Awesome, pleasure to put a face to the name Walastik! When you said g'day then my name and them congrats after the prime I wanted to say hi later but things were either a bit tight in the bunch or I was physically unable to chat lol
Do you ride with the OzPR guys?
Bring on the enduro!!
You are absolutely killing them! Good on you! (not that you'd give a damn about it coming from me).
I've met a couple of the OzPR riders - all very cool.
Last edited by g-boaf on Wed Dec 18, 2013 7:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
That is true of most the crits I have raced. However, this circuit is open, you can see everything that is going on, there is only 10 to 20 riders per grade, max 2 grades on 1.6km circuit at a time, the club uses electronic timing and the only way off the course is on the right on the start/finish straight, where I have been lapped on the last lap and I was keeping left. If I thought I was a danger to other riders or cause confusion, I would be off in a flash. Which I have done in other races, before being lapped.
And if the rule was strictly enforced last week the combined A/B field would of been reduced to 2, after a B grader in his 1st race lapped the field, except the leading A grader sitting 30 seconds off the pack.
[quote="Xplora"]You're a cruel man nic lol/quote]
Well I need to be, I might be the stand in handicapper next race.
Waratahs C grade Enduro 22/12 100 minutes + 1 lap
This race report starts with the night before - neighbours had sewer troubles, so had a small excavator in their backyard until 11pm digging to help repairs. Very poor sleep with my kids failing to get decent sleep... the joys of living in a society hey? So I wake up at 630 like a truck hit me, and drag my butt to the kitchen for some stimulants. Double shot of coffee, couple bits of toast, and had a crack at some beetroot juice. Much less bad than expected. LOL
So with the breakfast of champions and completely terrible prep I punch FTP down to Eastern Creek Dragway. Never been there before, so I'm interested to see what is on the cards. Charge up to the desk and resign myself to promotion after last week, but a C grade number is put on my back. This is an unexpected development, especially since I've pumped Croozin and rogan up to come down. What are mates for?
On the line and the quiet conversations are starting before we roll out. My suspicions that I'm a marked man are confirmed. We roll away, and set a reasonably quick pace. I've resolved to stay up the front but watch the race unfold since I'm not familiar with the course and I'm going to be riding for a result after an hour and a half. A few guys are punching away early, so much that we are actually making some gains on B grade. It's just shadow boxing fortunately so I'm not pushed outside my comfort zone too much. There is a northerly breeze, and we're rolling around. A few gentle attacks are launched and shut down over the next 30 minutes. Everyone is keeping their powder dry, but the guys up the front are driving quite strong. I run a reasonable attack for a lap, Dave from Bike Barn is with me and we do a good prod on the bunch with Dave from Penrith. All three of us don't look like we've got a sprint between us, but we're aggressive on the attack. After a lap away, a group of 5 has bridged the gap and we all start charging for another lap. I'm feeling good, lots of talk to encourage the guys (because we were going to need a big lift to survive 45 minutes away) and we launch up the straight. This is working well. The break is getting cooked, and the bunch has a big effort to catch us up. The pace seems to stay strong on and on... launch the attack, force the bunch to chase. I'm feeling good, and the powermeter is doing something useful on the attacks. Despite a lot of brief 500+ watt bursts, I aimed to keep 30 second power under 250. This is a big deal when I don't want to burn the matchbook too early. Noticing way too much 400W efforts on the front up the straight, but we needed to keep the pace on.
I've told the two Daves that I'll share prizemoney if we get to the finish on a break, and sound out a few guys who like the break. We launch a good attack with 25 to go, and we start to splinter the bunch. A couple riders try and mix it up the front, but they are struggling to maintain their position when the turns come around.
