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!
Cole Family Secret Handicap - 2/8/2014 - Dog Trap Road
The Cole Family was represented by Barry Cole who is one of the founding members of the ACTVCC as well has being a founding member of the Canberra Old Boys cycling club. I first met him as a member of the Canberra Cycling Club, when I was a junior in the mid-eighties. He has been around the Canberra cycling scene for a long time. I remember the club newsletter would frequently contain reports of the ‘Flying Flea’ dishing out some pain. It was appreciated that he could still make the effort to come out and watch and present trophies for this race despite a recent bereavement.
The weather was just about perfect for racing. Cool (<10°C) but sunny with a gentle breeze.
The race is two laps on a North/South route. It starts heading south with a gentle climb initially that flattens off to a false flat up to the highest point of the course at the turn. In the other direction there is a little hill immediately but it is followed by a descent to the foot of Pothole Hill which is a long straight climb though not particularly steep, once at the top of that it undulates its way to the top of the descent to the lowest point of the course.
A secret handicap is a particularly brutal sort of race. It starts with the whole field in a massed bunch and the idea is that the race will break itself apart and the fast riders will try and set the best time they can, and the lower grades will try and finish hoping that their time minus their handicap time will be the fastest aggregate. Clearly this provides great incentive for riders to try and hang in with others who are normally faster than they are for as long as possible, whilst the faster riders will try to eliminate the lower graded riders as soon as possible. In practice as soon as the flag drops the pace jumps up to make the initial selection, after that you have to ride with whoever is around you to set the best time that you can. It helps to have been riding regularly in the club for a while so that you know whether you are towing a lower graded rider into a position where they will beat you on handicap. If you are serious about doing well you may choose to keep a hard working lower grade rider around if he is contributing to the bunch, especially if he can be put so far into the red that he blows up completely and loses a lot of time in the last few km. I was looking forward to this race because I tend to be good at holding wheels in favourable terrain so I was hoping to be one of those lower grade riders who hung around with a better grade for as much of the race as possible.
I seem to have been off the handicapper’s radar because at sign the computer still had me in F grade . I asked to be upgraded to E grade to fend off the likely objections. There were 48 bikes that took to the start including one D grade tandem (Elton&Don) and 2 first-time ungraded riders. The strength of numbers was with B, D and E grades with 8 or 9 riders each.
As soon as the race proper started, the splits immediately appeared. Most of my E grade colleagues were on the wrong side of the split behind me with only Phil making the group I was with at first. I ended up in a bunch of 7 mostly D grade riders with a small gap back to another group that was being led by Elton&Don.
There was some damage done on Pothole Hill as Russell, John and Terry slipped off the back and I didn’t last much longer. Fortunately just after the top, Elton&Don and Peter came past and I was able to hold on to them as they proceded to catch the remnants of the bunch which now included Sue. Elton&Don then led the bunch up to the next pair on the road, Craig and Andrew. Up until then Craig had been the leading D grade rider. Elton&Don, Peter and I pulled out a gap down the hill that looked sizable at 60+km/h, but at 10km/h for the corner, it was not more than a few bike-lengths.
Coming back up the hill the better climbers got away again, this time in two bunches, with Craig, Andrew, Des and a new rider in the front group. Craig’s Strava stats tell me that they were 29 seconds faster to the top and it would take another 7km of hard chasing, mostly by Elton&Don to bring them back. They had now picked up Allan who wasn’t having his best day. On the way we managed catch Tony, Kev and Sue only to lose them down Pothole Hill.
The trip out and back to the south was uneventful but the still done at pace. We were still together at the start/finish as we headed out north again. Some inattentiveness saw a few people drop off in the fast section before of Pothole Hill and by the time we got to the top, the group was down to Des, Craig, Andrew, Allan, Elton&Don and me.
Not surprisingly the other 4 got away from Elton&Don and me again on the way back up the big climb, with Craig 22 seconds faster than us this time. Elton&Don then got to work chasing them back down again, with me chipping in where I could. We were fortunate that we were able to catch them on the descent of Pothole Hill so that we could come past with the maximum speed differential to make it difficult for them to get back on since it was now only 2km from the line.
