Wednesday, 2 December 2015

2/12/2015

Commute:

D: 25.2km
A: 113m

St Kilda East - HCC Crits - St Kilda East:
I felt tired today, at work I just wanted to curl up and have a nap, but I figured I'd shelled out my entry fee already, so should get the training done. Standing around pre-race I joked that being tired meant I was either flying, or in trouble... honestly, I thought I was in trouble, there was not Brendan Canty, but it was a small bunch and that generally means agressive racing.

So I started off with no expectations, floated around the front, then the back, then back around the front. A break stayed up the road for a while so I eventually decided to help chase it, but it came back after I'd only done one. I'm not trying to claim I dragged them back either, just sharing the relief that I didn't have to put in multiple times.

Anyway, after a while I realised I wasn't hurting. Sure I was still giving up a wheel length every time through the corner. Sure that frustrated me because I felt like I was pushing in at the same speed, and on the same lines as anyone else... but I had that wheel length covered. I assumed it was because everyone else was holding back.

It wasn't until some late attacks came, and I quickly covered off gaps or jumped onto wheels that I finally twigged that maybe I was in half decent shape, but by this stage AJ was up the road with Business Wilkie, at best I was racing Troy Clarke and Pat Drapac for 3rd. Then Wilkie came back, and AJ wasn't too far away. A guy jumped up the right of the hill, and I was straight on him... but everyone was on me. We got the 3 lap sign and a couple more went, I waited, I didn't want to go alone, but we were running out of time, so on 2 laps I went, and drew out Tom Christie. I asked him to come through, then launched off him down the bottom straight. I caught a couple who were trying to bridge, and went straight through. Up the climb, just AJ and Warrack ahead of me and I was catching. Down the hill and I could see them thinking about tactics, I glanced under my arm, and didn't see the bunch, but couldn't risk slowing, I went past them, hoping they were too tired to get on.

Into the last corner, I am the first rider on the final lap, and I'll be honest I had thoughts of the win. I took the corner conservatively, if anyone was on my wheel they'll have to slow to my pace, and I'm confident that I can push hard up the hill. AJ slips around me before the bend in the hill. 2nd, I can still race for 2nd, Warrack surely didn't make it on... but he had, and was steadily passing me. I was ugly on the pedals, but it was to no avail as he had my measure to the line. I glanced back again, why would I look, just go, just keep going... but I needed to know if I could stop pedaling and try and give my spasming diaphragm some space.

3rd, on the podium, in the money, a first for me at HCC, and the first one in some years. To think that last race I DNF'd.

Strava link.

D: 47.9km
A: 503m

PMPW: 87kg

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