Monday, July 27, 2009

Racing Racing Racing

Well I have done a bit of racing over recent weeks so to summarise:-

Bairnsdale Cycling Club held their "Tour de Riviera" over the past four weeks and I rode B grade, Bairnsdale is a smaller place (pop about 10,000) and there were three grades.

Week One - I broke away with two others (and came third in the sprint), aside from not believing in my sprinting, I mistook the second last rise for the final one and so worked on that one and then had nothing left for the final sprint, but may have still come third.....LESSON - know the race finish and leave nothing to second guesses. In the warm up - I should look at the finish and note where say 200m is so I know the end of the race.

Week Two - I broke away (by accident) on the KOM climb, I got pipped for KOM points by a stealth rider, but still managed to get 2nd on the KOM and the second part of the race I ended up towing 2 riders for the final 30 km and came was an uphill finish and I thought I might go ok, but I had two young guys who were desperate to beat each other so I was lacking the testosterone to win......I had backed myself a bit better in the hill, but underestimated the steepness. The best thing was that I did have a go!

Week Three - Stage Three - An ITT with a guesstimate of times posted prior to the event and the idea was to beat your guesstimated time and points went to those who beat their times by the biggest margins.....I was well down as I was expected to average around 39kph and the course was VERY UNDULATING with a headwind for the last 2km and I averaged about 35.6 it was a tough course. I was initially disappointed but I had felt like crap in my warm up, I did ride the best I could but the course was 2km shorter than we were told and so my race plan of leaving everything you have left on the road in the last 2-3km kind of went pear shaped.
Stage Four - Road Race up and down the same course, I came 5th out of 15 so I was happy with that, if I was a confident sprinter and practiced that I could have come up to third or 4th, but either way I did a lot of work during the race. The pace was much faster in this race as we had another rider who was happy to drive the pace. The pace on the races was:

Race 1 - 32.5 (Main pace driver - ME - Distance 53km)
Race 2 - 30.8 (Main pace driver ME - Hilly course Distance 37km)
Race 4 - 34.1 (Main pace drivers Nige and ME - Distance 36km undulating)

So with one other person helping, the average speed picked up which was great.

Week Four:
The final stage was last Saturday and I didn't race as I was racing the Gippsland area time trial championships the next day.

It was great watching, in A grade, you could see some riders were trying to bust the bunch on the hills and the final sprint between Shane Dove (lots of lovehearts here) and Linc Kelly from Bairnsdale, was fantastic with Shane winning. They must have dropped Ben Dowsett and Rob Deery which was no mean feat as those riders are very strong, but have the tactics of triathletes, and must have missed that split second decision by Shane and Linc to attack!. Pic of the A grade bunch

Gippsland Time Trial Championships
After a very late night watching the Tour which went to about 1:30am (must admit I went to bed before the final summit to Ventoux), up early for two hour drive. At the Gippsland Champs there were only two women, me and a very good track rider, Karen Munro. The course was 20km and it was quite windy. At the finish my time was 33:43 which was slower than I would have like, the actual course was closer to about 20.7km so my average speed was close to 37kph (not as quick as I would like), but I won!. Shane rode 31:13 and came third in the Masters 456. I mainly judge my performance in time trials against Shane so 2:30 is a lot and I definitely want that to come down. We had a tailwind/sidewind out and head/side wind home. I had to get off the time trial bars a few times to steady the bike as the wind was quite gusty in a couple of spots. Overall happy to win, but I have a lot of work to do to improve!....I want to lower my handlebars to give me more aerodynamic position on the bike too

One other interesting thing that happened was that I was training on my bike last week and the bearings in the cranks sounded funny and so my LBS took it apart and found that just about all the bearings were gone and there was a big crack in the bearing I rode the first three road races at a disadvantage (and to think I didn't notice).....I definitely noticed it on my training ride though the cranks were not smooth and there was some disturbing noises coming from the cranks


331 Miles said...

You've been busy! Congrats on some good finishes.

Mike J said...

Sounds like a lot of racing and a lot of fun. Glad to see your back in racing form punishing your competition.


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