In the end it was only Allan and Andrew who were able to make the jump. Elton&Don led down the final drop to the creek but were not able to raise a sprint. Not that the sprint was relevant since we were in different grades, but hey when you put a line across the road, racers are going to sprint for it. Andrew jumped away in the end to lead across the line and I followed a short way behind with Elton&Don and Allan after that.
A look at the results sheet show that there were some notable performances. Elton&Don rode hard all day to take a well deserved 3rd. Owen outperformed the next 3 in C grade by half a minute to take 6th. However one of the rides of the day was Lynne from G grade who although she was the second last rider to finish, did so alongside Lindsay and Phil and in doing so got herself up to be 2nd overall.
Whilst I took the win it was exclusively on the back of the work from Elton&Don. They were easy to follow because they were smooth, fast and don’t climb any better than me.
There was a couple of riders who mentioned that they'd have been better off climbing at a slower rate and riding at a faster rate with Elton&Don and I for the flatter sections. There was also a few riders who found out the hard way that clean air is hard to push through at high speed, when they allowed a gap to open up and were unable to close it down. I have footage from my rear camera of riders allowing a gap to open behind us and getting blown away. I'll post it on youtube once I figure out how to edit out the many minutes of footage with only empty road behind me.
BTW, I prefer the term Klingon to Leech.
Latest race blog: http://crosswindmissile.blogspot.com.au/2014/08/race-report-queensland-road-team-series.html
Cannondale Supersix Evo
Giant Trinity Composite 1
Oh pooh. The report was reading so well too. There is certainly a deplorable lack of skills around, and similarly I don't know that there is an easy solution.
I like to think that I'm a pretty good bike handler but I started young, I did lots of messing about on bikes with mates. I did a lot of handicaps in the wind near Geelong which assisted bunch skills. I did a lot of criteriums on a twisty circuit in Canberra which assisted with cornering skills. I read about and practiced skills. I did training rides where bumping and rubbing wheels was part of the messing about that we did. We raced over 'pick a plank' bridges where you literally commit to a plank at the start because there were tyre swallowing gaps on either side. We would pick stuff up from the road as we rode along. I was also not afraid of falling, I have the Autumn Leaves award from 1987 where I had 12 falls in that season (only 4 of them in races).
Racing now with a Vets club, there are many riders who are new to the sport but have a high level of basic fitness. Sadly there appears to be no appetite for skill development. We no longer race on the one circuit that rewarded good bike handling skills on the spurious reason that it was 'too dangerous'. The course wasn't dangerous, just the people riding it who needed to learn about off camber cornering, and good lines. (Perversely the 'safer' purpose built criterium circuit has more and worse crashes). Sadly the people who really need to race on a circuit that rewards skill would usually choose not to. There is also a strange concept of 'neutral turns' which only serves to eliminate the need for people to work on their turning skills. Track racing has very much been sanitised from the time where 'rubbing is racing'.
My view is that many changes that are intended to make racing safer have resulted in bunches with a lower level of skill. Low skilled bunches seem far more dangerous to me.
I would agree Cam. I am one of those low skill Vets guys and the commitment in time, and likely sore ribs and gravel rash to learn better cornering and handling is a big one. We aren't 10 anymore. The skill to simply ride a road bike is quite a bit higher than a BSO so maybe they just feel like they have learnt enough? I know I was shocked the first time I rode 28s and 25s even. I think we would agree that's not enough, but good luck getting a skills course organised for race grade advancements.
I think there are two big issues (one of which I spoke about in my blog post above). Firstly, I don't think people (often) are starting out their cycling 'experience' in a well established club with 'old heads' to show them the ropes. This is really sad. I was super lucky that I grew up in Rockhampton and had the Tucker brothers (and others) who were very active in teaching me how to ride my bike. Secondly, I think that riders who take up the sport later in life are often not willing to seek out / listen to advice. They believe that because they have a well established fitness base from another sport, that they don't 'need' anything else.
