It's not called Lookout Plain
Clearly your version of flattish is different to mine , but even though the finish is uphill it is short. In a bunch finish situation the heavy riders will hit the bottom hard and try to carry speed to the line, the lighter ones will try and hold their wheel and then pounce in the last 20m. The hill is steep enough that once you run out of momentum it will prompt a rapid dumping of gears under pressure which will produce the inevitable mechanical problem.
There are a couple of route choices here and I'm not sure which will be used. Coming from Tidbinbilla the lead up to the finish is a fast descent with a couple of high speed corners, followed by a straight downhill of perhaps 2km to the bottom of the finish hill. IME a committed, working bunch will make considerable time over a lone rider on this stretch, if you want to win by breakaway you'd do well to do some reconnaissance of the preceding hill(s). The biggest climbs are a fair way from the finish and may not be suitable. If the finish is via Pt Hutt, substitute the fast descent for a long gradual climb.
It is unlikely that they will finish up the false flat from the other (Tharwa) direction.
ACTVCC Old Federal Hwy-Lake George E grade.
A fine morning and a scratch race close to town brought a larger contingent of E F and G grade riders. 99 bikes in total I understand and E grade had 19 of them.
The course starts with 9.5km of mostly descent to a turn, back to the start. This is followed by two laps consisting of a 3km descent, followed by a 4km climb to the highpoint of the course, a short descent to the turn then back up, down and up to just before the finish where it is technically downhill.
The hills are steep enough that we weren't going to be able to hold on to the bunch on the climbs, and that also we would be quicker than them on the downs.
Our plan was to get away and build a lead by the first turn and hope it was enough to be still with them at the turn to start the Lake George loops, and after that it would be a case of minimising losses on the ups, and maximising gains on the downs. We thought that if we were with or ahead of the others at the last turn that we might be able to chase them down before the last climb, and maybe get survive the last climb which is less steep.
Well the race went pretty well to plan. There wasn't space to overtake and stay within the lane on the first part of the descent (double lines) so we bided our time until the opportunity presented and we were able to let fly down one of the hills. We managed to build a 30second lead by the turn which was enough to get us up the biggest and steepest ramps on the return, and we were able to stay with them. A little dip in the road gave us the opportunity to off the front again which saw us in a group of 3 with Liz and Terry at the start of the Lake George loops. We opened a gap on the first descent but we were always destined to be chased down on the climb. When they did catch us we were pleased that they at least had the decency to give the appearance of working hard. The group had thinned a bit, and there were more gaps showing, and some heavy breathing going on. As hoped, we chased on the short descent and got to within 10m of the back, at the turn, they were still in sight at the top and we caught them again at the bottom. Sadly the last hill was steeper than hoped and we lost ground again. On a high note we did pass a national representative on the last climb, although the bragging rights stop if we have to admit that she's a girl and only has one leg. However it is still a small thrill for us wen we overtake anyone going uphill. Starting the last lap we were now behind the bunch but we were able to chase them down again, only to be caught and passed again. This time on the assent there were more gaps showing in the bunch they had re-formed by the turn, and this time we closed the gap to about 20m. Sadly we lost a little too much ground on the climb. We got awfully close to catching a straggler on the last climb, and another came past near the end. In the end we were pleased with our effort of 11th.
Next week is a points race on the flat on a hotdog course . That should give us more of an opportunity to ride in a bunch for a change.
PDCC D grade race Dog Hill 23 June 2013
Riding down to the race, I realised the main straight would be into headwind, and decided on my tactics for the day. Approaching the bell, attack and ride hard into the headwind. I knew from last week, an organised chase was unlikely, relying on individual riders to try and chase me down. A big plus for me was I had finally recovered from the cold that has ruined my season so far, so hopefully I was strong enough to stay away, even though I had not trained for 6 weeks.
