Race Report Thread

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Re: Race Report Thread

Postby Pedaling » Sat Feb 01, 2014 9:00 pm

stevecassidy wrote:There's a nice video taken by the second placed rider of the last two laps - just about when I got dropped. A good tour of the circuit though.

Steve

Thanks for the post Steve.
I would like to have a lash this Thursday if possible.
What time does B Grade race? What time can you sign on?
Where do you normally sign on at the Armory?
Thanks mate,
Cheers,

Darrin.
"Life is just a ride" Bill Hicks
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by BNA » Sun Feb 02, 2014 9:20 am

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Re: Race Report Thread

Postby jules21 » Sun Feb 02, 2014 9:20 am

SKCC d grade, circus maximus, pt. melb.

big field of ~50 today, which always means a nervous race as it's hard to move around in the bunch and there's always a few riders who have watched one too many videos of robbie mcewen's sprint tactics. race felt very easy for the first half, which made it hard to stay up front as everyone seemed to have enough horsepower to move up. it seemed to get a bit more intense in the second half, which was good and allowed me to stay further up front. someone clipped a pedal coming into the back straight and went straight on, taking a few riders with him. luckily no one went down, i think. a brief sprint and i was back on with the leaders. a few laps later, i heard the sound of someone else going for a slide coming onto the front straight. this put us under yellow flags with 3 laps to go - annoying. i was 3rd wheel as we rolled around, unsure when the signal to race was coming and desperate not to get swamped. we got going again and i held my position, then on the bell lap we came blasting onto the back straight and were presented with a St John's ambulance on the racing line. managed to dodge that but lost a few places. got a little bit swamped coming onto the final straight, where i admit my main concern was keeping it upright - yelled out "keep it steady" into the last corner - but sure enough, heard the sound of aluminium and carbon against bitumen; fortunately behind me. sprinted in for about 10th or 12th or something and was very pleased to have avoided all the trouble for another week :)
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Re: Race Report Thread

Postby happysumo » Sun Feb 02, 2014 9:38 am

Hope someone dished out the hard words on the day to those who needed it ^^. People sprinting hammer and tongs for 15th place into the last corner an inexperienced field of 50 riders is what makes crashes happen. Congrats on doing well enough to keep out of trouble :)
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Re: Race Report Thread

Postby jules21 » Sun Feb 02, 2014 9:58 am

happysumo wrote:Hope someone dished out the hard words on the day to those who needed it ^^. People sprinting hammer and tongs for 15th place into the last corner an inexperienced field of 50 riders is what makes crashes happen. Congrats on doing well enough to keep out of trouble :)

i doubt it. the finishing straight is wide enough to sprint, no matter where you are in the bunch, it's the last corner where the risk is - it's easy to take it safe and fast but some people either don't have the skills or just let adrenaline could their judgment.
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Re: Race Report Thread

Postby stevecassidy » Sun Feb 02, 2014 10:12 am

Pedaling wrote:Thanks for the post Steve.
I would like to have a lash this Thursday if possible.
What time does B Grade race? What time can you sign on?
Where do you normally sign on at the Armory?


Hi Darrin,
sign on is from 6pm, racing C-D is 6.30, A-B is 7pm. Entry is on the road next to the jail, see the map on cabici.net marks the entrance gate.

Steve
Where's your next race? cabici.net lists bike races in Sydney
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Re: Race Report Thread

Postby happysumo » Sun Feb 02, 2014 11:30 am

jules21 wrote:
happysumo wrote:Hope someone dished out the hard words on the day to those who needed it ^^. People sprinting hammer and tongs for 15th place into the last corner an inexperienced field of 50 riders is what makes crashes happen. Congrats on doing well enough to keep out of trouble :)

i doubt it. the finishing straight is wide enough to sprint, no matter where you are in the bunch, it's the last corner where the risk is - it's easy to take it safe and fast but some people either don't have the skills or just let adrenaline could their judgment.


