rate rather than actually broke away. We needed a third man to stick it. Pack was running 40 averages, not 37, and I know for next time that big averages mean conserving energy for a break much later.
So we go into the pack, I don't need more spare tyres so I let the prime sprint go. Strangely enough, no one sprinted until the final straight. Breakaway definitely seems like the smart move because the sprinters just get into position and wait for the straight. They won't start the sprint at the bottom of the hill like me LOL
Have a couple issues with someone cutting corners. Uncool. The first lap ticket collector sprayed them after nearly losing a wheel. How to resolve these? Talk to the club? I don't have the runs on he board to have a quiet chat.
A lap or two later, disaster strikes E grade down the bottom. One of the older riders has come down Hard and is lying across the track. Someone in E is waving down the pack and slowing us down - very smart move because we would struggle to slow down otherwise. We maintain pace, then neutralise a couple laps then all grades are canned as the ambulance shows up. I hope he's ok, it was a nasty accident.
Some take homes for me. Get there early. 15 minutes at least. Rolling gentle doesn't help your race is you aren't racing. Get your bike ready the night before. I am swapping chains and wheels and it is taking me too long to get ready! Breaks before the halfway are pointless I he bunch is humming. You really can't read a race at the back very well. I needed to trust my data a d realise that if the bunch is chasing breaks down at 40, my 45kmh break attempt is going to be a candle in the wind, Elton John style. Zero out the power meter. I think I had good data, but I'm not sure. Does lying your bike on the ground register a power reading with a quarq? Lastly, pack leadership isn't given in a race. It's not a bunch ride, we are here to compete so a few words doesn't mark you as a bastard as long as you are jumping into the hurt box first.
Prayers are with the injured E grader.
SKCC C-Grade Crit
37km, avg. 41.2kph
Fairly uneventful race for me this week... After moving house on Thursday I could barely walk on Friday or Saturday (too many stairs and heavy boxes!). I took advantage of the free massages from a new club sponsor at the course prior to racing, which had me improved from limping like an old man, to being able to walk around fairly pain free. Despite feeling a lot better, I just sat in most of the race, followed wheels and let my legs recover.
I was much happier with my positioning this week - keeping myself in the front 12 riders at all times. At about 5mins + 3 laps to go, there was still a breakaway about 25sec up the road and the front group started working fairly hard together to pull them back for the finish. I did a few pulls on the front to help bring it back and at 3 laps to go, it was down to 10sec. We shut them down with just over a lap to go and more people than usual came to the front for the sprint. The block headwind up the back straight ensured the finish would be crowded as everyone was trying to stay sheltered on someones wheel until they rounded the corner. I came round the final corner in about 9th and moved up to 7th in the final sprint, but just didn't have the positioning or the legs at the finish to go any better.
Must be time to do some training!
HVMCC C grade - 43k
38.4 k/h avge
Place: 4th but not happy at all with myself
Well this week I thought I would give my commuter bike a crack at the racing. Spent saturday swapping tyres, taking mudguards off and giving the bike a good clean down.
Sunday morning and it seems a few riders have turned up to race, we had 30+ riders in C grade, more than I have ever ridden with before. From the start everyone was there to race it seemed as the pace was quite brisk from the get go. As usual, one rider took off from the start but was quickly reeled in by the bunch. I try and position my self in the first 15 riders and pretty much stayed in this "area" for most of the race.
In the second last lap, at the hairpin turn point, I had a moment of argy bargy with one rider. I was on the outside, next to the gutter, when the rider on the inside veered over towards me. I called out, we touched shoulders and handlebars but remained upright. The riders behind called out to calm down, "its just a race", as I am sure if we went down they would have too.