So after a gel, and some overtaking issues with D grade and A/B, I've realised that 15 to go is our time. D grade is going to muck up the bunch through the carpark and up the hill, so I start barking like I'm Gunnery Sargeant Hartman. I know that a strong effort on the hill is going to create the space. Dave (bike barn) and I end up alone for 2 laps towards the end. I know the bunch is going to be on fire if it catches us, so the only way is to create the gap and defend it. I saw 3-5 guys trying to bridge the gap on the lap we jump, but it was a fading counter. We tap tempo into the wind, and then punch down wind. I've budgetted energy for around 3 laps off, thank God for small mercies, we get the bell bang on 100 minutes, only 1 lap or so in the break. By this time, my suspicion that the bunch would ease off a little was confirmed, because they dropped right back. We were trying to stay in front of the A grade break (quite a heart starter to think that another grade is the tail). I want to make sure Dave doesn't break the rubber band so I tell him that he's coming with me. What a legend, he's still running turns despite being above FTP. Up the final hill and down and he's taken a long turn to get us there. I'm reasonable about this - he's done just as much work as me, and it's not really cool to hang a guy like that out to dry, so I propose a gentlemen's agreement. I'll take the turn to the straight, we'll get around nice and safe, and then once on the straight, we'll start the sprint there. Seems fair and he deserved better than just hanging him out to dry after lifting so much to support the break.
We get onto the straight and I proceed to start sprinting in the little ring. He's got a metre in front when I find the big ring (I'm a goose). He's out of beans so I take the sprint by 15m or so with my signature grunt.
Some one comes through after 20 seconds rather cranky because I was still in C. Some people can't be happy, but I won't begrudge his frustration. Simple fact is, I had good tactics today and plenty of support from the front runners early in the race. I had three times I had trouble getting off the front for turns but someone would attack each time things bogged down, so the sprinters were always going to struggle. The sprinter and TT bodytypes are very different and sprinters can't expect to schnivel to the line unless they have a team to drag them to the final corner.
Had a chat to a number of guys, sounds like they are enjoying the hard racing with the attacks (and a number of guys came out of the woodwork to launch some attacks HARD), really enjoyed this one as a solid team effort from the grade and epic kudos to Dave and Dave; big wins don't happen simply because you drank a coffee and some gels, they come from solid efforts from some key people.
Got my email from Waratahs confirming they'd like me to race up. Bit sad because I'm not sure how much racing I can do since church is at 11, and most Tahs races are at Lansdowne. I'm feeling like I've been winning the mental game, just need to stay on the trainer to keep up the improvement.
Good one Xplora and to the ones that cry like a girl after the finish, you say train harder then. Just because you win a couple of races, it doesn't mean to say you will always win in a grade. Anyway the handicappers are the ones that determine what grade you ride.
I don't suffer fools easily and so long as you have done your best,you should have no regrets.
Good race Xplora, it was a hard day out. I enjoyed the first 30 mins of the race, stayed up the front and thought we'd split the bunch - there were gaps opening up on every lap, but they all came together on the straight each time. After 30 mins I started to feel crook with my breakfast re-appearing a couple of times after making an effort, I slipped to the back gradually and finally pulled out at 60 mins.
I think with the way you've won the last two races it's pretty clear you're not a C grade rider any more, anyone who can ride away from the bunch consistently like that is in the wrong bunch. It will be a shame if you can't make it to the later races though.
I have enjoyed the racing in C lately, plenty of breaks and chases, there are enough riders who aren't so happy sitting in and waiting to see what happens to make the races much more interesting.
Where's your next race? cabici.net lists bike races in Sydney
The simple fact is in NSW they are not. It is up to the individual to decide which grade they race in, until it becomes too ridiculous. The general rule is if you have to be told to go up you have left it too late. Congrats on the win goodluck in B grade sounds like you may not stay there long.
Thanks guys, appreciate it.
