Saturday, 23 May 2009


Preston Mountain Classic:

The profile of the race is available here.
Course overview: 115km handicap with 2 significant gradient climbs.

To say I was nervous is an understatement, compounding this was I couldn't find my wallet so turned up to race with out any breakfast.

Numbered and ready to go.

I started (as per my handicap) with the 12 minute group, there were 2 groups already on the road and 3 set to follow. From the start all 22 riders rolled turns, I found myself in pretty deep a few times but continued to work until about 60km when we caught the 18 minute bunch. Even with a bottle of sugar and a gu I started to struggle to hold a wheel smoothly. Around 70km I began reciting "please sir, can I have some more" like a mantra, it worked for about 5 minutes, then *ping* off the back I went.

I was disappointed, I hadn't achieved my goal, I hadn't made it to the first major climb. A km or two down the road I hit the climb, I pedalled away waiting for the gradient to to crank up.... then I crested the top. Turns out I had been on the climb and been too busy chewing my stem to realise it.

Shortly after I got swept up by the now massive scratch + extras bunch. 60ish riders going like a freight train, 70km/h down hill and 50km/h along the flat. I hooked on the back and stayed there until Flowerdale when the gradient shifted upwards and so did the pace. *ping*

The last 20 km of the race I chased a few rabbits, with some moderate success. So that's my first road handicap raced, no idea where I finished.

Putting my bike in the car I noticed my rear wheel was close to the brake. I span the wheel and it stopped almost immediately. I wondered how long it had been like that. Maybe next time I'll check that my brake isn't rubbing BEFORE the race, it might be enough that I'll stay on the whole way. :)

The free feed after the race was fantastic, I would have taken a photo of my plate piled high and overflowing, but I was too busy shoving everything into my pie hole.

D: 114.6km
A: 1295m

PMPW: 91kg

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