Five riders from the Unicorn Brewery/Hall Cycling Team (UBHCT) made this the biggest field for the season, 19 in all. From the start, it was obvious the UBHCT riders was riding as a team, and their tactics was to ride as hard as possible on the first lap. I was sitting towards the back of the field, surprised that riders where not being put into difficulty. As hit the short rise about 1500m from the finish, the strongest UBHCT rider with Don tucked on their wheel had a small break. I was not going to let those two get away. I bridged, they slowed, I went to the front and drove. I could here voices behind me, that were not Don or the UBHCT rider yelling we had a break. I drove on for a little longer, then swung off to see half a dozen riders behind, with the rest of the bunch scrambling to get across. The momentum disappeared from the front and the group was back together.
The next three laps was a little slower pace, a few riders attacked, if it was a UBHCT rider, another rider brought them back. If it was another rider of the front a UBHCT rider brought them back. But nobody was getting away. On the third lap a few riders got off the front down the back straight. I got to the front and drove hard for a couple of minutes, nobody was willing or capable of coming through and the group was back together. One of the UBHCT riders said "Nobody is going to get away today" and I replied "I can but try".
On the 4th lap, the short rise before the finish, two UBHCT riders went off the front, I followed, the pace was not excessive so I attacked and went too hard to get gap. I failed and my race was over, I rolled to the back. On the final lap I was just hanging on, when the strongest UBHCT rider went off the front again. I bridged and when they pulled off, I kept tempo for 30 seconds before sliding down the pack and off the back.
The next half a lap, I was a maximum of 50m off the back of the bunch, It kept looking like I was going to claw my way back on, then they picked up the pace for the finish and I crossed the line 15th some 45 seconds down on the winner. From what I heard the UBHCT riders sprinted for the painted line on the road which was the old finish, not the real finish 200m down the road.
It was a good race, I am just going to need new tactics as it looks like the UBHCT riders will be joining us on a regular basis, so my chances of getting off the front are going to be limited. But it looks like I am over the cold and back in training. So my form should improved dramatically over the next few weeks.
Date: 22 June 2013
Grade: Hanidcap - 28km
Result: ~20/ 57
Was a handicap this week, nothing to event full. My group caught the group of mainly E grade riders who left before on the 2nd lap, with the larger group of C grade riders gaining ground on the group I'm in. There are a few near crashes with people moving over in the group almost taking out front wheels. Luckily no one goes done.
Final lap and the large group of mainly C and possible some B grade riders have caught us done the back straight some 3 -4km from the finish line. Most of the intensity is lost from both groups till we hit the final corner with everyone bustling to get a good position for the sprint. The sprint is on and yet again another near crash, I knew I wouldn't been able to contest it so I sit out of the way and finish in a good spot roughly top 20.
Avg Speed: 35.8 km/h
Avg Heart rate: 188
22/6/13 - Calga - B grade
After my win 2 weeks ago in C, I was –kicking and screaming – dragged up to B grade. “You’ll be fine” I heard the handicapper snickering.
19 riders lined up and the first attack came after a couple of kms. “Must be Nickobec” I thought for a second, but he was racing at Dog Hill. As it was still a long way to race, it didn’t take long for the escapee to join the bunch. First lap was going ok for me until Blood Hill. The pace up the climb was a bit too fast for me and several other riders and I had to let go just before the top. Gone were the days I went over the crest in first or second position...memories. Anyway, I had to burn a match to close the gap, a match I was sure I would have put to use later in the race. On we went on our jolly way. A couple of attacks later and the bunch split in 2. Unfortunately I was in the second group. We yoyo-ed a while behind the first group, at one stage coming very close. Several riders jumped across, but I was left looking for the missing match. Then there were 6. With 11km to race, 2 riders of our group broke away just when I swung of after doing my turn. A weird thing to do as It took away any chance of our group ever joining the front bunch. Then there were 4. We worked together over Blood. In the distance we saw 1 rider of the 2 who had attacked out of our original group of 6. Obviously he had been dropped by his companion. We made it our only purpose in life to catch him, and we did. We motored past him, and with 800m to go or so I yelled out to the others that I would lead them IN. They must have misunderstood, and must have thought I was leading them OUT, because 2 of them sprinted from behind me to grab the honours.
