I haven't looked out the window yet but I am hooking up with another guy from my club and heading to Lyon for a crit (75km on a 2.5km circuit...hope I don't get dizzy!)...Yeah I was disappointed yesterday,if only I hadn't been tight arse and replaced both tyres at once or even just had 2 Co2's...oh well new tyre bought on the way home.I was on such a caffeine fix that didn't get used that it took me till 10pm last night to come down .
I was also a bit pee'd with my club.When I arrived here in France I joined the local club which is based in a town 10km away..as they were the strongest club in the area as well was a bonus.Well for reasons I don't really understand 20 people (all racers) left the club at xmas and started their own club based in my town...now yesterday only 3 of us turned up to race..there are about 15 registered but only 3 turned up...no one in our club is above my grade (div 3) which means I am probably the strongest racer in the club now...so when daylight savings starts in a couple of weeks and proper race training starts on Tues / Thur night which I was looking forward to,I now don't don't see the point of going as I will be waiting round for weaker riders and won't have anyone pushing me...yes they are all very nice and friendly but the club is now nearly totally cyclo tourist / rally orientated which is fine but not what I want...so I may have to change clubs next year me thinks...rant over!
Sweet....finished...4th out of 82...41av..made a tit of myself sprinting for 2 intermediate sprints at the wrong time....need to learn French better!...so ended up sprinting 4 times before the end...got 3rd in one prime once I actually worked it out ....no wonder I had nothing left at the end.
Fast sprint thou...73km on the flat...wish I had a 11 on!!!!.But good seeing I am no where near my best...bring it on!.
you dont mean 73km/h on a flat tyre? wow thats some sprint!
Oppy Le Mauco - Dura Ace (wet weather bike)
Cervelo S5 VWD - dura ace Di2
Well done TLL, very impressive results .
What are the similaraties/differences to racing Sydney circuits?
Uh oh! You just lost your KOM
Fast. What ring are u running?
Well done Ian, French racing is very tough and your placing excellent after not racing for almost a year.
If the French Division system works the same as the UK Category system, you'll have earned points towards Div 2.
Can you give us the rundown on how it works and also links or attachments to results.
Mike I was running a 53/12...looked at my computer just now and top speed was actually 74.2kmph...must have been more of a tail wind than I thought!...I was sitting down for the sprint which I hate so really could of used the 11...just don't make the power spinning!.
Didn't make the results...not really sure how it works...some races from what I can tell award points down to 5th but they only gave prizes for first 3 yesterday...which I don't mind as I don't really want to start earning points towards Div 2 just yet .Once you have your license here you must then apply for a racing one...unlike Australia you cannot turn up,buy license and start racing..which seems to be a good thing...why?...well because the way it is run means it is very hard to turn up and be a burglar (plus you must also have a doctors cert to say you are fit to race).Which anyone who races would like unless of course the are the burglar!.So they then send you a race license which is colored for each grade.But of couse it is never that simple in France...there are 3 or 4 federations and they are not all equal...but they have worked out which grades can race against which if you race out side of your federation.
You don't go up a grade till you earn 40 to 45 points... 15 for a win I think...not sure the rest.With 40 points you go up if you have had a win..45 without and once you are up it seems you can not drop back for up to 2 years!...and in the first year you drop back if you win you are straight back up..Harsh!!!.You must start in Div 3 if under 45...and if moving clubs all results go with you so no blagging back into an easier grade..even if you change regions.
Hey but apart from that racing is racing...only done 2 so far...and as I didn't get to the pointy end on the first I can't really comment.But yesterdays race was in Lyon,in a industrial estate..nice!!!.But Sat's was in beautiful countryside with rolling hills...that is where most of my races will be...one bonus of not living in the city!.The races are longer....all seem to be between 60-90km which is cool but apart from that are run the same with sprints etc...even imaginary ones for me .Yesterday was on a bumpy course but fast as we had nice big sweeping corners and no cars to worry about.But like I have said you only race on one course per season...as every club puts on one or two races a year on different courses...which I think is really cool as you don't get bored with same tracks week in week out.
The riding is aggressive but no more than Oz is in some races,I did find it easy to move up yesterday and my av heart rate for the race was under 150bpm...but it was a course where attacking wouldn't have been easy...I might of thought about it if I didn't sprint 4 times!.
I must admit the big numbers of riders makes it fun...although on Saturday it was a lot harder to move up due to the narrow roads.
Next Sats race is not far away so if I can find a map of the course I will go and check it out...we are running different times to Div 1 & 2 so will take my camera along.
