It's been around 7mths since my last race, I've been flaffing about slowly losing fitness during that period, so I gathered some motivation and forced myself to kick start the training after finishing 3 Peaks, giving me 2-3 weeks of training before hitting my first crit again.
Off again in B-grade on a great little course that has just about everything to test you, a nasty little hill, dippers, a tight hairpin, wide straight, a long fast sweeper... it takes me a good 10min to warm up so I generally stay at the back during that time then move into a top 10 position and try to maintain for the entire race. There were quite a few attacks this time around compared to my last race here - all generally over within half a lap once they realised this is no course for a solo breakaway unless you are pushing some good power (maybe 380w for 20min), so after numerous attacks we get the Prime bell, the pace rises, a teammate had just done a lap or so on the front, i'm around top 5, someone jumps very, very hard, too hard as we near the top of the hill. I push hard but leave a little in the tank, tell my teammate to jump on for a leadout then attack, but he's already knackered after pulling everyone up the hill so I push past with eyes set on the other, down into the dipper he's already looking around, looks like his blown, around the hairpin and through the other dipper into the home straight, he keeps looking back, but i'm slowly gaining, once I get within 5m he sits up and I keep pushing to grab the Prime - woot race fees paid for.
I'm about 50m ahead of the group so keep spinning trying to recover before the hill again, just about at the top of the hill the usual post-Prime attack kicks off with about 4 going, could be dangerous but still recovering I half bridge leaving a manageable gap then wait for someone else to come past and finish the bridge. Back together again, the attacks lull a little, the pace remains, handful of us up the front have a small gap to the group, I yell 'lets go' trying to sweep them up but they blow within 40m so I sit up and decide to rest up for the finish somewhat. I find myself still doing a few turns, more than I want, so pull back a little for the final 3 laps.
My teammate does an entire 2 lap leadout for the group, no one wants to take the front, final few hundred metres and I try to make position having to take the hairpin on the extreme outside but still make up some ground thankfully, approaching the finish the extreme outside hairpin becomes the inside line into the straight, but i'm boxed in, its about 5 riders wide all barrelling down the straight, suddenly the right opens up with around 120m to go, I pull out and kick it, slowly gaining 6, 5, 4, 3, 2... half a wheel to 1st, then the line comes to soon Another 50m or so and I may have had him. Prime & 2nd will do though! Teammate still manages about 6th after doing the entire last 2 laps on the front.
Power stats showed the last race was about 30w more but with a lesser result (Prime & 4th), so happy with my tactics, that difference in power was noticeable at the finish sprint with a few more matches to burn.
First time I raced in a regular event at Nundah this morning and it was only my third race. Prior to the race, I did some research into the average speed of the race I'd be in, it was a good 4-5km+ faster than what I've done previously. So, I went into the race just wanting to make the numbers up, keep the HR down and not let it explode.
The race was 50 minutes + 2 laps, I found myself always in the front half of the peloton without trying. Just kept moving into a spot where a person failed to cover. The prime came and went, the HR was good, the legs were fresh and I ensured I kept racing smart, not trying to go off my line and crash. I looked down at my lap time and it read 49 minutes as we started the lap. So I figured everyone would start building up for the final two laps. But, it never happened. The speed dropped and I was getting further and further up to the pointy end and I was just free-spinning.
We came through the s-bends and I figured since I'm not contesting the sprint that I'll help a couple mates out and get the speed back up. So I jumped on the front, slowly built up the speed towards the final corner and turned around and no-one followed. Now I didn't accelerate away at all, so I'm surprised no-one came with. Anyway, I figured what the hell, I'll play rabbit for two laps, it's good training. I caught up to the solo breakaway who'd been out there for laps and told him to jump on my wheel and have a quick breather.
We ended up working quite well together, swapping over every 20 seconds or so to quickly get some recovery. By the final corner of the bell lap, I looked over and the peloton was a good 400-500 metres away and I was sure they would catch us. So I pushed on to atleast fly and die, expecting the sprinters to come whizzing by any moment. My partner in crime had nothing left in the tank so I went past him without any problems to claim the victory and some beer money!!
So, that makes 1 prime win, a 5th and a first place in my first three races! Needless to say, I've got the racing bug well and truly now!