I raced all over Australia up until 1999, the started racing again in 2012. The difference in the number of crashes between then and now is off the scale. Bunches now (in Queensland at least) are no bigger now than they were back then. Racing Elite A in Queensland in the 90s, I can barely remember a crash. Now, it seems to happen in most races.
Cannondale Supersix Evo
Giant Trinity Composite 1
Ultimately, (and this is from my experience and a few chats to some others), it is an enormous undertaking from the club members to take others under their wing to make the magic happen. I've had a couple of guys look after me, and I've helped a few guys who only have a couple races under their belt, but the effort level is enormous at the vets level - you need guys who are regularly at races, rides, fit enough to keep up with those newbies and willing to divulge some secrets and put up with people disappearing to attack (Thanks Dave ) and social enough to make it all come together.
If you don't have the committee patting backs and shaking hands most races, you need club members and we're quickly past what is reasonable. I agree the resources are often there, but you have to be committed to provide or receive them. When racing is a once a month block burner for the weekend warrior, you will not see the improvements you hope to see.
SKCC trophy race, Newham, C grade, 90 km.
well, that sucked. someone turned the dial down to 3/10 on me. i held on for 1st 2 laps, but was sucking air in like an asthmatic on the hills at the end of the second. i thought i'd held on and made the mistake of relaxing - one last hill and i allowed myself to roll back a few metres before the downhill. mistake. others started dropping wheels and i noticed that the bunch weren't letting up. i was suddenly on the rivet, only a few metres back but chasing hard. i couldn't do it.
i rolled turns with a couple of others back to the finish. pretty disappointing all up. i've been training OK, maybe a bit hard this week? legs felt dead.
on the plus side, check out strava flyby - with which you can see how your race panned out. how good is this?
I'm wondering who photographed the Tour of August race today at Horsley Park in Western Sydney. I very briefly saw a photographer with a DSLR camera parked on the inside of a corner, but that's all I could take in. I didn't manage to find out who it was. It'd be nice to see some of the photos.
http://www.ridingfocus.com/blog/2014/8/ ... cle-racing
Ask and thou shalt receive Joshua Nicholls. Does great work, and usually does a session 4-5 races a week
PDCC C grade
9 August 2014
I approached this race with a heavy heart, one of the riders I raced with for the last two years, took their own life last Sunday.
Then this happen:
Lara's Tribute Ride
That was 100 riders, the people racing, Lara's club mates from the Rockingham Tri club and others, including riders who had not raced for 18 months riding a lap for Lara.
Lara, your infectious smile and sense of humour will remain with me forever.
I did not go into the race with any plan other than to be there at the finish. My last two races at Dog Hill involved last lap heroics, a decent break, getting caught and rolling over the line at the back of the pack. I knew my chances of escaping were slim, particularly given the wind, so I was looking at trying my luck at sprinting.
The race started at pace with one rider hitting the front and riding hard. Then riders started rolling through. I was sixth in line, took my turn and then the original rider attacked. Nobody chased, so I closed the gap. I stayed close to the front for the next lap and a half as there was a flurry of attacks and counter attacks.
In the end, I went to the front and rode at threshold for a few minutes, to slow the race and my heart rate down. It worked, nobody attacked, so I slide down the pack and settled into my usual position of ticket collector. The reason, a couple of fires near the course and though my new asthma medication is effective, I still use my inhaler, for extra protection/prevention.
The third time up St Albans Road, a small group got off the front, they were brought back. I thought better about a counter attack, as another rider did. He got a small gap, but the pack left him there, even let another rider try to bridge. They did not make it, and the counter attacker got pulled back half a lap later. A couple of riders tried again the next lap and tired quickly. St Albans Road was into a strong headwind which sapped their energy. I was happy sitting at the back, saving energy and picking my own line with the corner onto Young Road. I lacked confidence into that corner, still I had no trouble picking up the wheel of the riders infront. Especially on the last lap when a rider attacked before the corner. A strange move, they did try to power out the corner, causing issues for a few riders, so I moved up. Onto Dog Hill Road, a couple of kilometres from the finish. A couple of riders pushed hard out of the corner, others were slow reacting and I had moved into the top eight.
