Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Canberra - Part Two

The Race schedule worked in our favor, we raced the ITT on Thurs, then had a day off on Friday where we went for a ride from where we were staying back to Mt Stromlo (along the flat), to where the first day of raod racing was taking place. The change in temperature was amazing. We raced the ITT at nearly 30C, and now it was freezing. Stopped at "The Lodge" home of the Prime Minister for a photo stop and I am sure I was on CCTV somewhere.  The road races were on Saturday and we were both very nervous as the course profile was not for us as there were some nasty climbs
From this profile my race was 61km. We rode to the 10km mark and then back to the start, around the crit circuit for a lap and then the second lap was this whole profile. The profile doesnt show you that at the botttom of the nasty descent there is a SHARP LEFT HAND TURN, THEN ONTO SOME (IN OUR CASE...WET) CONCRETE, TURN RIGHT OVER A BRIDGE WITH NO SIDES, AND THEN TURN LEFT AND NASTY CLIMB! You can see that the two lefts and the right turn were all executed in about 800m of racing. My top speed for the day was 73kph. The road race was wet as it rained pretty much the whole time, which made the fast descents even more fun!

In my road race, two age groups were combined which is not good as the result can be distorted as two age groups get away help each other (that is just how it goes and if I was away with someone, I would do it too). We had 16 starters and were together until the turnaround at 10km, where three got away on a nasty hill. I ended up in a bunch of about 7 chasing. I was being referred to as the hill climber as I seemed to be doing strong turns on the uphills (I have to write that as I have never been thought of as a Hill Climber before), truth is that the true hill climbers were the ones we were chasing. We caught one girl at about 20km mark and so about 8 of us chasing 2. On the next hill climb (after the bridge and stuff), we dropped two and so 6 chasing, then on the final climb we dropped two more so 4 chasing two. The race at this point was two away (One masters 3 and one masters 4 girl), they had about 2 minutes on my chasing bunch of four (3 masters3 girls and 1 masters 4) I am a masters 3 so do the maths I am in the top 4 in my category. I attacked a couple of times on the hills but at about 5km to go (after racing 55km) I just ran out of legs and was dropped. I finished 6th over the line and 4th in my age group.

At the top of the final big climb I was feeling ecstatic that here was I still "boxing on" with the main group, as hills have never been my strong point so I was feeling like the training is paying off. I played my cards the best I could, but in hindsight should have perhaps let thm dictate the race to me and sat on IN THE LAST 10KM. Not being a sprinter, I was trying to get away or at least drop one rider. During the race I had spent a lot of time sitting in the bunch as I knew that to get up the hills I had to CONSERVE BIG TIME! Whilst disappointed to get dropped so close after such a great effort, I had showed real improvement. I must admit the other mistake I made was to sit at the back of the bunch on the fast descents as I was a bit scared (Thanks to a broken collarbone and two broken ribs in April.....which were attained in a fast descent). If I had raced faster on the downhills, which until April I have loved to do, I could have perhaps opened up that gap that I was desperately searching for at the end (who knows....and hindsight is 20/20...but during the race we think about so many things).

Shane had double the scare factor as his race included a rider Simon Claringbold, who is from the Canberra and so knows the climb VERY WELL, Shane said they were absolutely flying down the hills, and his top speed was more like 85kph and he said he watched two riders ahead of him, fail to negotiate the SHARP BEND and they had to go straight and he is not sure if they managed to get back onto the bunch or not. Shanes race was two laps of the whole circuit and with the crit laps included it was around 84km, compared to my 61km. Shane ended up 9th. Two riders came in, then a group of four and Shane was 3rd in his group sprint, but wasnt sprinting too hard as they were effectively sprinting for 7th place!


Red Bike said...

I was never able to cope with chasing in a road race. If I managed to catch the group (somewhat rare) the chances are my legs would then be passed their best and I would very shortly be disapearing off out of the back of whichever group I had managed to catch.

The Kelly Blog said...

Hi Judith, Well done...to you both. To keep chasing sounds like you didn't let your head roll off, well done. cheers, Linc

Buttsy said...

Thanks Red and Linc, I think I am finally learning to keep my head down and keep chasing as strange things happena t the head of the bunch and you never know where you will end up - maybe even back in a place

Bluenoser said...

Well done Buttsy! To hammer away like that in a chase group on the climbs shows some real guts.


Buttsy said...

Thanks Blue...I never used to be the one to keep pushing as my head would say...just give up! But new attitude now


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