I had to laugh when I saw your post; I use to live out that way (lara) so know the roads out thorough Little River, Ballaing, Anakie reasonably well - but it doesn't take much to get lost out there and even the "good" roads are fair showtime!!! As you said though, atleast it didn't rain!
My Training & Racing Blog -->http://mountainbikemediocrity.wordpress.com/
yeah guys it was a strange experience. we're a bit light-on with race reports..
today's race - Jack McGowan memorial Carnegie-Caulfield handicap. 100 km - off 15 mins.
i actually met Jack - back in the early 90s when i did a season or 2 racing with CCCC. he always seemed annoyed by me. i remember once i dropped my Factory Pilots in a road race and stopped to retrieve them. he was in the follow car and asked what i was doing. when i told him, he snorted in disgust and drove off. but he apparently served the club with distinction so here's to you Jack..
i felt pretty strong today and we set off rolling turns, as you do. there's always a few minutes as a few riders sort out the routine, but we soon got into the swing. we set a good pace for most of the first lap, but towards the end a number of our group started sitting in. we caught our first group towards the end of the lap, and from here things got chaotic. a few riders tried to shake them by lifting the pace, but most of us were feeling it by then and this put a lot of people - inc. me - in difficulty.
i rested up for a few minutes after chasing back on past dropped wheels, then started working again. by now there were only about 5 of us working out of a group of about 20 - so not good. by the 70km mark i was finished - probably hadn't eaten enough and i started sitting in. then we were caught by the scratch group of NRS riders so it was back on - trying to hold them. after we turned and hit crosswinds, a few people dropped wheels and i couldn't bridge up. the follow car overtook and i tried to catch its draft, but the driver gassed it to shake me! game over.
i started to feel nauseous and tapped out the last 15km solo. still averaged 38 km/h, which was OK i thought. and on my 6 yr old aluminium Apollo with Tiagra..
Good stuff Jules, that will toughen you up a bit with more efforts like that, pain is good.
I don't suffer fools easily and so long as you have done your best,you should have no regrets.
Well done Jules. That race goes past my house. It might be flat, but it is usually a hard race, so well done. Jack was a grumpy bloke, but he did a power of work for that club and cycling in general. He was a different bloke when you got him one on one. I once went to his place in Monash to pick up some singles he had fixed for me. His shed was amazing and we had a good chat.
I ride several bicycles, but not at once.
one of the blokes from Warragul kept yelling "how good is this? smashing ourselves on a Sunday arvo.. wouldn't have it any other way!"
i don't doubt it Toppity. i'm not one to judge a book by it's cover (i like to think). actions speak louder than words - i have lots of respect for guys like Jack who gave so much. i know others at other clubs who are similar - they don't get enough credit.
I have been racing, just never got round to posting my reports, so here they are the 5 races over the last three weeks, took a sickie last Sunday
PDDC North Dandulap Handicap
5 July 2014
I will happily admit I am a poor climber, my asthma, hau fever, sinus combination was still giving me trouble, so I was expecting the North Dandulap Handicap which consistes of a 5.5km climb, followed by 19km of rolling hills to Dwellingup, turning round, riding 19km back for a fast 5.5km descent to be long solo hard training ride, like it had been the past two of years. It was not helped by the handicapper deciding I had improved since the Dwellingup handicap last month. The two riders I finished with, started two and five minutes behind me. Today I was starting with the five minute rider and the two minute rider was two minutes ahead of me today.
The pace was hard straight off, I stayed away from the front and was working hard just to hang on the wheel in front. About 4km in, we had put more than a minute into the group in front and I was really struggling. I rolled out of the line of riders, to find that we had already dropped three riders from our small group. Next minute I sitting infront of another rider, as four riders rode away, with the one rider in between us.
I was not going to catch my original group, but I believed I could catch the group that started two minutes ahead, as they were probably only 30 seconds at one stage. I pushed too hard and paid for it, by the top of the hill, that group I was chasing were disappearing out of sight, the rider on my wheel had jumped across to the rider in front and two riders from my group that rode the climb at their own pace passed me.