Awesome work Ignoto. You will reap a lot of success from smart racing and diligent training. Be warned. You will not get away with it for long (they won't let me get away now). It's weird how the bunc sometimes get swamped with groupthink like you saw. If you break a lot, capitalise on it.
Oakville B grade 12/4 5th place
I didn't take anything seriously about this race today. Terrible prep, no warm up, blew my knee after a week off yesterday. And didn't know the course. Left flat at the end....
A few mates were sandbagging because they had never raced Oakville before. Starts with a few minutes of steady climb, enough for pain and misery at race pace, then turns for some rolling and relatively straight stuff, turns again for flats and downs, turns again for a long downhill run before rejoining the start straight. I know that it isn't morally right for me to take C grade. I am competitive in B, but I am better some places than others. (Mates won C and D convincingly lol)
So away we go, I take a position up front to start and we hammer up this climb. Where are my lungs? Back in the car? Sucks to be me. We reach the turn and no rest for the wicked. I light it up to stay in contact at the back, recover a bit. This surging behaviour seems to be a Parramatta club staple diet move because it happens at Marconi as well. Happens all race.
So end of first lap, a couple strong Penrith guys go, and I want to get in on it. All the sprint power training is working, I pass the bunch like it is stopped, get on front for 150m and completely miss the final turn onto the front straight God help me if that wasn't as dumb as losing my wheel in the C grade crash. amazing. The bunch holds off to let me get back on (thanks guys), and we go again. I honestly feel like I am sitting on 175bpm the whole time, 5 laps of pain. Of particular note during all the sparring was the 4th lap downhill, where we didn't slow at all, must have been doing 60 the whole way. Final lap, I end up on front. Oops. I didn't want to fall of the back but off the front is even worse. We have a sprinter behind me (helped him get third at the MacArthur open crit) so I try and keep pace reasonably quick to keep position for him. No one coming around. Hmmm. I keep going down the hill, and a couple guys come around for position. I hit a bump halfway down and the rear kicked half a foot. Kept it upright, i thought it was a good save really at 50 hehehe. I conclude its bunch sprint time. I wanted to get amongst it, and work on my skills and tactics. Today, gave it 3 out of 5 effort to get the pace high enough to get involved but not overcommit to be one the leadout man. I hate that. I end up first wheel and Brian from Waratahs comes around. He's a much better sprinter than me, bit of a weapon really, and screams away. I know we are too close for me to catch, but I mash those pedals staying in the seat trying to hold 2nd. A few guys time their run better than I do, and I roll through for 4th, and a 5th place.
I have thought about it and without any data (no garmin mount yet) or useful prep, I managed to hold onto 4th in the sprint which is a great result for me. It's soooo scary having people tryin to swamp, but I held my line and didn't end up on the caboose. I was a bit bummed that my tactics were awful, execution worse, but I think it's worth taking positives from this race. Road race season looks to be interesting!
Congrats to trek52, in the money again in A grade.
You live and learn X but unless it was a team mate, I never gave anyone an easy ride.
I don't suffer fools easily and so long as you have done your best,you should have no regrets.
X, my only comment on all of that, I'm also not that keen on mixing it up in the sprint, but have always been more comfortable starting the sprint, and forcing others to come round. They won't barrel into you, you just need to hold your line. It's earned me a place on the podium sometimes, very rarely a win...
I have a twerpy little nylon pouch with a caribiner that I clip onto the brake cables (man purse? :shock) that holds my phone and keys, I shoved the garmin in there today to get the data, but obviously couldn't see it midrace almost sad how much I rely on it to keep the cadence up and heart rate down. Still need to upload
Rogan, I'm feeling leading 500m out is pretty much guaranteed to lose the race unless you somehow manage to get forward without someone on the wheel, but even Eastern Creek isn't wide enough for that trick
Thanks mate, didn't see you out there. My mate was the guy that rode away from B grade for the win. Oakville is a strange place can suit all types but at the same time hard for everyone.
a grade was hard with about 5 NRS guys there. I stuffed the kick up a bit but 2nd is ok.
A few good mates were in b grade and said it was pretty easy ??