The pace on the last lap really didnt pick up like past weeks which did surprise me a bit. But there was a 5 man/person group break away from the bunch this time. It was done at the perfect point in the race, just prior to a non over taking point. The rider at the front of the main bunch also seemed to slow down, which really pissed people off. There were shouts of "hurry up", "pick the pace up" and I sort of wondered if this rider had a mate in the break away. I decided that I needed to try and crossover from the main bunch to the breakaway and found myself alone for maybe a k or two trying to do this. Quick looks behind showed the bunch was slowly reeling me in so I was thinking do I burn energy and try to catch the break away or do I sit up and wait for the bunch and then work with them. I ended up sitting up a tad and the bunch caught me.
Turning into the final straight there were a lot of riders positioning for the final sprint, me being one of them. There were 3-4 riders in front of me when I decided to go for it. Unfortunately I went too early and got rolled just before the line, again, and now have to suck on a 4th place until the next race. 4th doesnt taste that nice in the mouth I must say. I am kicking myself mentally for the mistakes I made in the race. I went to early again, I really need to concentrate and wait for my moment regardless of what others are doing. I also need to find a bit more mungrel within myself for that final sprint.
I know I should be happy with 4th, but I just cant be at the moment.
gretaboy - nothing wrong with 4th place! I do understand the frustration of being just off the podium though...
As long as you take something away from your mistakes, it's all good, and there's always next week!
Penrith Regatta Crit 9/12
I rode out after resolving that I need a lot more z2 heart rate endurance work, but this proved harder than expected. I'm nursing some knee pain from ITB tightness after some MTB riding last Friday, and it was only my second attempted ride out there. I felt REALLY strong on the M7, but ended up doing a lot more 155-160bpm work at tempo, rather than genuine cruising endurance work. Power meter actually did help, I was able to concentrate on being more efficient on the pedals. Noticed some really good gains to be had from better aero positioning, so burning the candle wasn't all wasted...
So after a nice 39km warmup, I get there with 10 minutes to spare, so fill the water bottle up and empty myself. Very good move... it's been humid and hot all day, should be around 30 degrees at 6:30pm when we rolled out. Absolutely no relief was to come. I strolled onto the start line, and rolled out taking fourth wheel, trying to keep the 3 guys in touch. So far so good... except we are doing 39kmh for the first lap. And the second. Peaking with sustained 41s and 42s... what happened to my C grade race? I thought I was sandbagging?!
As we engaged in serious groupthink with rider after rider just mercilessly pushing the pace, for lap after lap, I concluded this was going to go down the same as yesterday - very hard pace all race, without much chance for a break. B grader from Waratahs had 2 months off the bike had a few attacks, but the pack just kept saying "sorry mate, you're not going anywhere". In fact, it seemed that 25% of the 20-22 riders were probing and seeking opportunities, but no one seemed to be ready to commit to a break - it was going to hurt badly to get away...
...and we found this out 2.5 laps to go. Waratah took the break, and #7 in the orange kit went with him. Considering how strong the Tahs rider had pushed before I figured this could be the selection. They launched away, made a gap of 150m, and I bridged the gap and proceeded to die in the bum pretty quickly. I think this was the moment I needed better prep for this race. My fitness isn't ideal, and I had arguably used up some juice just staying in the bunch not to mention the ride to the track. I think my break buddies realised that I was not strong enough to seal the deal, so we went past the sign on desk being caught pretty fast. Around the corner, over the bridge and I decided it was time. It wasn't time. I was getting antsy about sharing space through the S's so I figured I'd carry better speed with good apexing and off the front I go. I bellowed my query about 2 laps to go to the Comm, and I think I startled him I'm not the Net Registry team in A grade but there was no way I was going to cope with being told I had 3 laps left, instead of the 2 I expected. The race at the creek went waaaay longer than expected because of bell confusion.
