Wednesday, 26 March 2014


Before going to bed last night, I flicked DK an email to let him know I wasn't up for hill sprints. I found out tonight, that he wasn't either.

The only thing that explains both of our shit legs and general malaise was riding fixed on Sunday. We figure that we used back pressure on the pedals to ensure we stayed at Skinny's pace, rather than dragging brakes. The stress on our muscles was not good mojo.

D: 15.4km
A: 78m

HCC Crits:
I was nervous pretty much all day, sitting at work, constantly mentally assessing the state of my legs. At some point I came to the conclusion that I needed three things. A hard pre race effort, caffeine, and sugar. Even after ticking those three boxes, I was still nervous... or maybe it was just sugar and caffeine induced nervous energy.

After some housekeeping stuff, there race got started into the afternoon light. Smoke from a planned burn, and some low hanging clouds dimmed the light, and gave rise to warnings the race might be called short. That in turn gave rise to fast racing.

Even on the first lap, as Pat Drapac and Dunny skipped up the road, I knew I was going to be ok. The sheer relief of that was pretty good, but lets be realistic, I had flooded my system with stimulants, had a choice of gears (unlike last week), and thus I set myself to achieve the best I could.

I mostly just sat in the bunch, keeping my nose clear of the wind, aiming to be in the top 20, but realising that the ebb and flow of the nights racing meant that wasn't always possible.

Before I knew it, 20 minutes had gone, so I started to move forward, knowing that now was the time to start monitoring breaks, or potential ones. There were a few riders off the front, not quite out of sight, and I figured I could put in a hard lap or two and decimate their lead, leaving DK fresh for an attack of his own. As I rolled onto the front and prepared for the hairpin and surge up the climb, DK yelled out that Bing was in the move, so I instead set a tempo, hard enough to keep the bunch happily on my wheel, but not to close down the break. Once I'd done a lap or so there, I eased back into the bunch, and let others push the air. I was going to sprint.

The gap to the break wavered as the pace was driven in the bunch, on the last lap, flowing along the bottom of the track it looked like they might be playing games. I was in 3rd wheel, then a hard kick happened on the left of the track. The sprint was going to be to get to the final corner. I kicked and got myself back into a good spot, Pat Drapac and AJ in front of me, and Mitch on the front.... but I figured he was pushing too much wind and would die out of the corner. Into the corner my only thought was to make sure I got around upright. If I lost half a meter, that was ok, because I backed my legs to deliver me. Lucas saw it as a gap and pushed through, then I mistook a call from Dave Baker, he was asking me to lead him out, but I thought he was saying he was underneath me. So I had to back off even more than I needed through the corner, but holy shit, when I got to deliver the power time, it only served to make me more determined.

Up the hill I whipped through AJ who must have kicked too hard to cover the attack before the corner, but my main aim was Lucas. I wanted with every fibre of my being, to beat the hairy legged, skinny, bastard of a mate! Sadly I came up a wheel short.

As I crossed the line, I used my last bit of mental strength to count the riders in front of me. There were 6, 3 from the break, Pat Drapac, Dave Baker, and Lucas. I was 7th.

Not quite a podium, but I'm pretty bloody happy. Mostly prove that last night was an aberration. If I can repeat this performance at SKCC crit champs, I'll be able to put any number of my team mates where they need to be, or possibly have a crack myself.

Strava link.

D: 49.5km
A: 435m

PMPW: 94kg


David said...

I'll make it up to you by leading you out on Good Friday if you like!

Neil Robinson said...

no stress man, but thanks for the offer.