No idea what happened in the front bunch as, when we finished, they had showered, eaten and were already half way home.
Avg 35.4 km/h
PDCC D grade Wandi 29 June 2013
Contrary to popular belief, I rarely attack on the first lap. I will follow attacks, I will counter or drive another attack, but almost never initiate an attack in the first half of a race. Well I did not need to today, Tom took off from the start line on a mission.
Nobody reacted, I was watching him disappearing into the distance. When I thought, why not go join him and make him work hard for a lap or so. We had a big bunch today including the return of the Unicorn Brewery team, so I knew the chances of getting a break to stay away were very slim. I was halfway across the gap, when I noticed a shadow behind me, I swung to the side and Don came through, but nobody else. We caught Tom on the climb up Bodeman Road, Tom slowed, I drove on up the climb not wanting to lose momentum and then there was a group of 3, me, Don and Natalie probably the strongest time trialer on the Unicorn Brewery team.
I could of not been with a better breakaway group, three strong riders willing to work together and work hard. On front, I was sitting on 300 watts and would peel off once my heart rate hit 170. Let the other two do a couple of shorter turns, then hit the front again. The first lap for me was at an average of 37kph, 250 watts and 165HR.
I initially expected to get caught in the first couple of kilometres, but nothing happen, so as we cross the line, I thought we are going to stay away, as long as the Unicorn Brewery team did not chase, I could not see the bunch successfully organising a chase. There are strong riders who could pull us back, but they had to work together which was not a strong point of that group.
The second climb of Bodeman Road had me struggling, I was 5m off the back of my breakaway companions, but expecting to get back on the descent. When 2 riders went past, reinforcements I thought and tagged on. Then the 5 became 7 and next it was gruppo compacto. I rolled down the group and surprised to see that only one rider was missing.
The next lap was at a pretty ordinary pace, nobody was willing to drive the bunch. Next time up Bodeman Road, the bunch slowed at the foot of the climb, not one to lose momentum, I rode around the outside and kept the pace up the climb, down the other side and up Lyon Road, did not cause a reaction, so once my heart rate hit 170, I swung off and dropped back to being ticket collector for the next lap and half.
From the back, you could see every time a rider went to move, another rider would cover them. Nobody was going to get away today. Unfortunately, with all the sprinters still in the bunch, I need an alternative to a bunch sprint. So I decided to attack on the final rise on De Has Road 2.5km from the finish. Simple tactic, fire off, get a break and sit on 300 watts until 500m from the finish and empty the tank. Fired off, got a small break, could not even maintain 300 watts for 15 seconds. Ended up riding at 260 watts with a least one rider on my tail. The attack lasted less than a kilometre, then a Unicorn Brewery rider came past, I got a breather for 60 seconds or so on their wheel. Then I attacked again, my attack was short lived and I was empty and sliding off the back. The bunch them appeared to slow, I managed to chase back on just as the sprint started and I finished on the back of the bunch.
Overall, happy with my performance given my lack of training in the past 6 weeks. I learnt that I need to do shorter terms when in a breakaway and not push my heart rate so high. I also need to train more for race conditions.
Luke Dubridge Celebration Kermesse
WCMCC combined C & D grade Wandi 30 June
Back to Wandi and those short rises, except this time 9 instead of 5 laps and with C grade instead of D grade. I did not know how I was going to go. My only race with WMCC C grade, I stayed with the bunch until a crash before the final corner. That was before I did not train for 6 weeks due a cold and work commitments. Also that was not after a race the day before. My chances was not aided by running late and having to ride hard to get to the race on time. Still one could hope the combining of C and D grade especially for this event there might be a reduced pace.
The pace was faster than yesterday's D grade, and riders were regularly getting dropped, I know as I assumed the position of ticket collector. The third lap was as fast as PDCC C grade fastest lap the day before, I was holding my position, 4th time up Bodeman Road, I was swearing at my Garmin for not working (hence no ride to show you) and then suddenly there was a gap between me and the bunch. I worked hard for half a lap and got back on. Next time up Bodeman Road the elastic snapped, I was off the back with another rider and we could not get back on.