So, I'm charging up the start finish straight alone, suffering away... and I get chewed up bad. Forced my way back into the top 4, and around we go again, heart rate is manageable but the legs don't have a big sprint left. I stay in contact, and move up and box the pack in HARD down the southern straight. A couple breakaway riders are with me boxing in the track, and we lifted the pace to the bridge. Got to figure out a way to recover enough to stand a chance in the sprint, or to run another attack before then. Fail. Don't let the sprinters rest up in your draft, no excuses, if you aren't going to sprint. You can box the track out easily for a third of the lap, but after the bridge you've got 10m of space to protect, and when they surged past me I just didn't have the explosive kick available. I sit up, confident that I've done some work but ensuring safety through the S's. There were some uncomfortable moments today and I wasn't going to high side like the poor rider yesterday.
Take homes... I don't know what to do when the pace is that strong throughout the race. Two days in a row it has been BLISTERING pace for this grade. You just can't break away when the front is rolling efficiently and people are burning matches every turn. Didn't make sense that a few guys were taking most of the turns, but I don't see what they achieved by doing it. Last week, the headwinds caused a lot of dramas, but the lack of wind this week combined with high humidity seemed to make life really hard for me.
I don't know how everyone was doing it, unless the humidity let everyone push harder? Somehow?! Edit: Just checked my best 46 minutes from the ride, averaged 40.8kmh. Strangely, power wasn't that high over the whole race, but a lot of matches burned it seems. The data seems to just say "get on your bike for more training, mate"
Coburg B grade, 50 mins + 3 laps, avg. 41.2 km/h.
this was my first time down at Coburg this season, so i was interested to see how i stacked up. the bunch wasn't huge - maybe 30 riders? but the pace was quick. i felt pretty good, the legs were loose, so about half way in when a couple of breakaways sprung off the front i bridged up to them. B grade here is often decided by breakaways and i've never managed to be in the winning move, so when there were a few people in a move i decided to join in. except that the bridging efforts left me deep in the red - i don't have my racing form yet, i.e. that ability to bury myself for short periods and recover quickly. then the bunch caught us anyway. next challenge was a young rider who must have clipped a wheel on the front straight and went straight down, right in front of me. i managed to move around him but that was definitely one of those "pretty sure i'm going to end up on the tarmac now" moments. after all that i just tried to sit in, the pace came off a bit (thankfully) and then i lost touch slightly in the final sprint. i don't have that top end yet and i'd fired my bullets by then anyway. pretty happy! i will get stronger and should be able to contest the finishes hopefully.
Waratahs C grade Tempo Cup Eastern Creek 15/12
Overcast conditions turned into some drizzle and I couldn't see through my glasses and the GPS was a writeoff. I have only raced the Creek twice now and given it is close to home (20 minutes slow cruise) even the early start makes for a nice start to the day. Navigate the dodgy M4 shoulder and pay my entry fee. Today is the debut of my skinsuit and aero gloves; this thing is exactly the way Champ Sys describes. You cannot stand in this thing comfortably, plus it's deeply impractical (had a bum bag today to keep the keys and so forth under control) plus you look like a twit. Still... Rule 70, the purpose of competition is to win. Not look good. Arguably this won't be achieved in anything I wear on the track. or the road. or the trainer. or in public.
