Cycling in Sydney Australia
i've been (what I consider serious) cycling for around 13 months now . I entered in the B2B a couple of months ago, and after reading a thread on SC about racing, decided I'd dip my toe into the racing scene again.
The Beaumont Rd Criteriums hosted by NSCC was where I was headed, and had no idea about how i'd go, how quick i would be, and what the rules & etiquette were all about.
So- Saturday morning, I took a leaisuely ride up the old Highway to Beaumont road, and did a couple of laps to check out the course, and to check out the corners. A cruisy ride back home and I figured that i still had no idea how the race would play out.
Anyways, Sunday morning came, and up I rode again. I signed up and put myself in D grade as advied by the race organisers. Lining up at the start line in D grade, we had myself, 2 other gentlemen, and 2 junior riders. Looking back over my shoulder was quite intimidating with the C's, B's and A's and the flashy bikes and equipment.
Off we went, and the plan (as advised by who appeard to be the most senior of the team) was to set a smooth pace, and take rolling turns. In theory it sounded good, but in practice it didn't quite work. I couldn't draft in behind the juniors as they were just too small, and i was too big. So I thought I'd take the front. Well the group didn't stay with me.
So now i had a decision to make- stay with the group and ride slowly, or work hard to catch up to the group in front (which I later found out couldn't be done as you cannot join a group who is a lap behind!!).
I chose to leave the group before half a lap was over. As I approached the end of Lap 1, it was clearly against racing etiquette to do what I had done so i found out by some of the abuse I was copping from the waiting A graders. Anyways- the decision had been mde and I set to work trying to catch the B's or C's who were ahead of me.
I think 2 or 3 laps of chasing were fruitful and the gap was closing. I could not see them making their turns at each end of the circuit- but alas- my legs couldn't do it. The gap was re-opening, and i now realised I was riding solo for the duration...
After about 6 laps (I think)- I saw the lead A grade bunch approaching, and saw an opportunity to join them and work away to the end. They overtook me on the bottom turn, and out of the corner I accelerated, got on the back for all of about 50 metres. The respite was beautiful.
BUT- then i learnt an important rule. (I don't know the rule number)- however-m You cannot join a bunch if you are still a lap ahead. The bunches need to be on the same lap number to join....
This really put a dent in my confidence, so I coasted til i was about 50m adrift, and started working again. I held this gap for about 1/2 to 3/4 of a lap. At this point the legs were really feeling it.
Off i went, and ground out the remaining 3 laps. I managed to lap the riders I had started thwe race with, and also held off all chasers.
needless to say- i didn't win any friends. I claimed 1st overall in the race. Next time, i'm up the grades (not sure which one yet but i'm assuming B's), and looking forward to working away with a fast bunch!!
The speedo broke down after 1 lap (thanks to a misaligned magnet)- but i was told after the race the b grade buinch gained maybe 1 minute on me overall which is a positive sign. Average heartrate would ahve been in the low 160's and cadence average mid-high 90's for the 50 or so minutes of the race...
Thans to NSCC for having me up there (although not entirely welcoming and a bit intimidating)- i'll be back to join in again!