The next 4 laps, was a solo training ride with the aim of finishing the race without being lapped. I succeeded by a little over a minute. Kudos to the 3 members of the Unicorn Brewery team that I raced yesterday, that finished in the main group. I was a little disappointed not being able to do the same.
Any number of reasons for me not lasting the distance:
. not training over longer distances (both times I failed to finish with the pack recently are 50km+ races)
. lack of recent training (1 training ride in 6 weeks does not count)
. racing the day before and emptying my tank
. not paying attention to the race and getting dropped in the first place, and using all that energy to get back on[/list]
None of those reasons will stop me from racing the next WCMCC kermesse, I just need to do more training, particularly over long distances.
Raced Jimmy Phillips Graded mass start. Finished 2nd today. Head cross wind on the way out and a cross tailwind on the return leg. Felt strong all race. Breakaway at the turn with 4 others. No one was really working. Young Jake got me on a pinch and with no one to help bring him back he stayed away the last 1k. Well done. Having a cold for a couple of weeks the race brought me up a bit more. Look forward to next weekends criterium.
Date: 6 July 2013
Race: Central Coast CC, Calga, C Grade
I've been wanting to try this race since finding out about it a few months ago on this forum. I've ridden the ATTA time trial on this course. The race is two laps so 50k including a good amount of climbing but not quite as much as West Head.
There were seven starters in C Grade, all CCCC riders apart from me I think. We set off at a steady pace and given the small size of the bunch the first lap wasn't fast and apart from a few efforts on some small climbs we didn't push hard at all. After 12.5km of steady climb we turn around and descend back at a good pace towards the first ascent of Blood Hill - a short and not too steep climb but the main obvious attack point. I was wondering whether anyone would go and while there was a bit of a pick up of pace I managed to keep up with it ok, but we did lose one rider the first time around.
The second lap started like the first and this time around I thought it might be worth testing the bunch a bit to see if I could make any ground. At one point one rider, Kirsty, went off the front without trying, I bridged the gap and we worked together - though not too hard - to push the pace for a little while. I decided to try an attack before the turn around although I didn't really want to solo to the end I thought we might shed one or two riders, I went at the bottom of a dip before a short climb and got a gap which I managed to maintain until the turn, not a big gap and it was obvious I'd get caught but it did look like one rider was in a bit of trouble. The return was orderly enough, waiting for Blood Hill again, when it came I again waited for attacks, determined to stay with them if I could but not wanting to attack myself because i was pretty sure I wouldn't make it to the finish on my own. One rider went for it but then lost his chain, the rest of us pushed pretty hard but by the top everyone was still there so it would be a five rider sprint. I concentrated on recovery, as did everyone else, with about 300m to go Kirsty started the sprint and we ended up spread over the road. I had to work my way through other riders to get a good wheel which blocked me a little, by the time I had clear air the winner had 5m which I couldn't make up but I got a good second place.
It was a small bunch so not as hard a race as it might have been with more riders, we also seemed to be pretty well matched. It made a great change to racing at Lansdowne etc. (much as I enjoy that) with a few more challenges and opportunities for tactical riding. It would be good to ride in a bigger bunch with a few teammates, I'll have to do some recruiting.
Thanks to CCCC for the race.
Where's your next race? cabici.net lists bike races in Sydney
I went and watched some people race... does that count?
Sick again, limited riding time... aiming to be half-fit again in September for the AG Gran Fondo.
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What race did you watch, Twiz? Lookout Hill was an interesting course. So much for it being a climbers course.
Edit: got around to a report.
Raced yesterday. Was a very different race to usual in that I was fighting off a cold and nearly didn't go at all. At the last minute, I decided I would be too ticked off if I didn't ride and raced out to get there on time intending to just sit in and claim lower place points.