I roll around a couple laps to warm up and get the feel of the track; we are supposed to run the full GP circuit but its been decided that we'll do the short track because of safety concerns. I just can't get around the Capital Hill downhill turn fast enough, so this is a very welcome change. Also adds a small double dip after the first hill which creates some tactical interest. After some hilarity from the MC, we do a lap in neutral, have a chat and hopefully embody friendship in cycling. Roll up to the line and after A grade takes off like a bull at a gate, C grade is up. 25-30 starters? We start on the first lap and there is some interest from James and a guy from Penrith. They drive the pace, but we''ve got 55+ a lap to go... a few turns are run, and a couple attacks are launched. I've decided that I can't afford to get stuck in the bunch, my fitness is OK as long as I'm careful with the matchbox, and I've had bad results from being a bunch runner in the last two races. So I stay with the attacks, conserve energy, and wonder when a certain rider is going to bring down the bunch. It's very scary seeing the crappy riding from behind, and knowing that you won't miss the pileup... I'm staying towards the front, and staying safe, keeping an eye on things just in case someone tries to inspire the bunch. I feint an attack for a lap with James to create some interest. We don't get away but I think the bunch was comfortable with the idea that people would attack. Last week, no attacks, just a blistering pump from the front. Don't like that idea
About midway I launch a stronger attack on the outside while the bunch is grinding with a Filo bloke who clearly has decided that I'm a good ally, and we're onto it after breaking away on the first hill. Put on some pace but he was suffering badly after a lap. We became one with the bunch, and I'm busily sounding out a few blokes that I know like to have a go. I'm still recovering from the break as they blow the whistle for the prime, but no rest for the wicked. The race was stopped last week and while it has dried out, my earlier concern in the first couple attacks meant I didn't want to die wondering. So I'm feeling like I'm running about 85% and we hold a good pace through the first turns and up the hill. Things have slowed a little and feeling a bit tight. I am feeling wary as I know that the sprinters have not been working super hard (I'd been in 3 attacks after 35 minutes and felt OK) so on the double dip I punch away with a couple other guys, and they ran out of legs quickly. Rolled through the line for the prime with about 75m on the bunch, trying to blow out my matches as fast as I could to save something for later. Very very very busy with us passing D grade and B grade quite close.
I drop back to collect some tickets; no one gets a prize in club racing for hanging themselves out to dry so I'm having a break. A few "well done"s come my way as I desperately try and recover. Someone mentioned my name, I thought it was an indian/sri lankan guy but it was probably a Filo bloke with a fantastic goatee and tash (blue focus). I'm guessing they know me from somewhere, PM me if you are here on BNA!
There is a bit of interest over the remaining 30 minutes from 5-6 guys who will put a couple metres on the bunch and then fade back. The pace is allegedly fairly high. I end up towards the front after another lap or so because things look ugly down the back. I'm keeping a very beady eye on proceedings because there are a few of that 5-6 who haven't done tons of work early. We end up lifting the pace on the second last lap, and I'm encouraging the lads up front to keep at it. They weren't sprinting for the line, so we'd be better off launching an attack. Just after I say "1-2 laps left" we get the bell. Couldn't trust this would happen after 1/12 ran 3 laps past the cut off time, and we were warned by the MC there might be a delay on the bell "if it seemed like a good idea" This got me cooked last time at EC, not again. So it's bell lap time, I'm conscious of the gameplan to break away but we must have been pumping 325-350W which is really hard for me to explode from. It's already way up there. So I launch a bit of an attack on the hill, turning the head, making sure they know I'm worried about them as much as possible (:lol:) and after gaining 25m, standing up over the crest and powering down the hill. Data says this was my biggest effort of the day by about 100W, and I stood up going over the little hill to keep the power down and make sure the gap stayed. Managed to pull away about 100-150m at this point. Psychologically I knew it was time for pain, and getting around the final turn and up that incline was brutal, but I knew that I could get some aero relief and tuck in once that was over. About halfway through the final turn I've realised that the bunch is not showing its hand fast enough to get me. Final straight I practiced the sprint training technique of winding up from 90 to 120, up a gear. I knew the wolves would be coming if I let up, so I buried myself. Porridgewog was right about spinning out the 12 cog, I don't think I hit it but my topspeed was only 55 or something.
Letting out the victory roar, I roll over with 100m on the bunch. 1st and prime... they say I'm off to B grade, I'll see if I can convince them otherwise, especially for the enduro next week
Tactically, the race went perfectly for me. My allies (who were many!) ended up draining the batteries too early, and I managed to keep enough in the kitbag for the big move. I feel like I'm getting better at the mind games, and reading the race. It's a tough gig though, trying to be a front runner. Lots of energy being spent trying to work the bunch, which break is the good break, and you can't tell who prepped well and who didn't until it's too late. I had a bunch of milk and eggs before sleeping, and more on waking, and pizza for dinner. Good fuel
Today was the Tempo Cup which is about friendship in cycling. I got a few pats on the back which was nice. A few lads were boxed in for the sprint (stevecassidy managed to position himself for 2nd, well done and nice to meet you!), I hope I will see more friendly faces at the Vets. A cup of champers to celebrate and rolling home with some more prizemoney.