I settled in for a lonely ride, I did manage to catch and pass a few stragglers from the groups ahead. It took twenty kilometres before a solo rider from the group three minutes behind me caught and passed me. By the turn around point, I had caught a couple of riders from my group who had popped. I then grabbed the wheel of Lachlan the winner of the Dwellingup Handicap and another rider. I did not have any trouble keeping up with the pair. I was descending faster than either of them, as Lachlan is an under 15 rider on restricted gearing. So I started taking the front on the descents. Which worked well except the end of one descent I got a good lungful of smoke. There was a house in that valley with a wood fire heating. I had to sit up and take my asthma medication, as the two rode away.
As I recovered, I was passed by a pair of riders, then another. When the third pair passed I grabbed a wheel. I was riding with two of the better B grade riders and while I had no trouble holding a wheel, I did not expect it to last long. It did not, a couple of minutes later we were caught by the remains of the scratch group and a few extras. The pace picked up a little and I still had not trouble holding a wheel. On the descents I had to keep feathering the brakes to stay at the back of the group of 10 or so. The first real climb I was with the group for a couple of hundred metres, then cramps struck in my right leg.
I struggled up the climb, literally on one leg as the bunch disappeared. On both previous races on this course I got cramps in my left leg in the last few hundred metres, I was dreading a repeat as I did not expect to get a foot out of the pedals. I keep going over the top, down the other side and on the final climb, my right leg was recovering slowly.
On the descent I was riding well, descending at speed into a headwind, until just over a kilometre to go, the road flatten out, the headwind was stronger and cramps struck my left leg. I was passed by a bunch of B grade riders as I made my way to the finish. Where I managed to dismount without crashing.
While I beat my previous best time for the course by a minute, I felt I should of done better, the cramps at the end of the race did not help. My race was decided by the group that I started with and trying to hold the wheels on the climb of the two riders who won by over five minutes. I suppose I need to do more climbing, to know how hard I can ride uphill.
6 July 2014
After the glorious sunshine and warmth of yesterday afternoon. I was woken up by a storm front passing. I knew it was going to be wet and windy today, but I was glad the front passed before racing. Still with strong wind forecasted I decided to take my other bike with low profile alloy rims, over my race bike with deep profile carbon rims.
As 15 riders lined up to race C grade, a second front passed pelting us with rain for 3 minutes before we got underway. The weather was wild and wooly, the winds westerly, averaging 30kph and gusting to 50kph making the three little climbs more challenging as they were all into a headwind. It was going to be an interesting race particularly with the course's deserved reputation for punctures when wet.
I settled in to my usual position of ticket collector, within two laps we lost three riders, two to punctures and one ending up off the road on the gravel, I assume either wind or puncture. He was upright when I last saw him, but he never returned to the bunch.
At the end of that lap, we were informed the race was being shorten by two laps. So instead of 65km in the wind and rain it was going to be only 50km. At this stage most of the work was being done by one rider Mike, with most of the others just sitting in. So it was time to make them work, on Lyon Road with the crosswind I went to the front with the sole purpose of putting people in the gutter. I did not know if I succeeded as I tried to swing off the front only Mike would come past me, so I sat on his wheel, waiting for another chance to wreak damage. Instead I started spelling Mike who was putting in long turns. On the front up the climb up Bodeman Road I heard a tyre go, behind me. I slowed hoping it was not mine. It was Mike's. Got to the top of the climb and literally had to brake to get another rider to go round me.
The next few laps became tactical, there were at least three <em>sprinters</em> who have out sprinted me before. So three riders, including myself and one of the <em>sprinters</em>, would attack off the front and force one of the other two <em>sprinters</em> to chase. On the last lap with a couple of kilometres to go, one rider had a break, the <em>sprinter</em> on the front was not chasing, so he swung off, followed by the two riders behind him. I took the opportunity to launch an attack, unfortunately the sprinter decided to swing back inside. I hit the brakes, shouted his name. As he moved away, I continued with my attack, without the element of surprise.
