Wednesday, 27 November 2013

27/11/2013

NRR:
I don't know if I didnt sleep until 2am, but I know I rolled over at one point, stared at my clock glowing with a single digit hour number, and wasnt sure either way. 3 hours of sleep sounded like a horrendous way to get ready for the HCC crit tonight, so I changed my alarm for 7am and tried to find slumber.

I woke up at 5:10am without my alarm, and my mind was alert, and Northy seemed like a good idea, basically the complete opposite to how yesterday morning unfolded. So I got up, put on kit and rolled out the door to see what the legs had to offer.

The answer was not a huge amount, but they still worked. I sat in for the whole trip, chatting with Wilko and DK on the way down, and following wheels fairly easily on the way back. Well.... it was fairly easy until Brighton beach when DK rolled from somewhere off the back to the front of the bunch and wound up the pace on his TT rig. I knew it was coming, and I switched up both mental and physical gears... but it still hurt. I slowly worked my way forward, passing 1 rider at a time, sometimes to cover a small gap, sometimes pushing them off their wheel. Lights towards the end of Ormond Esplanade that split the bunch cleanly a couple of riders behind DK and couple of riders in front of me meant I could sit up and stop wondering if I should try and sprint.

Strava link.

D: 46.4km
A: 181m

HCC Crit:
Ah crits, my legs were tender, I was tired, and I predicted that none of that would matter once the race started. I was right.

A big and quality packed field started, Alby and Nathan Hass were the biggest names, but the Drapac brothers, Roh and Smax from Tarket Trek, Lew Rattray, Ty Chambers, a crew of Bike Gallery boys (hi Ricky), a squad of Malaysian, and the never to be underestimated Ned Powell were all there. Thankfully it wasn't all blokes to race against, I had one more than capable fella on my side. Bing.

I covered the first move, then slid back and felt guilty in the bunch while Bing stayed active near the front. When something got given a bit of latitude and Bing was looking tired, I'd roll up and give chase for a lap to bring the bunch back within sniffing distance. I feel that you don't need to get on to the wheel, as merely the close presence of the bunch is enough to stop the motivation in most breaks. At one point I got away myself, I forget if I started the move or if I bridged up to one, but we rolled for a few laps in the oppressive heat and humidity before the bunch brought us back in.

Around 20 minutes into the 32+3lap race Bing got clear by himself. The bunch wasn't keen to let anyone get across to him, so we had a good 10 minute period of attack / lull / counter-attack racing. I moved myself up and covered moves. When I found myself on the front I pedalled in a way that ensured I was recovering for the next attack, all the while hoping that Bing would finally get completely out of sight. Sadly it never happened and the repeated attacks in the bunch ate into his lead. On the final 3 laps I went from being in 2nd or 3rd wheel of a select group in the gap between the bunch and Bing, to realising that he was going to be caught, and so would we.

On that final lap the bunch swarmed along the bottom. Bing was caught and I was facing a bunch sprint out of that bottom corner. All I knew is that I needed to be in the first few wheels, so I attacked. A couple of others went hard inside of me, and at the corner I was forced wide and saw my chances vanish. I knew it would have been a hard ask to sprint well, I was already at 210bpm before the corner, but I was going to have a go.

I feel like I deserve an envelope soon. I just have to get myself into the right position at the end of a race and the rest feels inevitable.

Strava link.

D: 46.0km
A: 454m

PMPW: 93kg

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