Funny day for racing today, lots of lessons learnt and success to finish off. Needed it with that ridiculous skinsuit
Well done Xplora, that was a good move on the final, especially after you did it for the prime. There was a bit of a chase but no-one wanted to burn themselves up catching you. it was a well timed push.
The sprint behind you was good, especially since I managed to win it. Position is everything on that sprint and I managed to get just the right wheel of the SuVelo rider who pulled out too early into the wind and gave me 20 more metres of shelter before I hit the wind. Then all I had to do was hold off the charge, which was hard, we hit 63kph at the peak which has to be my fastest sprint.
Enduro at the Dragway next week, should be fun.
Where's your next race? cabici.net lists bike races in Sydney
Both my wins have been the same - 10% into the final lap, just bury myself and keep going with the tank running dry on the final straight LOL it really is a mental game, I think the skinsuit was a factor - I couldn't tell who most of the Tahs were, the two Filo riders I could pick out of the bunch, but I think it made it easier for people to spot me so I could send signals a bit better. "oh look it's that twit trying another break, he didn't bother too hard on the other attacks, I'll let him run the tank dry" I swear everyone's club kit is hard to pick out of a crowd.
SKCC SuperCrit C-Grade
avg. 41.4kph, 38km
Last race before Christmas yesterday marked SKCC's second-annual SuperCrit. A massive day was in store with normal club racing followed by a Womens elite race, then a Mens Elite race, with both elite races offering up more than $10k in prize money!
I was hopeful of a podium after being in good form so far this season. I'd done a big week of km in preparation (possibly too many in retrospect!) and was feeling good. There were about 55 starters in C-grade and we were on at the same time as 50-odd A-graders, so the small 1km circuit was bound to be busy!
When the race started, the pace was on straight away and I could already feel my legs suggesting they had already done too much for the week! I struggled to maintain good positioning and it was difficult to move up. I got swamped and sent to the back 1/3 of the bunch every time I managed to move up to the front 15 riders - where I wanted to be. As such, I spent the whole race braking hard into corners then sprinting out of them... losing even more energy to pointless surging.
3/4 of the way through the race my legs started to feel better and I moved my way up the bunch a bit, but still not up to where I wanted to be... When 3 laps to go was called, I figured it was make or break time, so I put in a big dig and moved up to the front 10 places. Again, I got swamped on both sides during a slight lull in pace and was instantly boxed in and going backwards quickly.
Coming down the back straight of the final lap, I finally got an opening from my boxed in position and surged back up the right hand side of the bunch to about 15th position, until the whole bunch swung right and closed off my line. At this point it was under 500m to go, so I resigned myself to finish mid-pack.
The final corner was taken 5-6 riders wide, all nudging shoulders at a touch over 50kph. Almost predictably, someone lost it and there were suddenly 5-6 riders down in front of me. I kept it upright and out of trouble by shooting wide, then stopped to help clean up the mess. 3 riders off to hospital - two of them with broken bones for Christmas... Not a good result, but unfortunately crashes do happen in racing! On a positive note, it was certainly a lot safer than last year's race, so hopefully the race safety continues to improve again next year...
Notes for next year's race:
- Don't over train in the week preceding a big race.
- Don't let yourself get boxed in!
- Be in the top 3 into the final corner to avoid trouble.
Despite the crash, there was only one other for the day (in the Women's Elite race) and it was a thoroughly enjoyable day watching pro team and local (NRS and high level 'club') riders putting on a great show. Seeing pros like Steele Von Hoff, Koen de Court and Gerro stretching out the bunch full of our top club A-graders and NRS riders really puts some perspective on the massive gaps between A-grade club racers, NRS riders and WorldTour riders.