BUT there is always a downside....no Daylight Savings evening races!!!! during the week...no I do miss that.
Uh oh! You just lost your KOM
Yes but I didn't mention the 50 year old women who rode 2 grades above me...and when that said grade came past us she was off the front on the attack!!!.
OK she does have more Rainbow and TriColor stripes to her name than any 10 male cyclist's put together...but hey...still impressive!.
Date of birth: 10-31-1958
Place: Saint-Martin-le-Vinoux (France)
Height: 164 cm
Weight: 47 kg
Olympic Games: Road race: 1st (1996), 2nd (1992), 6th (1984), 21st (1988), Time trial: 2nd (1996), 3rd (2000),
Individual pursuit: 5th (1992)
World Championships: Road race: 1st (1985, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1995), 2nd (1981, 1993), 3rd (2001), Time trial: 1st (1995, 1996, 1997, 2001), 3rd (1994), Pursuit: 1st (1986, 1988, 1989), 2nd (1984, 1985, 1987), 3rd (1981, 1982, 1983), Points race: 1st (1989)
Tour de France : 1st (1987, 1988, 1989)
French Championships: 47 titles (all disciplines)
World Records: 14 (hour, 3km, 5km)
These stats are a few years old...there are a few more to add now!.
Nice nice nice ride today...short fingered gloves making photos on the run a bit easier...no leg warmers once I hit the climb...bit chilly on the descent thou...if you look at the second to last frame you can see heaven in the distance...I love Spring!!!.
and that last shot - green with envy?
That supersix also deserves another wow.
It was rather chilly at the col...well at least when I turned around to descend!...but as the descent is so quick you feel it warming up pretty quickly,didn't bother putting arm and leg warmers back on as it was rather refreshing!.Still alot of snow around after 750 meters so I can imagine going much higher would be awesum!.
Cars...what cars ..OK I did cross one busy (cough) road and spend abot 3 km on another road with cars but over all there are just so many way's you can get somewhere that you can stay on tiny lanes the whole way...half the roads in my area look like farm driveways but just keep going once they pass the farm.But yesterday I stuck to more main roads as constant speed was what I was after.
On a good note I have found the right place to do my power testing...5.75 km long with 444m of climbing...should take a bit over 20 minutes and gradient is good for a big guy like me...zero flat spots or descents and between 4-18% gradient....now the hard part is to work out a time to do it.
Big green does look good sitting in the snow...but after a long ride on it yesterday I am thinking I will give the Ribble a spruce up and use it as my cyclo sportive bike...as it is a lot less jarring / stiff on the longer rides...the cannondale is a pure race machine and you notice it on the longer rides.With race wheels on the Ribble it will be hopefully under 9kilos so maybee a 1 kilo weight penalty over the System6 but a lot more comfy.I will keep the 9 speed for now but this means I won't have to keep swapping over the compact cranks...which would be a pain,I may change my mind later in the year...but I was running a 39/27 yestaerday which was OK but I have a cyclosportive over 140km with 2500m climbing in 2 weeks and feel that my largeness will be crying ot for more gears by the end!....but I am proof that anyone can love climbs...even if they will never ever be a climber!.
Now to plan a really big climb!!!
You are not alone
It is a year or more old Mike.... ...the young fast ones usually go to the north north / west....thats were a lot of the racing goes on.
Well not much luck today! ...but definately the right choice to change wheels!.
From the beginning...
"Priz de Laiz"... Race number 3 in France.
Laiz is a really small village about 35km from my little chateau.
Arrived in plenty of time on what had probably been the nicest day this year...16-18C...perfect,I don't like it too warm...and 25 is getting too warm for me.
Rolled up...only two from my club signing on...the club I joined has been decimated this year with politics...which is a real shame because it was the third strongest club in the region.I knew one guy would not hack the pace...but the young guy might hold in there.At least one thing in France is cheap...4 Euro's for a race is great!.
Anyway we rolled out for a warm up lap... I was a bit shocked...goat track!...4 nasty pinch climbs and very narrow roads...this will be fun.Anyway I finished the 7km lap thinking this could be a good race for attacking...so either do it yourself or beware.Anyway finished my doping...coffee and asthma meds and rolled off for a bit more warm up.Turned around to go to the start and realised I had left it a bit late...there were people everywhere...the race numbers started at 1 and I saw numbers in the high 70's!.
