Sunday, 26 February 2012

26/02/2012

SKCC Crit:
So much malaise, so so so much malaise. I thought it was hard to get up yesterday, I was wrong, yesterday I was a motivation machine. In my mind there was no way I was going to achieve anything productive on the bike today. I now feel I was wrong.


Blatantly poached from the esteemed gentleman, Mr Nick Bensley's instagram feed (@n_bens) without any form of permission sought or given.

Rolling around before the race in 30 degree temperatures, with a hearty northerly sucking the fun out of life in the back straight and all while wearing a long sleeve skinsuit... well I was fairly sure the racing was going to suck. I predicted a breakaway would hold out the bunch due to the wind and I stated (repeatedly) that I had no desire to be in a break. I think my exact words were "I'm going to roll around in the bunch, waiting for the break to lap us out".

When the race started I pushed my way forward, I felt good, surprisingly good. Some of the attacks hurt, but I knew they were hurting others. Around 20 minutes in when there was a sizable break off the front and a couple of SoleDevotion boys trying to chase it, I decided it was a winning move. I kicked hard to ensure I didn't drag anyone across and set about chasing it down. I liked the odds of winning a 15 man sprint more than I liked that of winning a 50 man sprint.

Sadly it was not to be as we were collected by the bunch about 5 minutes after I got on. A couple of primes came and went, I was tentatively working with / for the SoleDevotion boys and their lead rider Stuart Hill, even going as far as closing down one or two moves. In short being the antithesis of who I thought I would be this race.

In the closing laps I realised the bunch had halved in size. A break of 3, including Stu, was off the front. A sole Drapac rider was left to do all the chasing as they weren't represented. I was in 5th wheel and if it came down to the sprint I was eager.

A couple of last minute attacks saw the 3 come back as we heard the bell, the O2 boys on the front with their normal long train. Normal... except it was slow, I kicked past on the right into the headwind, then Dave Kelly did the same on the left. I wasn't sure if Lee had my wheel, I wasn't sure if I was going for my own result, I just pushed as hard as I could on the pedals. Into the last corner 4-5 guys swarmed me with an extra km/h or so of speed. I kicked out from the corner but wasn't on the wheels of the front runners. I had a choice, continue to smash myself for a top 10 place, or shut down the effort and roll through in the top 20. I decided on the latter, they were paying to 4th and for me it was money or nothing.

The last time I raced like that and felt like that in a crit was march last year (blog). I felt like I influenced the race and also had a shot at winning. Granted it wasn't a really good shot, but I remember a time when even the idea that I may be in with a shot of an a-grade crit result was a pure pipe dream.

When I got home I found that despite drinking continuously I was down a kilogram, it seemed logical that the only way to regain that weight was with gelati... a litre of it.

D: 65.9km
A: 85m

PMPW: 96kg

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