Chloe Hosking took out the womens elite race, while Caleb Ewan took out the mens elite race with a massive kick to make up 5 places in the last hundred meters!
Sunshine, a few beers, some good food and a great crowd has left me tired and sun burnt today... I might take the week off the bike before the final pre-Christmas race at Glenvale next weekend!
Well done Xplora. Time to face facts. You won both the prime and the race in solo breaks, you are definitely in the wrong grade. The Enduro is a good race. You will be fine with the pace of B Grade. But it is almost never won in a breakaway of any kind.
I will try to get out there too. Unlike eon (6th in A yesterday, well done mate!) I am still a bona fide B Grader. I think I have only raced with the Waratahs once this year (for 6th, at the Enduro).
good effort Cerb. some days your legs just don't respond, but too much work leading up to a race will make that more likely. i procrastinated about entering this year's event and then it was sold out so i did a ride out at Donna Buang instead. subconsciously i just wasn't convinced it was worth the risk.
Yeah jump up to b grade!... Hopefully I will have a B grade race on the 29th... Was hoping to race A but I am not riding well ( struggled in C grade just after arriving NZ! ) ... Just a cruise for memories sake
PDDC C grade criterium
15 Dec 2013
Arrived with enough time, to register and ride a couple of laps. Only to find the newly widened top corner had been damaged by a tractor, rendering the new section dangerous and resulting in the new section of corner being roped off, reverting to last year’s narrow single file corner. Did not even get to test it at speed, as next time round two other riders where slowly making their way through.
Rolled back to the start, to find that A and B grade had been combined, not surprising as there was a teams event on in the city. Which meant C grade was starting in 10 minutes, when I was expecting 40 minutes. Gel, fluids, pin numbers on and I was lining up at the start. Totally lacking in confidence in my cornering and nervous as anything.
Started towards the back of the bunch, and slowly drifted back to be ticket collector, which was a bad move. I thought I cornered badly and drove hard out of corners to catch back on. The rider just ahead of me had my total lack of cornering ability, or worse as I had to brake mid corner a couple of times to avoid collecting his wheel. But he punched so hard out of the corners I could not follow. I quickly realised, I needed to pass him.
But the pace picked up, I was chasing on the full length of the straight, get gapped in the corners, chase, get back on by the next corner, etc. By the fifth lap I was off the back and was not going to get back on. Like last week, I used the race as TT and cornering practise. I tried to stay away but got lapped on the start finish straight with a lap to go. Still I finished the race and for good measure, sprinted from the final corner to the finish and surprised myself how well I did.
The next Peel criterium is at the Motorplex, so I will drop down to D grade, to get my confidence back for those corners and see how I go. Not that I should be too worried the 4 rider breakaway in D today, were only a couple of seconds faster each lap than me solo. And I was a few seconds faster each lap than the main bunch.
Great reports. Keep em coming.
Just one thing on Crit's at the clubs I have raced at, when you are lapped, the race is over for you. They ask that you pull off the course. The reasons given is that it gets confusing to officials, bunches and sometimes a little dangerous if all riders that get dropped stay on the course. In some races I've seen half the field of 60 or so riders dropped. This was 1 grade out of 7. If they all stayed on the course it would have been bedlam.
I ride several bicycles, but not at once.
You're a cruel man nic lol
I think ticket collector is the sharpest double edged swords: you are at the mercy of the best and worst of the pack. They put on the pace and you can fall off the back without them even noticing, and if riders are braking for corners hard and not accelerating smoothly you go off the back as well. They are either weak riders or they have the exact same "playing doggo" tactics as you. I feel a lot more comfortable being towards the front mentally, but as a few have mentioned, I may not be in an appropriate grade yet.
Something I will say - its hard to be brought down by the bunch if you are lead wheel!
That was me X, impressive win. Breaking away from the bunch on both the prime and the finish. You definitely will be promoted to B Grade, so expect an email from the Waratahs.
I know you as we've race before the last time and you've ridden with people I know (so we know the same people lol)
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