Cycling in Sydney Australia
Since my last race day, i put plenty of thought into what I should do next. The lead up couple of weeks was very hectic with plenty of riding, running and squash. The legs were sore and a couple of light rides leading into helped soothe the legs. (10km with the trailer and daughter on Saturday, and 30kms of fire trails on Sunday- followed up with an epsom salt bath Sunday night)
Monday morning I woke up nice and early to watch Australia get pumped by Germany- followed by some muesli and my half hour ride up to the race location.
Signing in, I opted for B Grade- being only my second race, it was again a bit daunting, but i also felt prepared for it all. no way i was going in D Grade again...
A grade left first and a minute or 2 later we (B grade were off). I guess there were 20-25 riders in the grade, and the pace set off at a moderate rate.
A couple of uneventful laps ensued, and then a crash at the bottom turn saw 2 riders enter the DNF category. It all unfolded 2 bikes in front of me, as the front rider i think it some loose gravel and bike came out from under her. She hit the deck pretty hard, and the rider behind rode straight into her fallen frame and i think he also hit the ground.
i managed to veer out of the line and avoid the crash, and get back to the leaders.
The race went on as a bunch, every turn we made, there seemed to be 1 or 2 riders push out in front, spread the bunch, before their pace slowed again and we all bunched up.
The legs felt good, and i think i would have taken 25-30% of the work for the race.
Eventually the bell sounded for the final lap- and I was in a few minds about what to do next. I stayed up front about 2 or 3 riders from the front, and stayed there. Not knowing when the sprinters would come through i continued holding the 2nd spot ready to jump.
Sure enough, the first rider came through with about 500m to go. I grabbed his wheel, held on, and then passed him. Maybe 250m to go the pace was high- and whoosh- 7 or 8 riders went flying past to fight for the places.
My legs were burning- heart rate up around 183BPM and i had nothing left to stay with them... I hit the safe mode button, and cruised over the line about 30m adrift of the front finishers.
At the end, i felt i had plenty left in my legs except for the sprint. I would have preferred to go 10-15% harder for the main part of the ride, with still the same output for the sprint...
It was a much more pleasant ride than last time, but gave me a bit more to think about (tactically) before my next effort;
Do i sit further back in the pack and take an easy ride until the end- what is the chance of the pack splitting or a breakaway forming? Also- i don't want to take a free ride....
Do i do the same thing as this time, but save my sprint until closer to the finish line?
Do i try and form a breakaway (i don't reckon this would work)?
Plenty to think about before next time...
Anyway- the stats at the end for me were-
34.55km distance, 55min 26sec total time, 37.4 KMH Average Speed, 53.0KMH Max Speed, 147 BPM Avg HR, 181BPM Max HR