Finally finished in the group... 55km (40av) encore in the pouring rain, cold and howling breeze... Damn near the lantern rouge but in my defense there was over 50 who abandoned over the 4 stages haha.
On reflection I think I will get some wheels with alloy rims as I don't enjoy the control ( lack of ) on wet carbon
Ha, I wish mate... Just happy to have finished and be home in one piece. Was a nice race even the the conditions weren't. Saying that we did finish in the sun on Saturday.
Was a friendly race to get back into it... Very few crashes, everyone being careful. Some of the races I have next month aren't As safe or friendly.
Hillier courses suit me more than flat courses, probably the same for you. They just have to suck up the good with the bad. They have already won (quite convincingly, not just by a tyre width in a last second sprint) at least 3 races (in a row) in B grade so they should go up to A. I was promoted from C to B and I never won a race, only podiumed once.
In the Yass race the B bunch caught a couple of riders off the back of A.
I didn't go to Orroral race becasue it was too far away, nearly a 2 hour drive each way from my place. I'm planning to race this weekend, just need to find some form.
Yeah, b grade is likely the wrong grade. But with all seriousness, the only thing to save them was the descent length and the fact that the following B graders braked before the filled in cattle grid. The tandem was behind up to that point.
This weekend should be a big challenge. I am hoping for some A1 support. All the work on my own is a tough ask for a victory. Might need a day or so off the bike leading in. Hope the weather stAys ok.
PDCC D grade Dog Hill 25 May 2013
Yesterday was my 1st ride for almost 2 weeks off with the flu. While it was not a fast commute, it convinced me, I was capable of racing today. Though I was hoping for fairly quiet race.
The pace was sedate for the 1st 500m, then Redbull attacked. I would of been happy to let him go, he could not survived 40km off the front by himself. Instead he was chased down, but in the process a few riders where sent out the back door. The bunch slowed, a couple of riders worked there way back on. Then rider or riders went to the front and put the hammer down on the downwind section. I ended up jumping from group to group at 50kph.
The group would slow, then a rider would go to the front and pick the pace up and this was repeated again and again. It slowed as approached the rough section of road, that had been resurfaced and now had covering of small stones. So I went to the front, slowed through the corner, drove hard out of it and then rode than section at threshold. Towards the end of the section, I could hear voice "we have got a gap, go, go, go!". I kept going at threshold, hoping for another rider to come past and pick up the pace. In the end one did for all of 30 seconds, then I was back on the front. Then the voice yelled "they are back on". So I took the opportunity, to slide down to the back of the bunch to see what damage had been down. Of the 17 starters, there was a dozen left and a couple of those were suffering.
Redbull was trying to convince me to go to the front and ride hard, I politely refused the offer as we riding into a headwind, saying I would later. A couple of riders did short turns into the wind, then another out the corner and up the short rise into the tailwind, then promptly sat down. So I went to the front and did a 2.5km VO2max interval, because it felt good. Nobody really pushed over the next couple of kilometres, so I did another 2km interval, which was at threshold, with a couple of digs. By the end of that interval, I was spent, if another rider attacked now. I would be in trouble. Instead another rider started organising roll throughs. I had to miss a few turns as I was suffering, but I was not the only suffering and missing turns in the bunch of ten.
I recovered pretty well and when nobody wanted to take the front on the downwind section, I did. The problem was I was struggling to keep threshold pace, so I was happy to tuck into Frank's wheel we he went past. I thought Frank was going a little fast into a 90 degree bend, I touched the brakes. Next Frank, overcooked the corner, touched the gravel on the outside of the road and came down hard in front of me. Gravel to the left, everybody passing on the right and Frank's prone body in front of me. I hit the brakes and had visions of me hitting Frank and go flying over the handlebars. Instead my front wheel just touched Frank and I managed to unclip in time. No harm done, Frank was OK, the bunch slowed and waited for me, Frank and Redbull who stopped to check on Frank to rejoin.
Each time we accelerated out of a corner, my hamstrings started stinging with lactic acid. Still I was not the only one suffering, when I went to the front on the downwind section and promptly swung off with cramps in the calves. Sitting on the back as the bunch slowed to less than 30kph gave me, time to recover and work on tactics. Not many options, so I decided to go from 400m out, which was where you normally would start the sprint, before they moved the finish line.