Pace was OK. Over 10 in A grade. Sat in that pack and took some soft turns where required and effectively shut down three attempted breakaways that started by easing up when I got on the front. It was in my best interests to keep as much of the bunch together as possible so I could launch a possible attack towards the end. There was heaps of wind over the 3 x 13.5km dog leg laps, and 650m climb over 50kms. A few good places to attack before the 2km slight downhill run to the finish. If I attacked, I had to stay away.
2 laps through, there were a few breaks, mainly instigated by one rider with 80mm tubs, which I chased and neutralised. A couple of us got slight breaks at the top of a long false flat without trying, which left us confused. The run back from the dog let turnaround was uphill and with a massive headwind and was really taxing.
Final lap and tub guy tried a few more attacks including one behind my 'team-mates' on a tandem who broke away on a descent and caught the guys in front napping. That took some chasing and represented the significant part of my energy for the race. Shut them down and we turned off for the final dog leg turn. Only 5 of us left and the pace coming up the hill was a little pedestrian. I knew I couldn't launch off the front and not from too far out, but I was stuck at the front next to the tandem with all others blocking me from going backwards. I eased off the front by going backwards to have a friendly chat with a couple of the others and had a laugh about the traffic which nearly ran us down on the turnaround. The hill started evening off and I was running out of time. I launched practically mid sentence and broke away.
I expected at least tubs guy to come with me, but turning at the intersection saw no one for the 100-200m I spent looking for pursuers. No one coming, but 2km of about 1-2% with a tandem threatening to tow the pursuers onto my wheel before the 200m uphill sprint finish. I put my head down and went. Felt a bit pants from the virus, but pushed through. Coming up to the base of the short climb, I looked back. Still no one. Virtually sat up and coasted to the line and still came away with 30sec minimum gap.
Different race for me. I am used to going much harder and working more than I did today. Self preservation may have opened up some new approaches to tactics. Fun times.
Yeah I wouldn't call many races climbers courses. Anything involving honeysuckle or around the fitz's area yes (and maybe lookout hill if it includes going to the space station), everything else is just undulating
The race would have had more interest for climbers if it was allowed to be run on the planned route. The climbs past the Pt Hutt turnoff, past the Corin Dam turnoff, back from the tracking station and past Birregai are all significant. The Short turn - Pt Hutt version is not a climber's course. I saw Twizzle by the side of the road briefly.
In contrast to skull I don't know any road-races that are non-climber's courses...
Yeah, the climb up to Corin turn would have contained some hurt. Thats true. And there is a little nice undulation that would have set up a good break for some stronger climbers. It still turned out OK for me, so I shouldn't complain...
But any time you have a race that finishes with a sprint finish, it isnt a climbers course. Ergo, all courses bar Honeysuckle are non-climbers courses...
Unfortunately due to road works we had to modify the course
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Well I am a non-climber but I don't find the original route all that difficult to race (when I am fit). They are hurties but they are not hard climbs.
In saying that I only lasted till the second lap on Sat then got dropped gave up and rode home. I got dropped on the downhill section with the wind on our backs heading towards the Tharwa turnaround.
It's only a sprint finish if you let them come with you...
I guess it's all relative. Our version of a non-climber in the lower grades is a bit different. John and I (E grade) would be beaten in a hill climb by all but the slowest F grade riders, we have to get by with being better on the bits that aren't hills. (Heck I looked on Strava and our time up Lookout Hill was 4 seconds slower than a one-legged bloke).
Looking at the next races:
Gunning - top of a hill
Lookout Hill - there are three possible finish lines, the rarely used Bottom , Middle as per yesterday, and Top. If the finish is at the top which is likely, there might be a different dynamic to the finish.
Uriarra Homestead - The hills are big enough, but they are a long way from the line. Best to have your time trial wheels on.
Lookout Hill - Mt Tenant and the Tharwa return should let you put the hurt on the others, but the finish is likely to be the same as yesterday. You wouldn't expect to get them by surprise again, but some riders have short memories/are not very bright.