I caught the lone breakaway, well before the corner. I knew I had at least one rider on my wheel, but I kept on going. Got to the corner with a few hundred metres to go picked up a second wind but 150 metres from the line I was swamped by six riders. At least the attacking <em>sprinter</em> got the win.
My attack and charge to the line was a tactical mistake. I needed to do something with a couple of kilometres to go otherwise 5th was the best I could hope for. The intention was too attack with the element of surprise, get a gap and hope that nobody else wanted or could chase. I lost my element of surprise needing to avoid the other rider.
Even then I should of looked to see who was on my wheel before catching the lone leader. Feigned tiring and found a wheel to follow and then sprinted. Still it enhanced my reputation as strong rider who lacks tactics, so if I ever use tactics properly, I should surprise a few people.
PDCC C grade
12 July 2014
Good weather saw 20 riders line up for C grade. A good number of the regulars, some new faces and a couple of old faces who had not raced for a while.
I was sitting at the back, when first time up Bodeman Road the attacks started. The bunch reacted and everything went quiet for the next couple of lap. Third time up Bodeman Road, one of the old faces with a reputation for attacking moved up the outside, I followed. He slowed, so I took the opportunity and put in an attack. I was joined by two other riders over the top. We had a break, but the other two were not willing to push it. So by the time we turned onto Lyon Road, the bunch was together, so I launched another attack.
I got clear and stayed away for a couple of kilometres, until the second small ramp on De Haar Road. I was happy to be caught as I did not expect to be able to last another three laps solo. The bunch rolled around until Bodeman Road.
It was then a father, son combination. Jordan an under 15 rider having his first race in C grade and another rider took off up Bodeman Road, when they got hauled in. His father how had not raced for a while but has a respectable palmares, went to the front and rode hard up Lyon Road, the pace eased on De Haar Road and was that way until the Bodeman Road climb. This time Jordan and a new rider took off up the climb.
They got a decent gap by the top. So I put in the effort to catch them, it was a drag race between the new guy and me as I chased the pair up Lyon Road at 40kph, with riders strung out behind me. Caught them on the second ramp on De Haar, put in an attack almost straight away and boom, that was all from me. I could not hold a wheel as the eight rider bunch rode away, or hold on to the six riders in hot pursuit.
Rode the last lap alone, thinking there was something wrong with the bike, a little was the front wheel out of true rubbing the front brake but most was just me totally spent.
At the time, I was not impressed with my performance, but a couple of days later in bed with the flu, it put my performance into perspective. I rode well, particularly as the rider I chased and caught up Lyon Road, went on to win the race by 20 seconds and then win B grade the next week.
WCMCC C grade scratch race
13 July 2014
I went into the race with a simple aim, not to spent all my energy chasing breakaways. I was going to sit back for the first couple of laps, move up the next two laps, be active the last couple of laps and put in a late attack.
First lap, everything went to plan. Second lap, up Campersic Road, we were strung out in single file. Then we suddenly slowed as the bunch spread out. I moved up to see half a dozen riders with a break. A rider I trusted was on the front chasing them down. So I joined in. Rode hard down William Street, closed the gap by half, then swung off wanting to conserve some energy. I went to move into third wheel and my back wheel just skipped.
I pulled over to the side of the road and pulled a large stone chip from my cut up tyre on my training wheel, race over.
PDCC C grade points race
19 July 2014
After racing for two years, I know I am a very ordinary sprinter and climber. What I do well is chase down or drive breakaways on the flat and the windier the better. I was going to have to use my abilities to my full advantage to perform well in the points race. Where you get points for your position crossing the line each of the six laps around the 8.8km Serpentine course. At least the course was flat, but the wind was not that strong.