That's my intended meaning :) Final straight is normally pretty safe, but the last corner is where the chaos normally happens, specially with nervously excited riders. If someone is sitting in 15th place or further back coming into the last corner, typically no chance of getting a top 5 finish; so IMO it's never worth risking thousands of bucks of carbon and collarbones around for no real gain. Just roll the last corner safely & flog your guts out on the straight.
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Re: Race Report Thread

Postby Pedaling » Sun Feb 02, 2014 9:08 pm

stevecassidy wrote:
Pedaling wrote:Thanks for the post Steve.
I would like to have a lash this Thursday if possible.
What time does B Grade race? What time can you sign on?
Where do you normally sign on at the Armory?


Hi Darrin,
sign on is from 6pm, racing C-D is 6.30, A-B is 7pm. Entry is on the road next to the jail, see the map on cabici.net marks the entrance gate.

Steve

Thank you very much Steve. Hopefully I will see you there.
Cheers,

Darrin.
"Life is just a ride" Bill Hicks
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Re: Race Report Thread

Postby cerb » Mon Feb 03, 2014 1:07 pm

SKCC Crits - B-Grade
49mins, avg. 41.7kph

It was my first outing in B-Grade yesterday and certainly a bit of a shock to the system...

I was rolling comfortably up the front end the bunch for the first 15mins or so and found myself in 3rd wheel. As the front rider flicked his elbow, the guy in front of me upped the tempo slightly, so I followed and after a moment looked back to see we'd somehow gapped the bunch. I wasn't planning on a breakaway, but as they were letting us go, I figured I'd give it a whirl! Upon seeing us going clear, 5 others jumped across and suddenly we had a good sized, strong bunch getting organised and rolling turns.

We were rolling turns at 45-47kph and had gained a 35sec advantage in only 3 laps. Only problem was... my heart rate was through the roof and I was about to pop already! Knowing there was still 40-odd minutes of racing to go, I skipped a turn and had a small amount of respite before joining in again. After 7mins of pain and suffering, I started to drop wheels, dropped another turn, then popped (as did another guy). No biggie, we drifted back toward the bunch and I saw a teammate and one other going across the gap to the leading bunch - perfect!

As I re-joined the main bunch, there were multiple attacks and the race was quickly splintered into 3 separate bunches, with lone and pairs of riders spread all over. Having spent all my juice, I didn't even attempt to respond and figured it would settle down and come back together... Nope!

No-one in the bunch of 20 odd remaining riders wanted to do any work and I had 3 team mates up the road, so no reason for me to do any work on the front either. At 15mins to go, we passed the start/finish and I heard the announcer say that we were going to be lapped if we didn't hurry up... I did want to actually finish my first B-grade race, so I tried to break away from the (reduced) bunch again, but didn't have enough juice to do anything meaningful and was just dragging others with me, so I re-joined the bunch and cruised. At 10 mins to go, we got lapped by the breakaway I started (now with a team mate in it), so I pulled the pin to watch the finish.

One of the guys in the break broke away solo with 4 laps to go and stuck it - massive effort. My team mate came in 6th, and celebrated with a spew in the bushes.

I'm somewhat disappointed that I didn't finish the race, but I've now got a better feeling for the differences between B grade and the lower grades I've gotten used to.

Of note:
- In lower grades, I could essentially cruise around in the bunch the whole race, then pop out with a sprint at the end to win. Looks like a lot more work from each individual is required in B-Grade...
- I need to improve my FTP significantly in order to hold the breakaway's which stick. Granted, the bunch isn't usually lapped, but it wouldn't hurt!
- While there are officially no team tactics, they do still affect races.

Final lesson for the day was - Don't be silly and go for a break 15mins into a race, especially when you've only just gone up to that grade! :D
Last edited by cerb on Mon Feb 03, 2014 1:19 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Race Report Thread

Postby cerb » Mon Feb 03, 2014 1:10 pm

Nice ride by the way Jules! I saw the average was about 41.5kph, which is the fastest D-grade I've seen!