Raced landsdown this morning and went away with a bloke with 20 min to go. He was to strong for
Me so I didn't sprint at the end so 2 races for 2 second places this weekend
Maybe I need to increase from the 612km I did in march and the 109km mtd in April
Only one guy in a long sleeve Penrith skinsuit, you'll know who to laugh at, I mean recognise
I am worried if that was an easy race. It broke down a few times, the attacks weren't really well organised. Steve did well to get away, I had no idea I was racing for second in the sprint. If I had known where the course went it might have been a different race, i burnt a lot of matches attacking and messing up the first lap cost me.
We had 18 starters, finished with 10-12. Glad I just finished the race!
My data showed me 15w above my previous best 1 hour normalised power. A number of very strong attacks. Onwards and upwards hey?
I reckon he was pulling that leg right out of the socket My first road race, given the distance (how many people were cranky at the short race length in all grades?!) and the fact we're just coming out of crit season, might have been run a bit more like a crit than expected. B usually runs another lap? Wouldn't have made a difference to me, I was at VO2Max for most of the race. Gotta get back on the trainer for some concrete
Our Club hosted the Bothwell Roubaix yesterday, 4 laps of a 11.7km circuit including 3.8kms of dirt each lap. Each lap there were points on the line in the sprint. The dirt section was hard packed with 1 section of ruts, and a couple of seated bergs. The circuit was mostly dead flat but win affected with a head wind on the wind up into the sprint. On Thursday a team mate and I recon the circuit and did a slow recon to find the good lines and then a couple of faster laps. I had been targeting the Roubaix since January and was in good form. Off we went after a warm up lap and the first 3km the hammer was down, straight into the dirt section and bang the front tire gets a puncture I keep rolling as he others come past. I see my wife ahead taking photos so I yell and wave my hands wildly for a front wheel, a quick change and Im back on but had lost them. I knew the dirt and how hard it was and I pushed to get back on, at the end of the dirt I was within 500ms, then both riders started working together looking back to see where I was, on the road and started to pull away, finish line, still 500m, on the back part of the circuit they started pulling away again, maybe 1km, dirt section again pulled them back to 500m again, but I couldn't get across, road section this time into a head wind pulled away again. I couldn't bridge, two more laps and on the 4th and final they had 1 minute on me. I spent 40kms chasing trying to come across. I placed 3rd but not the result I was after especially when I could have out sprinted them.
44.5 (missed 2.3kms stopped Garmin during wheel change)
Mt Baw Baw classic, 105km, Masters C. 10th/39
i had butterflies leading up to the start and kept having to go to the toilet. renowned as the beast of the state road series, i wasn't confident. it's 100 km of hills, sparse flats and the climb up to Baw Baw which brings everything to a near stand-still. the start out of Warragul was almost comically slow as no one wanted to start racing yet. that all change when we hit the first climb and straight away a few pretenders started going backwards. surprisingly i felt pretty good and quickly moved past the stragglers.
things were going well until the steep, windswept 11% descent. it was at that point that i realised 65mm profile rims had been a poor choice, as i was thrust across the road by wind gusts. i think i actually caused a split in the bunch between the riders ahead who i couldn't keep up with and those behind who dared not get too close to me, lol. strava says i reached 90 km/h while i can see someone else reached 110. note to self - next year, bring 25mm profile rims..
we actually had a feedzone at Neerim Junction but despite my club-mate Dave (thanks Dave!) waiting there with a bottle i didn't need and rode past him.. oops. he understood i think. soon after we hit Vesper Hill, 4.6km (AT) 7%. despite feeling good, i couldn't quite hold the leaders. i was doing OK though and teamed up with another rider at the top. from there we swapped turns until we caught another 3 riders ahead, making a group of 5. this worked pretty well for the up-and-down until the Baw Baw finale, except i struggled on the technical descents. i didn't really trust my new wheels and there were cars on the circuit around blind corners - i just wasn't prepared to take major risks. this left me with work to do at the bottom of descents to catch the group, but i managed that as everyone was keeping things in check before the last climb.
finally we hit Baw Baw and i think i can speak for everyone when i saw that the race was pretty well run by then - grinding up at 5 km/h with 95km in our legs, there was little room for heroics. i overtook one or two people, but was overtaken by another rider who had a dinner plate on the back wheel - next year i'll bring better gearing (34-28 not low enough). it was basically a case of surviving until the finish. i got a medal for finishing (over 12 mins down on winner) and spent the drive back to Warragul along the race route trying to suppress the urge to chuck my guts up in the car
i have some 25mm profile climbing wheels but i haven't gotten around to gluing the tubulars back on properly. these 65mm are also tubs and only about 1300g - so light! but unstable.. i almost binned it on the final corner at SKCC - they have a different cornering feel to low profile rims.