For once I was patient, I did not attack or follow the couple of early attacks, I was sitting on the back waiting for my designate spot, as the pace picked up and just before we hit my mark. Frank attacked and the group countered and we were up and sprinting, I lasted 200m before my legs where screaming with lactic acid and shaking from side to side. I kept going but I only passed a couple of riders to finish 7th.
Still given my health and lack of recent riding, I was very happy were I finished, particularly given the pace today.
Last edited by nickobec on Sun May 26, 2013 10:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
Hey Nickobec, this Redbull is he a team mate, if not never ever tell someone your intentions.
I don't suffer fools easily and so long as you have done your best,you should have no regrets.
ACT Vets Lake George handicap - 43kms 560m
About 15 in A grade started 29 minutes behind G grade and 4 minutes behind B grade. High pace set for the first 20kms at about 42kmh. Regular turns taken throughout the bunch until km 15 when it was left up to me and a couple of others to set the pace up the slow long climb. Starting out to Lake george for the first time the turns started again and I was able to ease up til the next climb. The pace we set split the bunch and saw only 4 of us taking turns. We pushed hard and closed down B grade within 200m by the end of the lap and started the final lap. It was still basically 4 of us doing the bulk of the work with others coming through on the downhills.
Next climb there is an attack and I think "I thought we were working together?" We still werent at the front of the race and needed to work as a group. We regrouped without too much energy lost and pushed the pace as much as we could. Coming back, there are a couple more attacks and a couple of lulls. I cant figure it. I just keep going to the front and push the pace back up. The others leave me to chase. I assumed it was because a lot of them were on the limit. I got a valuable tow down the final descent before the final 3km undulating climb to the finish and come around to take the front to hammer the chase up the hill. Of the guys in the bunch, I knew I was amongst the strongest for that stretch and there were a fair few who werent taking turns any more, so I gritted my teeth and pushed hard. We pass a few more riders, but the lead car is still nowhere in sight. I stayed on the front hoping against hope we could reel them in at the last moment. Coming up the final part of the hill I put the hammer down to make the sprinters hurt coming up to the finish and within about 200m I am swamped by a couple of sprinters. For some stupid, stupid reason, I dont react and sit up. I was absolutely on the limit, but it was 100m to go. A few more come past including the tandem but its too late for me to react.
I still dont know where I placed, but fark me! Thats the fastest 40km I have ever done with that much climb. 39.5kmh was immense. At least my work was acknowledged by the winner of A grade and a few of the chasers. Just a shame it was for nothing. I learn new stuff each time I race, but todays lesson was silly and shouldnt have needed to be learnt. Man, my legs are sore now. It was really fun and really rewarding. I didnt go out with the intention of winning today as I knew I would be working really hard for the good of A grade. Handicap racing is an absolutely brutal form of racing. And now it turns out that I miss next week, then its two handicaps in a row. Looking forward to getting back to scratch racing. Its easier on the body.
There's no prizes at PDCC races*, so things remain social but competitive. Especially like yesterday when most racers are club members.
*That said, there are end-of-season prizes
This is good!
I don't suffer fools easily and so long as you have done your best,you should have no regrets.
I was actually stating the bleeding obvious, anybody who has raced with me this year, knows that I will go to the front at least two or three times during a race and pull a big turn, hoping to put a few riders out the back.
If you raced with me at the circuit last time, You would of guessed I would do that either:
1 Just after the finish line on the main straight because it was into the headwind, as last time I kept driving into the headwind,
2 The back straight, where I spent a lot of time on the front last time, mine you then it was into a headwind, now with decent tailwind or
3 The rough section, recently resurfaced and now covered with small stones, because I did it so many times last race and did the same on the rough section of road at Serpentine.
4 the little rise a just over 1km from the finish line was also an option as we had a couple of riders struggling there.
Though (and don't tell Redbull) I might of been telling porkies, because my legs where already tired after my first effort on the front.
Paul and Steve. Ash and Don finished a minute or so back. It was a very hard race. Faster than the last two handicaps out there by a kmh or two. It was a big A grade bunch, but only about 50% took turns and only 4 or 5 of us were consistent throughout.
Whats with the next 2 of 3 races being more handicaps? Too fricking hard!
If you do enough handicaps you get better at riding in a bunch, coordinating the bunch to work properly in changing wind conditions, and hanging onto a faster bunch. Skills that are sadly lacking these days. When I started racing 80% of the races at my club in Geelong were handicaps. Looking through my rose coloured retrospectoscope I reckon that the general bunch and bike handling skills were better then among that club than they are now. Now rubbing elbows elicits a panic reaction from many riders, then it was much more common and barely caused a comment.