Keeping the pace, staying out of trouble and finishing around the top ten shows some good race smarts! :)
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Re: Race Report Thread

Postby nailsaslegs » Mon Feb 03, 2014 1:33 pm

42 km Graded Scratch
Round 1 Autumn Championship
Punchy course - mostly bergs of 7% of 400+m.
Made it as hard as possible as soon as we went from the gun. Burnt quite a few matches on the out leg, knew one of the riders was a climber sat on his wheel for the return leg, attacked a few times on a couple of the bergs on corners. Final berg 400m at 8%avg he got a break, had to close it down on the descent and flat, then attacked on the second to last berg, got away and legs blew up 300m to go. Tactical error. But happy with how I'm going for the upcoming Southern Valleys Tour.
Time 1hr 13mins
Speed Avg 34kmh
Power Avg 316w
Best 10min 338w
Elevation 589m
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Re: Race Report Thread

Postby jules21 » Mon Feb 03, 2014 1:50 pm

cerb wrote:- In lower grades, I could essentially cruise around in the bunch the whole race, then pop out with a sprint at the end to win. Looks like a lot more work from each individual is required in B-Grade...

that's the impression i get from watching too! the difference is that in the lower grades, riders rarely have the power to split the bunch and if they do, they're probably in the wrong grade. B grade at SKCC looks like where the serious stuff starts. i wouldn't contemplate A with guys like Jay McCarthy and Jon Cantwell winning this week..

cerb wrote:Final lesson for the day was - Don't be silly and go for a break 15mins into a race, especially when you've only just gone up to that grade! :D

great stuff cerb.. OTOH, hiding in the bunch doesn't give you a great workout either (at least, not in D grade). i like to throw in an attack. i tried on Sunday but didn't even get past the first rider before i knew my legs weren't good and eased off. it's all about positioning though. having a clear run at the last corner gave me my PR on that course just shy of 50km/h.
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Re: Race Report Thread

Postby cerb » Mon Feb 03, 2014 2:52 pm

haha true! I have been known to throw in an early attack just to warm up. At least if you attack, you know that it's only going to help your fitness!

Looking forward to my body catching up to the requirements/stresses of B-Grade!
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Re: Race Report Thread

Postby Xplora » Mon Feb 03, 2014 3:02 pm

cerb, it's great to be able to laugh at the rookie errors; I'm going to make some of them myself in 2 hours. B grade seems to be the point where cycling is becoming a lifestyle rather than a hobby - because mere mortals can't just turn up without training and hope to sneak a win.
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Re: Race Report Thread

Postby cerb » Mon Feb 03, 2014 3:37 pm

Xplora - Yeah, certainly seems to be so far! You have to laugh and enjoy yourself though.. there's no point in doing it if you're not!

Planning to up my riding from virtually nothing to a couple of mid week, crit distance, high intensity rides each week to help bring me up to speed. Time is fairly limited, so will have to make do with what I can! No delusions of winning any races just yet...
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Re: Race Report Thread

Postby jules21 » Mon Feb 03, 2014 3:46 pm

cerb wrote:Planning to up my riding from virtually nothing to a couple of mid week, crit distance, high intensity rides each week to help bring me up to speed. Time is fairly limited, so will have to make do with what I can! No delusions of winning any races just yet...

you must have a big engine to get to B grade with so little riding!
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Re: Race Report Thread

Postby trek52 » Mon Feb 03, 2014 4:36 pm

Got lucky with a win at waratahs in the weekend. Hard race with a break every lap that just would t stay away. Pretty easy bunch kick in the end.
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Re: Race Report Thread

Postby Xplora » Mon Feb 03, 2014 8:55 pm

Well done, trek52. You've got a bit of form right now! 8)

3/2 Penrith Regatta Centre B grade = 2nd place Prim, 6th last bunch sprint

Well well... my prophecy was correct, rookie errors. The race finished with me being stuck behind last place's wheel up over the bridge... I was 4th wheel, but knew I didn't have a snap left after cruising at the front trying to help a break buddy push out a gap, and no one felt like taking a turn :lol: so I was pretty zonked and couldn't really move to follow 2nd and 3rd wheel. I have realised that the sprinters are waiting like rabid psychotic wolves for the final 500, searching for a leadout. It's juuuust tight enough for ill planned overtaking moves to end incredibly badly, and I don't quite have the snap to get around all that safely yet.