Sounds like a fun race nailsaslegs... would love something like that. But only 3 in your race?.
Good stuff Jules.
Not much for me, lined up yesterday knowing it would be hard after a week sick.Pace wasn't that bad but I was struggling... always at the back and not enjoying it at all. Pulled the pin after 50k's or so with 2 laps to go. Didn't get dropped but was feeling pretty poor. Rolled home gently. Two more 8k laps would have been too much as I felt like falling over the rest of the evening.
Plenty of racing to chose from next weekend.
SKCC Criterium Club Champs - Elite
48km, avg 46kph
As i'm now only 1 grade from A-grade, I thought I'd give the club champs a crack this year. I wasn't expecting results, my aim was to finish, as the pace is notoriously hard and some of the top riders in the state were riding, as well as a few international level riders (Matty Lloyd & Rico Rogers).
I managed to time my warmup laps perfectly, so that by the time we were stopped for the start, I got myself on the front row. Two laps under control by the pace car before we were off and racing. I was rolling around mid bunch for most of the first 40mins, without too many issues. There were lots of attacks going off the front, but one of the local big hitting teams, O2 racing, were keen to keep it all together and I think they would have shut down a 12yo girl with balance wheels if she got 1/2 a wheel off the front!
As it's a course with some tight corners and there were a lot of people racing, there was a big concertina affect going on. For a while, I was sitting on the inside line through the corners and found myself almost coming to a stop through half of them, then having to accelerate out hard - which was seriously starting to drain my energy. Once I realised this, I moved to the outside line and within a few laps started to feel better again.
While I was still relatively comfortable and could move up and around the bunch, I was definitely extended beyond the point where I could attack or go for a break. Yep, sitting in an holding on was a good race plan! I chatted to one of my team mates (who races A) and agreed that if I had anything left near the finish I'd help move him up into position for the sprint. Little was I to know...
With about 15mins to go, the pace picked up and I found myself hitting 55-58kph down the back straight, lap after lap after lap. My heart rate didn't drop below 180 (~170 is my FT-HR) and I was in struggle town and quickly drifting to the back of the bunch. I burnt a few matches trying to move up into a better position where I didn't have to work as hard, but kept finding that I would put in a huge effort to only gain 2-3 positions. I took the wheel of an A-grader I thought to quite strong, but he was apparently struggling as well, as he was doing everything I had done only a few laps ago...
With less than 1.5 laps to go, my legs said no more and I fell off the back of the bunch and couldn't get myself back on. I think it was partly mental at this stage too - with "close enough" and "I want to see the finish anyway" phrases already playing in my head... despite this, it would have been nice to finish the race, rather than being 1 lap short! Looking at my data, the last 10mins (before I dropped) averaged 48kph, so I'm not surprised I was struggling!
However, as I'd dropped, I did pull out to watch the finish. Charter-Mason got the top spot with Shannon Johnson beating Rico Rogers by a length or so and David Loakes coming in third. My team mate got across the line in 6th, netting a 4th place for his MMAS1 age group!
Fun day's racing and the whole team enjoyed many a pint of beer at the pub afterward!
that's the feeling of lingering sickness!
Hope not... don't think so, only really stopped coughing around Thur / Fri ... just needed to jump back into it as my season is really short this year with lots of work coming up. Want at least one podium in the next 5 weeks! .
4, the other guy had a mechanical, whole of A Grade punctured, 3 managed to finish Not to mention a whole grade were DQ for going wrong side of the road around a car!!!! In Hobart we get an avg of 25-30 per race :\
Those big sunglasses that were made popular by Ryder Hesjedal in the last year or so.
Light blue SKCC kit, silver CAAD9 with some unknown carbon 40mm rims, he's early 30s.
I had thoughts of racing Baw Baw this year till I rode it last December... Beast of a climb - well done jules21!
Racing the VRS Cycling Express Warburton Road Race 4th May?
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