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PPCC started it's summer season with racing at the Regatta Centre tonight.
It started raining just before the 6.30 pm start, but unlike a few clubs further to the east who cancel at the hint of rain, they are not softies in the west and racing went ahead although it rained throughout.
I lined up in C grade, and because of my dislike of being at the back of the bunch in wet and slippery conditions, I was active at the front end, getting involved in every attemped breakaway. However it came down to a bunch sprint and I was happy with my 8th in an about 15 up sprint. Average speed was good for the conditions, 24.00 km was ridden at an average of 38.66 kph.
Other forum members seen were sandman who was at the front end of B grade and Zozza rode in D grade.
i was there also, chatted with sandman, zozza, and jeff who were all racing, we had sandy and Keith as spectators.
I lined up with Zozza in D grade, we soon got thrown to the front and looked at each other and had no idea what speed to ride at. So after a bit we let a few others through. It pretty much rained the whole race which made for a very dirty experience, wheel sucking was difficult with spray everywhere and my sunnies soon got so dirty i could hardly see anything.
I seemed to be at the front alot, i think i pulled the other rides for a about 2.5-3 laps but the pace was not that fast so didnt feel like i was losing much energy, next time though i will slow down and force other riders through (newbie mistake number 1), about 4 of us where at the front and we had the smallest of gaps between the main group, they soon caught us with about 1.5 laps to go, i got a break in the tricky s bend section (about 4km to finish) and put a gap of about 100m into the pack, i went past the spectator area with a bit of a gap still (maybe 3km to go) and put in a big effort to see if i could stay ahead, it didnt work and was soon caught by the pack (2km to finish), i slotted in behind a few riders and we kept a good pace down the straight, we rounded the last corner and i made my move to the front, with wjhat i thought was 300m to go i put in my sprint only to realise that it was the third hut that was the finish line and not the 2nd (newbie mistake number 2) so after i put in my big sprint (put a gap of 50m or so on field) i still had about 600-700 to go, knowing i just wasted all of my energy in my sprint i just did all that i could to hang on, kept a good speed to the end but got passed by mayube 7-9 riders before the eventual finish line. I am sure the guys had a good laugh whn the y saw me sprint with still 800-900m to go. I had fun though and think i will jump into C grade next week.
So lessons learnt - dont do half the race at the front with every Tom, Dick and Harry sucking your wheel
- sprint to the correct finish line at the right time
So i think i finished somewhere between 7th and 10th out of a field of 20+ riders.
Average was 36.1km/h
U n Zozz had an awesome ride, told you that you would be kicking butt There are lots of lurkers out there that probably should go up a grade so getting to the very top of a grade is pretty hard IMHO. As for the few races I've been in, there seem to be 2 distinct types:
1) Riders generally bunch together, have a poke around a bit, little chase here n there and everyone comes together on the last lap ready for the 3-400m sprint
2) A few are able to get away and decide to stay out and keep the larger bunch away. Sprinters don't get a look in unless they are part of the breakaway.
I kind of like the 2nd one as the sprinters don't get to do the damage. Tonight you got caught up in no.1, while fun the more experienced sprinters know when to suck wheels, what gear to be in and how long their burn is, those guys are hard to beat. You will soon work out what sort of rider you are and what you enjoy doing in races. Takes a fair bit of courage to go off the front, sometimes its in vain as the bunch just sits there knowing you'll crack, sometimes you will get a few to join you and then it is a ton of fun as the bunch shoots off and then you've got guys trying to get across the break.
All good fun Don, you n Zozza had a great ride, like being a teenager again racing your mates around the block.
Had my first race in D Grade and like Don said I reckon there are many things to be learned. I managed a 5th place which I'm not unhappy with but found myself slowing too much into the corners given the slippery conditions I was probably a little over cautious? The pace was reasonable but any gains I made were soon lost in the corners . Pretty much like that till the last corner when Don suddenly steps on the gas hard! and a few give chase and bust up half way to the line,Don included. I made a mess of the sprint too, not being vigilant and aware of where the other riders were I was left chasing them to the line. In all I had a great time and cant wait till the next one .
Don, Are you sure about 28.4 km for D Grade?
C grade did 24.0 km, (1 lap shorter than normal because of the approaching darkness), thats 4 complete laps of 5.0 km plus the 4/5 of a lap to the finish around the back. I'm pretty sure you guys did not do a lap extra....
garmin said 28.4km, its possible i hit the stop button when i got back to where we started, hence adding about 4km, not sure to tell you the truth, i dont think we did an extra lap so your distance is most probably correct. I dawdled back to the start area also so that would have dropped my average down a bit i guess.
Great effort guys! Sounds like a baptism of fire for you guys, what with the rain and all.
Even D grade sounds pretty quick to me at 36kph average, in the rain and all!
Hopefully I will get to meet a couple of you guys next Monday at the races, or maybe even Saturday at the LC ride.
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