That's the end... I dub this race "kicking the hornets' nest" :mrgreen: I caught the train out, and got in 6kms to warmup but didn't really have enough time to do a better warmup, and while the rest of B was happy to stay down the back from the start line, I was front line and centre. Decided to get stuck in with a decent Z5 effort right around to the S's and onto the straight. Of course they caught me and my break buddy from Tahs but it woke them up. One good attack up the sleeve. There were to be a few good solid attacks today from a lot of guys, I was getting very very worried I would fall off the back but I reckon I launched 4 good attacks all up. All that reading about the Phosphogen energy system, coupled with a malfunctioning GPS, let me experiment with launching big sprint attacks and having a solid expectation that the power would be there later. It was!! Lots of fun, culminating in a strong attack for the prim 800m out. I had a 200m gap but we might have had a burglar, because the prim winner passed me like I was stopped. And then won. That was a big gap to bridge, and then to lift like that... no sour grapes from me though, I'm no sprinter. I had a red hot go.

But my goodness... I think it's time to do some VO2Max intervals because I struggled 3 times really badly... there is a weakness when I'm off the back or trying to bridge a gap, didn't matter how big my windbreak was, I really struggled with the horsepower for a few minutes. That said... GC is implying that I need to bump up the FTP again :shock: Considering I trained 40 minutes earlier today, and just spent 6 days with no hard ridng, I'm surprised. But glad I made the right choice to relax!

In the end, burnt a ton of matches, attacked heaps, and really enjoyed the time up front. I love hitting them during the lulls, and I am starting to feel like I'm not wasting my time out there. My timing of the attacks wasn't overly productive, and I suffered quite a bit at the back, but the stats don't lie. Solid performance, and getting stronger. Hopefully back it up at Marconi tomorrow if it doesn't rain!
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Re: Race Report Thread

Postby cerb » Tue Feb 04, 2014 9:14 am

jules21 wrote:you must have a big engine to get to B grade with so little riding!

Yeah, I'm pretty lucky in that regard. I only do 5-6k km a year (while a lot of others I race with do 10-20k km). I make sure I ride with intensity whenever I do ride - every session is HIIT unless I'm going for a gentle roll with the wife! Fortunately, my body seems to adapt to new requirements pretty quickly!


Nice riding Xplora! I love that feeling of knowing you're getting stronger and faster.
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Re: Race Report Thread

Postby jules21 » Thu Feb 06, 2014 9:58 am

HCC c grade - 30 odd mins.
i have been feeling stronger and stronger, but trained hard this week every day, so wasn't sure how i'd go. i was happy to discover i still felt strong, powering up the hill easier than in previous weeks. the race seems to follow a pattern for me - getting stuck towards the back of the pack on the first few laps, before fatigue sets in a bit for some riders and i move my way up to the front. with about 10 mins. to go i tried a soft attack over the top of the hill when riders were recovering, but someone had latched onto my wheel and brought the train of riders along. i was immediately on the limit (you're always going to be near it at the top of the hill) but kept pushing as i noticed a few riders had dropped wheels behind me. you never know, maybe they'd sit up? they didn't, so i let myself drift back up the climb to recover a bit. i managed to stay near the front and after that i just focused on maintaining position for the bell lap. i found myself first wheel coming into the climb leading into the bell lap and probably expended some unnecessary energy with my nose in the wind for 1/2 the lap which was being raced at max. speed, but in so many previous races i've elected to conserve energy and been swamped and left with no chance of contesting the finish, i elected to fight for position. i was on 2nd wheel down the back straight on the bell lap, but as per usual, the bunch surged and i got a bit swamped. you don't make up much ground coming out of the final turn - those in front are already charging up the hill while you're just winding up so i came in 10th. in hindsight, i should have been more aggressive and fought for position on the bell lap - i was happy to be sitting 2nd wheel but in the space of 5 seconds i lost that. saving energy for the final sprint up the hill is a waste of time when you're already out of the contest by then.
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Re: Race Report Thread

Postby cerb » Thu Feb 06, 2014 11:31 am

Positioning is key! If you keep getting swarmed, maybe try being the swarm? My best (easiest) wins have come by being 2nd or 3rd wheel of the swarm, and coming past the front of the bunch at 2-3kph faster. There is no way the front people can get up to speed in time and the sprint comes down to the front 3 or 4 riders who have swarmed past.

If you're near the front, the pace has to be so high that no-one can effectively swarm you. Unless you've got a teammate on the front, or someone who is trying to breakaway for the win, this is fairly uncommon from my experiences in C & D.