With only nine riders and a few of them unknown to me, it was going to be a watch and wait for at least the first lap.
Up Gull Road and into the headwind, I sat on the front to police any early escape attempts. Steve off the front, that is OK, he is joined by Jordan, not to worried. Strong enough riders in the bunch to chase those two down. Tom goes to join them, I did not want that and straight on his wheel. Look back, small break, so I jump to the front two, Tom decided not to follow. The three of us stayed away, until we turn into Rapids Road.
The bunch is back together, I settled down the back and watch the race from there. As we approached the sprint point, I moved up, remembered why I don't enjoy sprinting as a couple of other riders behaved erratically, moving off their lines, I got baulked, still managed fifth, which is about right for my sprinting ability in that group.
I eased back before crossing the line, just in case anybody decided to attack. The four in front all sat up, so I attacked. I knew I had almost no chance to get away. If I was real lucky I might stay off the front for a lap. The aim was to make the other riders work, to try to tire them and take the edge of their sprint. I rode at VO2max pace up Gull Road into the headwind and got caught just as we were about to turn onto Rapids Roads. From the laboured breathing it was as hard for a few of the bunch as it was for me.
Next sprint, was much the same as the first, though a little more confident in my ability, same result fifth. Then everybody sat up, so I attacked again. This time it was TT pace into the headwind, managed to hold a small break onto Rapids Road. The with the tailwind, I pushed another VO2 max interval. Swung onto Karnup Road with a reduced gap, so I eased back, got caught and took part in the bunch sprint, fifth again. This time two other riders attacked out of the sprint. I joined them, at first it was the three of us, then other riders scrambled across. When we got to Rapids Road, I saw we had dropped two of the better sprinters, though one was close to joining back on.
So straight to the front and another VO2max interval to make sure he did not get back on. Job done I swung to the back, a couple of kilometres later on Karnup Road, I noticed a rider attempting to close the gap. So back to the front, rode hard and swung off with less than kilometre to the sprint. Another rider kept the pace high, I managed 4th in the sprint.
The next lap I was relatively lazy, nobody was chasing back on, so I was happy sitting back until about a kilometre from the sprint, the riders in front almost stopped. So I attacked, did well till about 400 metres to go, got swamped 200 metres from the line and finished sixth. Then four riders kept going, so I ended up chasing hard, it was in theory three riders against four. But it was more like one verus two, as the four only had two working, as I caught the rider in between and dragged them and the other rider sitting on my wheel close, before they helped closed the last little bit. Unfortunately my Garmin stopped recording on the chase up Gull Road so I have no data, other that seeing it display 40kph as I chased into a headwind.
We got back on as we turned on Rapids Road, I sat back, recovered and waited patiently. In the final sprint, I finished second behind the overall winner and picked up fifth overall.
Overall, pretty happy with my performance. I spent close to two of the six laps, on the front, off the front or chasing hard to get back on and most of that into a headwind. My one tactical mistake attacking early on the fifth lap, cost me fourth place overall. But that was the best I could of expected given my limited sprinting capabilities. I can see sprint intervals in my future if I want to well next year.
Points races are a bugger for the TT guy - you'll kill the field if you can get away, but they can't let you get away. Penrith had a points race recently and A and B grades both were taken by early breaks that stayed away.
Nickobec, speaking as one of those two riders, the first climb effort was pretty hard, i set new 15-25min power output best efforts getting up that first hill to get away and establish the winning move!
The three of us who made that break included another junior rider with restricted gearing, their is something disturbing about climbing up a grade that has you in the hurt locker and seeing that the rider in front of you is in the little cog at the back, it just messes with your head! but full credit to the young guy he did keep up untill just past the turn around point where speeds where higher and restricted gearing on the down hill sections really is a drag.
seeing the Gap back to the scratch group after we turned around was great, nothing like knowing you can win if you keep the effort up where it's been, those last two little climbs before the descent really realy hurt, and the headwind on the descent meant that it was hard driving to the finish!
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