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Rode out to the circut today (first time doing that) after taking Toolonglegs advice about a warm up ride before racing.
Signed up for D grade again and the spread of riders was a bit better this time - a lot more in c and b grades.
D grade need to complete 20 minutes plus three laps of the circut, with a whistle at three to go, then a bell with one to go.
There was another club there (couldn't make out the name on the jerseys) who had a heap of riders in all grades. at least 5 or 6 of them were in D so I knew they'd be working together. 4 of them were all young girls, who looked to be between 12 and 15 or 16 years old.
Three of the young'uns took off like scared rabbits at the start with an older bloke from the same club. Myself and three or four others quickly closed the gap and set about bring the pace back a little bit. The majority of D grade then rolled around the circut at a pretty descent speed I thought, so much so that towards the end of the 20 minutes we'd caught up to, and passed, the stragglers in c grade.
At the whistle I made sure that I was reasonably positioned in the middle of the pack, but the pace began to quicken almost immediately. The slower riders in D quickly dropped off the back and I think there were only 6 or 7 of us in the main pack. We were all jockying for positions, with minor breakaways attempted at each of the hairpins turns. With 1/3 of a lap to go, I made a big effort and surged in third place. I entertained thoughts of pushing for 2nd, but the legs wouldn't respond.
It was at this stage that I thought "Mmm, don't remember hearing the bell for the last lap". Bugger, I'm one lap early. As we passed the finish line they rang the bell for us. A couple of D graders passed me and it took nearly all my energy to try to hang on as they powered away from the second last hairpin.
As we rounded the last hairpin with about 700 meters to go, everyone put in a big effort and I managed to hang on to the wheel of one of the young'uns. Approaching the sweeping left hander about 300 meters from the finish and with no one behind us, I went wide at the entry, cut to the apex, then let the bike swing wide at the exit while pedalling as hard as I could. Managed to pass the young girl and finished 5th in D grade (can't believe i feel good about passing a kid on a bike).
Lessons learnt - LISTEN FOR THE BELL. May have gotten a place if I'd been paying attention. Also need ot practise sprints from near standing starts.
The good thing was my fitness levels are definately on the improve. The ride back home was sedate, but quite easy after going full pelt for 33 minutes.
Race Stats -
Total time - 33.50
Distance - 18.71km
Av. speed - 33.2km/h
Max. speed - 48.2km/h
Av HR - 167bpm
Max HR - 189bpm
Av cadence - 90rpm
I was about to reply "yes", but after thinking about it, there is still a way to go. I guess there always will be.
There were three people in E grade, who kept up with D the entire race, but fell off in the sprint. Maybe they dropped deliberately to avoid scrutiny, who knows.
Both A and B were together at the sprint, so methinks a few B's should have been A's. One of the older gentlemen there led A for the entire race, only to be pipped in the last 300 meters or so.
There is some confusion here. A and B raced separately, A grade lapped B early on, and as B were approaching the corner before the sprint, the leader from A passed us again. We thought it was one of the B graders and went for his wheel, only to see it was an A. The confusion threw everyone off their sprints. No one was "pipped" just bad timing.
I think the grades were pretty well done this week. The pace for B was about 37.5km/h which felt just right, hard but not flat out.
Nice work guys...How many in the various grades down there?.Did the warm up help you to get into it faster?.The more you race the more you want to race and then you get to know what you are doing a bit better near the finish.Some of those young critters are damn fast even on restricted gears.I remember a 16yr old who was winning at Beaumont rd race on junior gearing in A grade!.
I think the wrm-up ride did help somewhat, although as I'm in D grade, the initial 20 minutes is at a pretty slow pace, so it's almost awarm up in itself.
As for numbers in the grades, don't quote me on the figures but it think it was something like -
A - 10 or 12
B - 14 or so
C - about 14
D - about 8 to 10
Jashy can confirm this for me, but I think a 13 y.o got third in B grade.
Mikebytes, the course is a boomerang shape, so roughly every km you hit a hairpin turn. The result is an attack almost every km, but Jashy can confirm.
Yeah those hairpin courses suck...you have to be strong and at the front or you really suffer.Try coming into the corners with your hands on the drops,take a wide apex on the corner so that you can jump out of the saddle as soon as you are thru the apex and hit it hard to get up to speed quick.
B was reasonably smooth, there are of course the accelerations out of the turns and a few people attacked, but the pack stayed at a good pace the whole way and slowly reeled them in. It wasn't like the A+B a few weeks back that was just Attack-Chase-Rest over and over the whole race.
Thanks Kev, I actually got 3rd but I was wrapped none the less. I think if I can just get the right wheel next time I've got a shot at winning.
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