So off we go,the start finish is half way up one of the pinches....and we go a bloc tout suite!...heart rate goes thru the roof within seconds and we are strung out like...well you can imagine.Now I am really talking rough roads here....1 lane,rough edged roads which are mainly seeing use by tractors...thank goodness I took of my cracked DuraAce wheel and swapped it out for my rock solid trainer!...We hit the 2nd pinch and bunch up for a moment,someone is off the front but not too far away...from then on it is two abreast flat out....No chance of moving up whats so ever,I know I am in the last 4 or 5 riders and I KNOW at this pace the cracks will appear,I also know there are some really nasty gravel covered corners and the rubber band will be nasty.But luckily the surging slows down after about 3 or 4 km...I manage to move up 3 or 4 spots before we hit the nasty stuff,my cornering is pretty good but some of those around me don't understand "hold your line' shouted in Anglais very well ....anyway after 4km we hit a nasty right hander then straight into a pinch up to a little village on a more (cough) main road...hey at least it has two lanes.I manage to sneak up a couple more spots but there are still at least 50 riders ahead of me...taking up both lanes...when bang...round a corner we come head on with a tractor....the smell of burning brake pads and rubber is strong!...but we manage to sneak thru unscathed,actually this happens a lot during the race,the car drivers must get a shock to see 80 riders hitting 60kmph taking up the whole road heading straight towards them...but most of them don't seem to mind and pull off to the side...we do have a lead car warning them after all!.Coming to the end of the first lap I get a rough idea how knarly the finish will be....hard into a right hander coming of a wind assisted straight at 60kmph....dirt and gravel everywhere..then 400 metres of rough road into another even tighter right hander then a 300m uphill sprint to the finish...I think to myself if I can hit that final corner in 2nd or 3rd I can have this...all the while not knowing how I am going to move up to 50th let alone 3rd!!!.Anyway halfway thru the 2nd lap my young club mate comes up beside me....and I have a look behind...sh*t...I am last wheel for f's sake...in that first lap we shelled 20 riders...and that's how it goes for the next 40kms or so,I keep moving up,but I still manage to stay in the last 3 or 4 riders....talk about making it hard for oneself!...well the pace stays at about 38-40kmph....but finally a break pulled out and somehow I manage to get round 20 or so riders riding in the wind and I go off in pursuit...about 4 of us get it going but we blow ourselves to bits on the finish pinch and suddenly I am 20 back again....I look at my speedo trying to work out how many more laps but can't get my brain to function....but then the next lap we get the bell...geez..this is going to be a FUN 7km...by now we are down to about 30-35...this is div 3 for g's sake!...but it is feeling like an open B grade to me.Anyway I manage to hold on...but my head is just not in race mode today...my 99kilos is making it very hard today on the mini Tour of Flanders,the pinches are killing me...but I give it everything to stay in with a chance...everybody knows how things can look up at the last moment!!!! ....about 3 k's to go I am sitting in the wind trying to move up but no gaps are opening and I am suffering....push myself into a gap and breath deep for a few hundered meters,then you hear that horrible sound that I never get used to...luckily it was a little way behind me and I don't risk a look back to view the carnage...the 2nd to last corner is coming up but I am just too far back...by my reckoning I am 11-12th wheel....but you need to be in the first 4 or 5 to be in with a chance so I keep the pace up but forget about the glory for today....a couple around me hammer into the last corner but I am not risking it all for 8th or 9th so I sit up and roll in...12th or 13th...seems that only about 15 of us finish but then another bunch of 5 roll in..they must of avoided the crash and my club mate is with them...phew.
So all in all a really good work out...also a good race but not great,not sure where I went wrong this week but the fire just wasn't burning...looking at the HRM I spent 23minutes above 175bpm but my av heart rate was only 153 and my max was only 182.Last Sunday I was on fire but not understanding French blew that for me!...so back to the old drawing board ....I think some more 20's are needed in training and less head cleaners in the mountains...C'est la vie
Very vivid race commentary gives a great pic of the race.
I'm hugely impressed with the speeds and climbs you're doing if you weigh 99kgs. I've got down from 126kg to 91kg over the last 15 months, but I struggle to do more than 32-34km/h on flats and the racers just pull away from me on hills.....
Good luck for the next one.
GT Avalanche 1.0 | TCR Alliance 0 | Giant Bowery | BMW K1300R
Two wheels good, Four wheels bad
Well done to survive I say...your description of the race was very graphic and I could almost feel my legs hurting on those steep pinches...all things considered, I think you should be pleased with your effort and result.
I look forward to the next report.
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