Vander, we will see if I am leaving B soon. Feeling like the success is partly a recovery of fitness, and development of FTP (haven't done much riding between July and November), an improving understanding of race tactics, coupled with the powermeter pacing. I didn't look at the GPS much, but it's helpful to know when your enthusiasm is going to make you pop. I did a Richmond loop on Saturday alone with the Quarq for the first time, I've ridden it 50-60 times and it was quite instructive. Chatting with a few guys who have ridden bunches a lot, it seems that they aren't aggressively trying to apply strategy and tactics to the race and they don't see the moves. Too far back? I reckon I saw 6 significant moves yesterday; I wonder how many others saw. I also made sure I wasn't on the wrong end of the stick every time those moves came. Yes, I am strong for C, but people respect the fact that you are making your own destiny out there - I wouldn't let things bog down, and the frontrunners responded to that.
There appears to be a big difference between a rider's confidence and their ability to execute a plan under duress in D and C... I've taken advantage of that lack of confidence a few times. I am certain that others could do it, but they need faith in their training. When a 55-60 year old comes up and was smashing it out multiple times (great turns!!!) I know there are guys that can do it, but they won't do it without support and encouragement.
I think a big drama for the sprinters in this "burglar" situation is that they can't sit on wheels and expect to be dragged to the finish in a good position. If the toughest rider likes to break away, then you have to respond yourself. If that ruins your sprint, then it's not your day. A week ago, the bunch shut down my break attempts hard. Not my day. That's racing. Learn and try again next time.
That is a joke!
I don't suffer fools easily and so long as you have done your best,you should have no regrets.
Waratahs are pretty good though. When I rocked up some years ago, they were interested in my age. At that stage, I was under 40, they said that made me B grade. Me saying I rode C grade elsewhere was of no relevance... They also track results better than other clubs I could think of.
No arguments here. But with all the different clubs running their races separately its going to happen.
Xplora if you are averaging 250W and doing 400W turns you are strong enough to be in A grade vets and could probably find yourself in a couple of breakaways their also. You wont struggle too much in B grade.
Rogan,i too rocked up at Waratahs riding C elsewhere...they put me straight in B and i must agree it is a little softer than other races...most people do normally comment that the Vets are a grade down more or less....
Vander,i must admit i agree with you in some regards..i have always put myself up,except at macarthur where i was put upto B after i won easily on a break...First race there.....But there B grade is heaps harder than most as there A is full of talent...
Good work there! Well done.
KOCC D grade - 4 laps
After nearly two weeks of no riding at all, I fronted up for a scratch race. To say I was feeling in optimal shape would be misleading. My energy levels during the day and leading up to the race were all over the place and I simply wasnt feeling confident about riding at all. Given the time of the year, quite a few riders turned up which surprised me. The most encouraging news was at the start line...they were paying the first 3 over the line I was in with a chance...maybe.
To add to my misery, the final straight had a 30+ headwind howling down it. A sprint for the line was going to be a struggle.
I was sucking/chewing down the jelly beans just prior to the race in an effort to get some juice into the tank and not moving too much in order to not wear myself out before the race even started. Lining up at the start line we had maybe 20-30 riders in the grade...a third of which were kids under 15 I reckon...which was great to see.
The pace of the race wasnt too bad, for me at least, and I think the only lap which didnt have an attempted break of some sort was the first lap. At one stage the break had 4 riders including myself, and I tried urging them on to work together to keep the break, but quickly found noone wanted to share the front so I sat up as I wasnt going to burn myself out for others...made that mistake once before, never again, especially into a headwind. There were two riders who had me thinking that they were working together as they attempted about 3 break aways during the race. Found out after the race that they belong to the same tri club...so yes they were a little team on the day.
I did bridge across to some of these break aways as I felt that they could stay away, but doing so had me worried each time about how much I would have in the tank for that final sprint for the line.
As we turned into the final straight, and into that head wind, I was about 4th or 5th wheel. With just under a k to the finish line, the riders in front of me went for a surge and this forced me to get up out of the saddle to try and stay with them. My legs were hurting at this point and I became really worried about my finishing ability. I was able to stay with them luckily and ended up in third wheel as a result. I realised however that I was on the windy side of the riders so repositioned myself in an attempt to have the two riders in front provide a wind block of sorts.
