Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Racing is going ok I think

Another race report and it was the Gippsland Criterium Championships which was raced in Maffra on Saturday. Five grades raced and I was in C grade. Driving over the weather looked bad as it had been raining and there was no sign of blue sky and everyone had been telling me about the rain radar on the internet and that the weather was going to be BAD. Well E grade was wet, D grade was raining and C grade it pelted down. I warmed up by riding the course for about 4 laps and after half a lap, I could feel water in my shoes, it was shocking. We had fifteen starters in C grade and it was 40 minutes with 3 intermediate sprints.

I was happy to start the race and felt ok as I had tried to push my warm up to see if the course actually was slippery. We ended up averaging 37.4kph according to me and given the shocking conditions it was a surprise. It was basically a square course with four not too bad corners and so racing was reasonable. In the sprints I was about 6th in one of them and 8th in one. In bell lap I tried to position myself on a good wheel and everything was going well. I was hoping for a top five as that would be a stretch, and anything other than that would be a bonus, so I try to get in the best position to win, but knowing I have to make a move at the right time to get there (like everyone else I know ...this is not rocket science, but it does my head in). Anyway on the second last corner there was a BUS ON THE COURSE (Are you serious????...YES) and we slowed down, some stopped, some went around it one way, some the other and so all of my momentum was gone and I think I finished about 11th as here were still a couple behind me, but it was so unfair.

The pics are - Me at the start, me sitting second wheel and me in a breakaway with one other (I think...).

I did break away for about two laps in the middle of the race by accident, I was just riding hard, practising my cornering and when I looked around for someone to give me a break, there was nobody there, it was just after a sprint that I think I got away so that was fun while it lasted.

Overall I was happy with my confidence in the wet, my positioning in the bunch was much better and I did some turns at the front without too much sacrifice of energy. The sprints were hard and I have to keep on practising. Shanes dad and sister came up from Melbourne to watch which was fantastic and meant a lot to me as it is not very often you get someone to come and watch you do anything and the best part was that Bill said I raced well which is a real compliment as he doesn't give compliments easily.

Bill and Sandra watching the racing from the sidelines.

Criterium racing has always been my lest favorite as I don't see myself as a sprinter, and probably (well definitely) don't get enough practice at them, but this year I have raced about 6 of them so far and my cornering is getting better (but is still crap) and my confidence in the bunch has improved a lot. We are racing a handicap tomorrow night with Latrobe City Cycling Club and then a road race on Saturday.

Life has been very busy though with study (chemistry is doing my head in but I found lectures in video format on YouTube of all places) and work is busy, I just worked two days overtime, good money but I need some time, and mum and dad are here visiting me at the moment, they didn't get to the race on Saturday which was a real shame as I would have loved them to be there, as it was a great crit with riders from other clubs, I was the sole C grade female and had a good solid race, but they had things they had to do.

That is about it for now, I am very positive about riding at the moment, just need more time, but it will happen.


Chris said...

Sounds like you did awesome. It takes guts to do a crit in the rain. Who knows. Crits may be your favorite soon as you do more of them.

Buttsy said...

Thanks Chris....and you know the funny thing is that even though I suck at sprinting a little voice or gut feeling says that one day I will be good at it....it might be just being a bit hopeful...so maybe just keep riding crits and trying to sprint as I am improving but against the guys...not very good really..need to improve my anticipation and those first few pedal strokes as that is where it happens.

Thanks for the support.

Mike J said...

Water in your shoes is a horrible feeling. Not fun but character building.

Buttsy said...

After my warm up my character was built....Thanks Mike


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A place to vent my cycling frustrations and get some motivation to keep training hard