Old Federal Hwy - Tulip Farm - don't tell me you didn't notice that hill. It is close enough to the line that they'd need a big speed advantage to catch you on the decent.
Tidbinbilla - no flat road anywhere on that course except at the top of the hills and bottom of the dips.
Uriarra TT - n/a
Uriarra Homestead - as per previous version but with the bigger hills to the end of the bitumen.
I don't think that these courses disadvantage climbers at all.
Yes you might have to be prepared to ride solo after getting a gap on the climbs, or just use every rise as an opportunity to put your opponents into the red. If you do that often enough they won't be able to sprint well even if you do finish in their company.
I also reckon that people generally overstate the importance of physical prowess in sprinting. Positioning and timing are at least as important. Simon Gerrans showed that in Corsica, there were several better sprinters than him in the field on that day, but he was the one who was in the right place at the right time.
That's the common message, do well the things you do well, and get better at the things you don't do well. I can say that our climbing has improved over the last couple of months (prompting the promotion from F to E grade), how's your sprinting coming along?
Yeah, some reasonable points....
Gunning is not steep enough, although I did stay away on Stage 1 of the tour this year.
Lookout would be awesome if the finish line was higher up the hill, but a good roleur would be able to sprint through.
Never ridden Uriarra with the finish on the false flat. Yeah, there is the hill, but it is a fair way from the line.
Tulip is not ridden often enough. Lake george is too flat. They should vary.
Rode Tid with Vikings and it seemed a bit better for hills.
Finishing at the dirt on Uriarra would be great if thats where the finish line was, but it isn't that steep out there.
I still maintain there are too few hilltop finishes in the vets. Yeah, I didn't stipulate that in my original argument, but thats the gist of my climbers course comments. There really is only one true hilltop finish.
My sprinting? Problem is, to improve sprinting physically means I need to change my slow twitch muscles to fast twitch and increase upper body mass a little. This will affect climbing. However, tactically, you are correct. I can improve my sprinting by spending less time on the front and picking wheels to follow.
Like I said, though, I shouldn't complain. I am enjoying my racing and getting some results and learning a heap. I would just like another big hilltop finish like Apollo Rd cos they are fun... to me.
Date: 6 July 2013
Venue: Cessnock HEZ
Grade: D GSR - 32km
Result: 3 laps from 4.
Racing out at Cessnock for the first time and a brand new industrial estate with perfect tarmac made for a nice change to the atrocious roads of Kooragang. There was about 25 starters which made for a nice bunch, well at least for the first lap. The course is largely up and down and so was the pace of the first lap no sooner would it pick up as slow down again. We come back around on the first lap and half the group is missing already.
A small gap formed between a leading group of 8, and the group I was in. The rider in front of me was working hard trying to bridge to the group, however she punctured and pulled off leaving what was now a large gap. Me and another bloke worked hard at bridging the gap down the back of the course before rejoining the group just after the turn around point.
However I could only just hang with the group and sure enough another attack came, I popped and my day was over. Racing out there again next weekend as well so here's hoping for a better result.
Avg Speed: 33.1 km/h
Avg Heart rate: 180
I came out to Lookout Hill, but arrived as D was leaving. Set up some signs, cleaned off some gravel.. Then headed off for some coffee.
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Stevecassidy well done on your second place at Calga. For some readson i thought there was no race this saturday, so i didn't go. Normally there would be around 15 riders in C, so i assume quite some other guys thought the same thing. At Calga, the aim is is to make it so hard for the sprinters that -if they are still there at the second ascent of Blood Hill - you can drop them and stay away. C would generally stay together and attack on Blood. B have had lately the brilliant idea to place prolonged attacks on the second way out, just past Blood. Last time i raced at Calga, this ended in tears and i got dropped.
Let me know when you'll race at Calga again so we can meet up.
For me, i'm a bit in the doldrums and find it hard to get motivated to train or race. Last saturday i thought of racing HEZ, but gave it a miss and just went riding instead.
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