The mind was ticking over all the time now with tactics and with when I should launch my own attack. I waited and waited and with just under 350 metres to go I attacked. I actually got up out of the saddle to launch myself, which surprised me somewhat as I have never done this before. I quickly sat back down and just mashed those pedals as hard as I could. All the time I was waiting, expecting someone to come over the top of me. Luckily for me noone did and I got away with the win.
I was really happy with this win as it was a result of good positioning and patience, it all came together finally. If I had had more riding under me and more energy I may have gone earlier and maybe lost the race. I will be keeping this race in mind every time I ride now to try and replicate what I did.
Good onya Gretaboy, now start working out how you can reach into the furtherest depths of your mind and start psyching yourself out the pain.
I don't suffer fools easily and so long as you have done your best,you should have no regrets.
Good stuff gretaboy!
Getting up out of the saddle allows you to give a better kick, so definitely worth getting used to. Sounds like you played it smart throughout, read the race and delivered at the finish - perfect!
Amen to that. I can't get out of the saddle with less than 500W instantaneous power most of the time, so it's good to have in the bag of tricks - but you might as well be sending Indian smoke signals across the suburb if you are trying to disguise your attack doing it
5/1 Waratahs B grade (AT) Eastern Creek Full GP circuit
My B grade debut. Yikes.
I knew I'd need to lift, because the stories are many about B grade. No breaks, which doesn't play to my strong suit, lots of surging, strong pace, and it didn't disappoint AT ALL. We were humming around for 20 minutes, with a couple lazy attacks, and every time we got off Capital Hill some madman out front thought gassing up to 50kmh was a good plan. I collected tickets with 3-4 guys to scope it out, and practice my cornering off Capital. My rear tyre was patched twice, and I'm scarred from 3 flats for various reasons. I ended up pulling off tyres and replacing tubes 4 times the night before (time for some longer tubes and a couple repair kits lol)... making me wonder if tubeless isn't such a bad idea for the race wheels, since I typically don't flat often.
Anyways, after 25-30 minutes I decide to test the bunch and pulled up the first climb past the whole bunch and take off. No one said anything and I was off. Didn't want to commit 100% since no one came with me or even tried to bridge so it was just a case of watch and see. Got some fresh air and burnt a match, and managed to stay away for the rest of the lap. Dave from Marconi said it best after they caught me - you've got your answer, they'll chase you. Anyways, my attack felt like it really focussed the bunch's concentration, and suddenly we weren't tooling around anymore. If we went slow, it was because we'd been hammering away. Another possibility is that I was no longer aerobic for the rest of the race so every push was hard
James, one of my fellow ticket collector pals took off on the prime lap and managed to stay away until the final corner, then the bunch screamed down the straight and chewed him up. One of many attacks that could have done more with the right help. Really reinforced the fact that it's a team sport, and you need people to support bold moves.
I did quite a bit of time on the front after the prime, and found a very different work ethic to my C grade races. Had to force my way back into the paceline up front, and found it really hard to shake the bunch to roll off. In hindsight, I'm sitting up next time. I crossed right and left 4 lanes wide down the straight at one point. I wanted to control the pace and got what I wanted. Pity my heart rate So we cruise around, and second last lap Dave from Marconi takes the front. I think he felt he wasn't going to make it, but knew I loved a late break so gave me a rest. I was cooking the gaskets at this point, furiously trying to get the body under control before the bell... crossed the bell, took the front and then boom started my break. Bunch is stretching, and 5-6 are close to me. I stood up again and again trying to hammer out the watts over the hills to consolidate my gap. I have 100m on them coming up to the last corner, and maintain it onto the straight. I'm hopeful of a B grade victory on debut, but I knew there was a long way home, and I wasn't kicking hard enough. In hindsight, I might not have done myself many favours standing 4-5 times in the final lap. Lost energy?
