Sunday, 19 July 2015

19/07/2015

St Kilda East - VCXS DDCX - St Kilda East:
Fresh and sprightly are not two words I would use to describe how I felt today. No, if I had to pick two words to describe how I was feeling, they'd be lethargic and dull.

After a roll across town, a little warm up with some others, and a short macchiato, I lined up at the back of the massive A grade start grid. Seeded start meant I was forced into the ol' Pepe Lepew strategy of chasing all day, but congestion from the 40 odd riders meant it took a while to start making headway.

A few laps in I was with another bloke on a Ridley, he'd put a metre or two into me on the hill side chicanes about halfway into the course, then on the long muddy uphill I'd peg him back again. I was confident that I'd eventually get the measure of him, so when Neil Van Der Ploeg kicked to slot himself onto the Ridley riders's wheel, I happily took a better sit. If we'd caught Neil, then it was obvious we'd soon be rid of him too. Instead the two of them rode hard, dislodging me in the chicanes, and staying away up the hill.

I spent the next few laps trying to steady myself, to ride smooth, and to find the fastest line. Then suddenly I was being caught by a trio of Cam Woolcock, Paddy Oliver and Huw Vellacott. I'd passed them laps ago, and being recaught by riders didn't sit well with me. That's the point of the Pepe Lepew, you pass people, people don't pass you. I latched on, but wasn't feeling even less fresh than the start of the race, and the clock was telling me we had a few laps left to go... but then I heard the final lap bell being rung halfway across the course. I listened hard, it definitely was a final lap bell, its lower, and longer than the tinny cow bells of supporters. I took the remainder of that 2nd last lap telling myself it was time to suffer, but when we crossed the line for the bell, I still wasn't ready to do it.

I tried to be calm through the off camber chicanes, then when everyone went left in the wide section of mud prior to the hill, I went right. I'd ridden both sides before, the left felt faster, but the right was the shorter line. I shoved myself into the queue, Paddy forced to concede the wheel. Around the big pile of rocks before the muddy climb, Cam went right, Huw went left covering off the two dominant routes, so I just jammed myself up the guts. I'd finally found the will to suffer that little bit extra, and push 1-2 gears more than the previous few laps. I got a gap and held it to the line for what I assume was about 20th. It wasn't a great performance for me, but it's what I had.

Strava link.

D: 65.1km
A: 498m

PMPW: 86kg

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