Ash and Don are at the lower end of the A grade spectrum, Steve and Paul are at the upper end, it would be an interesting dynamic in their races, but in any grade there are riders with different performance numbers and will have to develop their race plans to suit.
Sadly for the heavy tandem we have such a relative speed discrepancy between going up and going down compared to the others that we were forced to break away during the long descent at the start so that we could still be in contact at the top of the hill on the return. The plan worked well enough, we weren't with them but were able to chase back on after the climb and then we drove the bunch to the bottom of the next hill which at least brought them back up to the E grade breakaway (!) and eventual winner. We were also able to tow another straggler from E grade down the other side and got him close enough that he was able to bridge up to others shortly after he dropped us on the way back up.
Having just gone up to E grade we were happy enough with that, we did contribute something towards E grade's success in the race (first and second) although I don't know how many seconds that contribution was worth. I gather that there weren't many seconds to spare though. It was the second handicap in a row for us on that course that the winner came from our bunch with A grade hot on their heels. Some good handicapping on display IMO.
Yeah it was a well sorted race. I enjoyed the challenge immensly and found the riding for a grade honour more rewarding than riding for myself. My whinging relates to recovery pain only.
Still surprised there are three in a row just about.
Ash and Don were quicker than a couple of past a grade times. They should be very pleased.
LOL, who do you think was telling you to ride harder because we had a break. I was hoping for a mini (or major) blow up
It was a bit frustrating that the last lap slowed and everyone played ducks and drakes - that gave everyone a chance to recover a bit. Guy that won it sat at the back all day and did nothing all day.
The trouble with jogging is that the ice falls out of your glass
Calga – 50km – C grade
A cold but sunny morning greeted us at calga. I decided to ride in C. As i usually ride in B I was a bit surprised by the rather slow start with very few people wanting to do some work at the front. Speed picked up and 2 riders escaped. As these guys seemed to be the stronger ones –or at least the guys who wanted to do some work at the front – i considered the breakaway to be dangerous so i helped to close the gap ½ lap later. There were a couple more accelerations before the second pass of Blood Hill but going nowhere. I was in the first little group going over Blood, but the tempo was not maintained and most of it came back together. I contemplated attacking a couple of km’s from the finish, but the speed of the group was too high to be successful and it all ended with a group sprint. 5th and happy with that.
Stevecassidy did you come and raced at Calga yesterday ?
Did anybody race Metros last weekend?
Did the crit on day 1....set up a 3man break away at the 15min mark (30min +2 laps), built up a 18sec lead, then heard the bell ring. Smashed the last lap to find out the bell was not for us, pack caught us on hte next lap....frustrating
here is the vid
Rode the RR the next day, 2 x 23km loops, attacked through the rolllers on each lap, got away with 3 guys on the last lap and punched it hard into a head wind for the last 15km to hold off the main group and snag 3rd place..
Coaching Athletes around the world
I had every intention of coming but had an awful night's sleep and slept in instead. I'll try to make the next Sunday race if I can, maybe a Saturday one if I can get away.
Where's your next race? cabici.net lists bike races in Sydney
Probably will be for up to 43km on this Saturday's handicap.
Expect to be in a group of stronger D graders for the 44km from Dwellingup down to Pinjarra and back up again and the up include 1km at 8%
Not one of the top finishers this year on the road (having the flu has ruined 3 of the 4 races and the other one was rider error), so unless the handicapper remembers my performance on the front of bunch during the crits or checks my TT times I should be safe. Worse case scenario get put in with "weaker" C graders and have to chase Redbull. Who did quite well last year in the other hilly handicap.
PDCC Dwellingup Handicap
With reference to my above post: Nick didn't end up racing due to the flu, but I still felt like an imposter as I quickly found myself as part of a 45kmph role through, one of the people involved being a national champion in my age group! Suffice to say that didn't last too long. In the first 22km or so I averaged 41kmph, I was first dropped by my handicap partners (only a few k's in), soloed for 10 or so k's and then clung onto the group that started 2 minutes after me as they passed. Just as this group caught up with the bunch I originally started with I was dropped again, this was just before the only turn of the 'out and back style' course. I then soloed my way for the rest of the race, I really struggled into the strong headwind with no one to share the work, but once I reached the 5-9% hills I was able to pass several riders.
It was a really tough race, but I did manage to beat one of the C graders whom had the same handicap as me, which is a good sign as my next race will be in C grade.
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