Up I roll through the gears, still got my gap but I'm not looking yet. Only managed 110rpm before changing up each time, 100m out from the line I know they are closing but I think I can hold out. 10m from the line I look across and I know it's over. A couple of Strava files had the podium at 65+kmh, and I just sat up; I didn't place and they passed me with around 2m to the line. I ran out of kick, and those boys clearly had not.
I set new PBs for almost every section of my power chart, and I certainly don't need to waste time with an FTP test now. My best hour is 12W higher than before, and if I used the normalised power, it would be 20W. I'm struggling to pace off the normalised power on the trainer Allowing for any Quarq errors, it was just flat out nuts. Very very proud of my effort, I didn't feel particularly well prepped but I executed a good plan and learnt a LOT about this bunch. Definitely seems like there are a lot of breakers in B grade, but they are too spooked to have a chat and get something going. I definitely need more support than I got, but I got the impression that there are still a lot of guys who are only just holding on in B. I dropped someone who was trying to break in the final lap, and we really needed more legs to protect me. I did a good deal of work but didn't cook myself, and managed a couple honourable attacks. Will I be able to back up for tomorrow at Penrith?
5/01 HVMCC C Grade
Distance - 43 k (6 laps)
Avg Speed -36.9 (might have been higher but forgot to stop the garmin at the end)
Place - 2nd
I was better prepared this time...the energy levels were a little more stable and I was feeling ok overall. Lining up we again had a decent number of riders and my self doubts were present yet again. I always wonder if I am going to be able to compete .....really need to get over this hurdle and back myself more.
We had a decent headwind on the start/final straight and this affected the race a lot this time I thought. The race wasnt as fast as it normally is. I did my normal and sat in the bunch but always trying to maintain a position in the top ten. I shook my head at riders who tried breaks in the 2nd lap and pretty much any lap after that. Every rider who tried a break away during the race never came close to competing in the final sprint.
This race I realised I need to have on board energy gels to give me a kick or two from the halfway mark. I know the races are short but having that extra little sugar hit could really help me I think.
The race rolled round and the bunch caught any rider trying to break away. On the final lap the pace didnt pick up that much which really surprised me. Going into the final two corners before the home straight, the pace was surprisingly slow and I could only put this down to the headwind. I ensured that going into these two corners that I was on the inside, away from the wind as I knew that if I wasnt that I would be working very hard in the final sprint. I stuck to the wheel of a rider who is a consistent winner and who has rolled me a couple of times now. I was sitting there just waiting for him to explode but he never did. Instead with about 300-400 metres to go the sprint started on the opposite side of the bunch to where I was. It took me a second or two to realise that the final sprint was happening but once I did I jumped up out of the saddle to accelerate. I gave it a real good go out of the saddle before I sat back down and pushed hard. I quickly caught most of the other riders and was slowly gaining on the eventual winner but ran out of road and he won by a wheel or half a wheel.
I was happy with this ride. I again positioned myself well I thought for the final sprint. I was happy with the getting up out of the saddle and the final push to the line. I wasnt rolled by anyone like I have been previously and instead rolled others. I am slowly learning and improving my race skills which is all that matters I guess.
Funny you should mention the breaks, greta. Saw a few DNFs chatting and on Strava, I think the tail end of the bunch sometimes lacks the confidence to let the front runners go. Breaks of 10 are dangerous, but nothing hurts your race more than a DNF. We had 38 riders yesterday, and about 10-12 had some coffee and wanted to ride aggressively. The bunch chewed up any attacks early, and part of me thinks it would be more valuable to let breakaways have a taste of Paincakes and let them wear themselves down, while the bunch stayed together and did some work. That's a nice theory though - I would back myself to break and stay away for 3-5 laps if the gap stayed at 250m. I'm not sure most guys would be prepared to let the kite run that far down the string.
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