Sunday, 16 December 2012


SKCC Crits:
Today was one of those days where I have to turn my brain off and get on with the issue in front of me, and worry about other stuff when the times comes for it.

I intended to roll around with E grade, but a few showers that left the course with wet spots put paid to that. Thankfully by the time D/B were up, the course was looking alright, so I whipped on a marshal's vest and rode with the D graders, doing my best to keep it locked in the little ring and out of the 11t.

For the A grade race, I had plenty of team mates, so I took camp towards the back of the bunch and saved every Watt I could. Heggers and DK deserve thanks for being in all the moves, I'd look over the heads of the bunch and every time a few riders were clear of the front, a pink jersey was with them. The start was somewhat frenetic, the big bunch stretching the length of the back straight, but after half an hour things calmed down and settled into more steady chase downs of the attacks.

Coming towards the end of the race Guirg asked me how long we had to go. I checked the time and told him 5ish minutes plus 3 laps... only to moments later cross the line and see the 2 laps to go sign. I grabbed places as best I could, getting myself to the front only to see new recruit Ritchie hanging out in the wind. He's got a good kick so I rounded the bunch and slotted myself in front of him with the instruction to sit tight. It was too early, a lap and a half to go, but I was at the front, and there were other Rush riders around, so I hit the pedals hard. With Jake behind me cajoling more effort, I made it through to just before corner two before the legs gave out and I had to roll clear. To my left I saw this unfold.

Strava link.

D: 95.5km
A: 154m

There was a stiff Southerly blowing as I drove up to Blackburn CC, I ran myself through a standard track warmup of some time on the rollers, a cadence effort and a power jump, before putting on 104" and some big wheels. 104" is a couple down on what I normally use, but the wind down the long back straight worried me enough to adjust... plus it meant I didn't have to change chain rings.

My flying 200 wasn't too bad (12.570sec), a few tenths off my record on a day not suited to super fast times. It wasn't the best of the day though, that honour went to a u19 kid from QLD who'd come down for Melbourne Cup on Wheels. Even though he couldn't hold the bike down in turn 4, and went up to the blue, he rode 12.520sec. Definitely the bloke to beat.

Race 1: (14:12)
I drew the lead and when Dino started playing games, forcing me to look around, then taking height, I worked up the pace to ensure I had track position to cover the lane if he dropped. I took a big look back as we came through turn 4, 275 odd metres to go, Dino was still a ways back... I decided it was time to go for a long TT style race. Partway down the back straight I took a full fight look, then another out of turn 4. I really feel it's a skill that will prove valuable (looking back while sprinting), after all... you can't race someone when you don't know what they're doing (you can only race yourself).

Race 2: (12:49)
I was a bit cocky going into my race against Stephen Ellul, a junior who'd ridden 12.786. I was in the lead, and pretty much decided to ride the top of the track, leaving a massive massive door open underneath me, thus backing my ability to notice and react to his jump. In the video you can hear James on the camera talking me through it (to himself) saying I should take it early as he's got a fair jump on him. It was spot on, when the jump came, though I was able to get into the lane first, I wasn't able to hold Stephen out. Suddenly I was faced with a wheel to get around and not much time to do it. I tried anyway putting in a monster throw, but the comms deemed the kid had won. Bugger.

Race 3: (12:10)
I did some quick maths on the standing results and I had no chance of a 1v2 final, but with a win I should get myself into the 3v4 final. This put me in a decisive mindset, one where I had to put myself on the line. Drawing the follow I tried to ride so as to leave myself room to go over the top. I stood coming out of turn 4, then tried to time a kick to gain a meter or two. Coming into one it was obvious I hadn't gained enough room to go over the top so I had to change tactics. I swang up towards the club house and them hammered back down into the gap with my back wheel scrabbling to handle both the acceleration and corning. Luke had seen me sweep up and was holding a little back for when I drew along side him, but I'd committed to riding the long way anyway, so had it would up. In the end I had a bike length, a place in the finals and a big grin from the break and run.

3v4 Finals: (9:34)
I was feeling mentally and physically wearing leading into this race. Knowing David Koroknai, my opponent, had beaten me last round and qualified only 0.002 seconds slower only compounded the issues. I went out without any plan and David nailed me with great tactics, cutting off my line with a long hook then a drop as we hit 250m to go,  I tried to get under him after our initial kick, but there was no room, by the time Dave kicked and I got back on the gas he had a gap. I chased and got most of the way round, but most is not enough.

Post race sausages: 9

PMPW: 93kg

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