As with being at the front, swarming is a bit of a gamble as you can be blocked or boxed in. But either way, the position you start your move from is always critical!
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Re: Race Report Thread

Postby jules21 » Thu Feb 06, 2014 12:04 pm

you're dead right cerb. hawthorn is a bit different to SKCC as the approach to the final corner gets very congested (which happens at SKCC, but the track is wider there) and it's easy to have great legs but be looking at a wall of riders and no hope of putting any power down until after the corner, by which time the race is all over. i haven't figured that out yet. i think being aggressive and staying near the front is an option there.
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Re: Race Report Thread

Postby Xplora » Thu Feb 06, 2014 12:21 pm

Yep, I know that race result Jules... seems to be par for the course for me in bunch situations :lol: I reckon it indicates a lack of VO2Max or anaerobic power - Z5,Z6... because the pace picks up about 500m from the end quite a bit and you really need some beans to be the swarmer, and not the swarmee. I definitely haven't had the confidence to attack and fill the space - you really need to have some pace because most of the tracks I've been on have pretty nasty pinch points that aren't good to block up when the pain train pulls out of the station. I definitely don't have the confidence in my legs to pull out into the wind that far from the end.
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Re: Race Report Thread

Postby dalai47 » Thu Feb 06, 2014 12:29 pm

Only way I've placed at Hawthorn has been in a 3 man break and once being first into the final hairpin...
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Re: Race Report Thread

Postby lock_ » Thu Feb 06, 2014 2:58 pm

dalai47 wrote:Only way I've placed at Hawthorn has been in a 3 man break and once being first into the final hairpin...


Same, pretty much. Used to be able to make up a bunch of places in D, even C going up the hill, but not so much in B nowadays. Finding it's a bit too much hard work maintaining position round HCC, not so much in terms of effort, just with the jostling for position. Getting ridden into the curb, guys rolling up the inside before the hairpin, etc. Finishing races, not placing, and not feeling completely wrecked are the worst kind of races.

On the up side, I've been bumped to A out at Coburg and it really is quite the leg trashing.
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Re: Race Report Thread

Postby mrgolf » Fri Feb 07, 2014 8:06 pm

ACT Vets crit at Stromlo FP crit track. Conditions - flipping cold and bloody windy. A Grade 40min + 2 laps. 30kms (AT) 42.1kmh.

Sheesh!! Doesn't get much tougher than this. There was only about 10% of the track where you got a tailwind with a crosswind along the length of the crit track affecting both directions and the top turn. There were about 22 starters with some notable sprinters. Not favourable for me. There were two others present who could feature in a breakaway and upset the sprinters and we had discussed trying to get a break happening fairly early. We knew the three of us would be marked if we went together, so we decided to try and get away individually and reinforce the break.

The first guy went at about 5 mins and was joined by another rider who wasn't as strong. By the time the second guy went, the weaker guy had dropped off the pace. There was another attempt off the front which I was awake to and after I saw we had a small gap, I encouraged them to jump on my wheel and ramp it up. After two corners, the others had caught the two behind, but I had a slight gap so I pushed the advantage and started chasing the break solo. I made contact after a lap, and completely destroyed, took a lap to recover before swapping turns. There was more than 30 min to go. We worked together and maintained the gap. At about 20min a break occurred in the chase and the stronger sprinters started to work together. They made small inroads into our gap, but they didn't work together effectively and we lifted the pace and they couldn't make contact.

With 8 min to go I was spent. I didn't know if I could make it in the break to the end, but I kept pushing on working with the others. We were all starting to feel our effort. The next lap around, they still had 8 minutes on the clock and we had a minor freak moment. Next lap through and it was 3min to go. Phew. By this point the chasers were well and truly splintered and our advantage was increasing. With the bell lap, we caught half the A grade bunch and lapped them coming into the final couple of corners. I started the sprint up early trying to shake the others up and catch them by surprise. One of the others was too strong a sprinter, but I held the other comfortably at bay for 2nd.

Great fun, but unbelievably taxing. It took me a few days to recover. I hate windy races. Although they affect everyone equally, I guess...
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