Held my position, was on wheel outside the rider I wanted to follow and in the wind. But I had what I thought was a clear line, nobody outside or behind me and with only half a dozen riders in front of me. The two strongest sprinted early and got a gap. I got out the saddle and started sprinting (on the drops). The rider I was following, now on my inside moved out, almost taking my front wheel with him. Evasive action, back down in the saddle, out of it again, tried to kick again and the legs went no. Did best I could, seated and finished 7th.
Given that I usually don't sprint, I was happy with the result. I could of done better, if I was a little further up the bunch and nobody tried to take me front wheel out. Still I don't think I could of matched the sprint of the winner or 2nd place. They kicked and got a good gap. Still I can be competitive with the others, just need to be more confident and a little more aggressive with my positioning.
My race on Strava
PDCC C grade
9 August 2014
Same race as nicobec, as mention we had a nice commemerative lap before the start of hostilities to honour a club member, made me feel like part of a family which was nice, was good to cruise around the circuit and chat with people.
I did take it out reasonably hard, had been sitting around wait for awhile and wanted to get the legs back into attack mode, rode hard and was looking like i might drag the group onto the back of B grade, little voice in my head was enjoying planning what derogratory remarks to below at them as we rode over the top of them
-Use it or lose it
-Stay down B , C grade coming over the top'
where the most common ones,
simple things amuse simple minds they say. In the end we did'nt bridge to B grade. My evil plan was to keep the bunch together for a bunch sprint and take my luck with the finish and hope sprinting gods would shine on me.
Basical the laps where composed of a few riders trying their hand at attacking only to be ridden down, then once riden down a few riders driving the pace at the front only to be left high and dry by the group not coming through, one rider was very obvious in his displeasure at the lack of people willing to help with the pace, constantly shaking his head in disbelief that no one would come through for him, a lot of muttering about it, i did it to him a few times soley cause it made me chuckle, he even went to the extreme of braking when he tried pulling out of line at one point.
A couple of people made attacks and got a gap, i'd roll through to the front, gauge their distance and speed and slowly reel them in, making sure they suffered enough at the front that they'd think twice about doing it again, and that i was riding sensibly to catch them without burning matches, Same as Nicobec, once i'd caught them i was happy to keep riding at the front at my pace, recovering, if people are silly enough to let me recover i will not hold that against them.
I take some responsibility for this odd move, a rider had ridden along side me and asked if i i though i could still sprint and did i want a lead out? i'm not going to say no to that nice offer, then the silly bastard takes off with 4 km still to go, drives hard , i think well if he can drive most of the way their then i'll hold his wheel, then just as soon as he started , stopped and was sorry that he could'nt do any more. WORST LEAD OUT MAN EVER. or maybe he was trying to juice me up for a mate in the pack?
Last kilometer saw the group go from being strung out to being a bit more bunched up, getting ready for the sprint, i was feeling a bit worn down from pace making but was pretty sure i had one more big effort left, waited till some one else kicked off silly time, stood up and went like what i hoped a scalded cat looked like, around the final bend and then into the finishing straight.
The straight is quite congested with lots of cars, people and visual distractions, i lost sight of where the finish line was, i sprinted to where i thought it was, nice clear gap , personal satisfaction extremely high, only to hear "your not finsihed, keep going' and to see the flag a bit further up the road! Bugger pick myself up again and keep driving only to see a wheel appear next to me and with agonizing slowness over take me, slow motion loss of certain victory is demoralizing, i'd lose by a bit more then a tyre width.
Moral of the story
-Know where the finish line IS, Finish There
any differences between nicobec's report and mine are due to adrenalin, shortness of breath and narrative license
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