Wednesday, 26 February 2014

26/02/2014

Commute:

D: 6.1km
A: 65m

HCC Crits:
I got very organised for HCC tonight, not only did I put out my kit in the morning, I also gave 33 seconds of thought to what I wanted to do at the race... before the start of the race!

I had two plans, if Bing or DK turned up I'd bury myself for the first half of the race, hanging at the front, chasing down moves and launching my own, then I'd grovel, hoping to make it to the end of the race. The second plan was for if they didn't turn up, I'd try and do as little as possible through the race, and see what I could achieve for myself at the end.

No other boys in pink turned up, so it was me and plan B. Immediately after the race started there was an issue with my plan, four or five guys went hard from the gun, and with the major teams represented, I made comment that that was the race winning move. So the issue was, should I help chase and risk being caught out by a counter attack, or should I save my legs and risk that those left to chase would be able to cover it? I chose the latter, because it fit more with my plan, and I was worried about surviving the 10 extra minutes of racing (40 vs the 30 we've had recently due to HCC slotting in a women's series).

People did chase, and other than a few lulls when just a couple of guys were left to do the work, and finally, rightfully, cracked the sads and refused to pull any more, this kept the pace bloody honest. I struggled with the bottom corner, I'm not sure if it was me being slightly hesitant from the crash, just not reading it well, or if the solid pace exacerbated the extra amount the uphill nature of it slows me compared to other riders. Whatever it was, each lap I was closing a 1m gap of my own making up the hill.

I didn't feel terrible, and while I didn't feel like it was effortless, having mates comment about how hard it was actually helped. My feelings didn't match their wavering tones, if it came back together I was going to give it a fair crack!

Still, the race progressed and there break hadn't been caught, I occasionally spied a group who I believe were the break, but generally they were out of sight, and that's not a good sign. Coming around for 1 lap to go the call from the sidelines was 30 seconds. I knew we were playing for pride only, but that's enough for me to fight for position. I took AJs wheel as he slid up the side, right to the front, as we topped the hill and got the bell. There was a single rider dangling just off the front, if AJ swept past him and drove to the corner, I'd be in the prime place to take the bunch kick. He didn't flow straight past, he hesitated ever so slightly, and in that moment we caught sight of the break, they were playing cat and mouse with each other. The bunch surged and I lost my prime position, getting a little swamped and a little chopped into the last corner. The fastest couple of guys might have made contact with the back of the break, but where I was, there was little chance of getting a result, but I did have the chance to finish off my race with a solid effort to the line, so that's what I did. I drove myself until my diaphragm spasmed and my breathing turned paniced.

After the race, I rolled along the boulie with Jimmy to extend our time to chat and generally catch up. Just as we reached Yarra st, there was a silence. "RIGHT!!" I yelled, and hooked my bike across the road.

If you ride past Yarra St, you have to ride up it.

Strava link.

D: 57.9km
A: 708m

PMPW: 95kg

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