Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Criterium Racing

Had an awesome weekend of riding last week. Was only planning to go up and race on Saturday at Sutherland Cycle Club Criterium but Troy Fisher (Stevens Bikes Australia) asked me to come up on Sunday and race Southern Cross Cycle Club Criterium with him. Made the most of training on the weekend as the weather was perfect, although a little bit of a Southerly wind made it difficult on the ride home from the races.

Sutherland Cycle Club only hold one crit race a month (first Saturday of the month) which brings a lot of good riders to the race. Had planned to meet a group of guys at 6:30am that morning to ride up but slept through my alarm and woke up at 6:50. It was a mad rush as it usually takes me about an 1hr 15 to get there and race start was at 8am. Left home at 7:10 and smashed it all the way up there, I was absolutely buggered but arrived at 8am, to realise everyone was sitting around drinking coffee ready for an 8:30am start. Had about 30mins to rest before I raced at 8:30am in A Grade.
Big turn out, A Grade had about 20-25 riders in the race and some really strong guys. Looked to be a good race. Race started and everyone rolled out at a steady pace, race was 20mins plus 3 laps. It wasn't long until the pace picked and the race was on, everyone worked well throughout the race, only a few sat at the back trying to save themselves for the finish. A few guys got some unfortunate flat tyres but other than that the race was clean. I had positioned myself towards the front of the group the whole race and did quite a few turns on the front. Rode comfortably throughout the race, it wasn't until the final few laps people started attempting attacks. One guy went and I saw he was going to get a good gap on the field with 2 laps to go so I chased after him. When I caught him, we had about a 70m gap which was good but he was dead, nothing left in his tank he just sat up and waited for the group. I was almost going to try and ride the rest myself but knew they would have caught me at the finish, so I sat up and jumped back into the group. I was surprised I still had a bit in me and was able to go for the sprint at the end, finishing 4th.
It was now the ride home, pretty tired but managed to get back home at a decent pace. Ended up with 90km for Saturdays ride.

Met Troy at his house in Helensburg Sunday morning to ride up to the crit. It was a lot easier ride this time, being 15km's less and leaving on time. Cruisy ride up and felt a lot fresher on arrival. Not as many people this time, was only about 10 in A grade but still a fairly strong field.
Pace set during the race was a little slower than Saturday's race but included the longer track which has a steep little hill half way, race was 20min plus 6 laps of the longer track. Found this race alot easier to sit in but was stuck on the front most of the race doing the work. Came down to the last 3 laps and no breakaways yet, one rider attacked on the downhill but no one chased as we thought we would catch him within the next km. By the last lap we had not caught him, smart move he made at a good time. Troy and I were sitting on the front going down the back straight just waiting for someone to attack, up the hill and still no attack. Troy took to the front and I sat behind him, he drove the pack up the rest of the hill and then the attack was made. 4 guys went around, Troy was stuffed but I jumped straight on 4th wheel. One guy cracked, then another,  I was sitting on 2nd wheel and could see the leader not too far in front. The guy sitting behind me went around and I got on his wheel, he had gone to early, I made my attack with about 100m to go and flew past him and almost caught 1st who finished about a second in front.

Great weekend, got up some km's on the bike and had a 4th in A grade in Saturday and a 2nd in A Grade on Sunday, coming away with $20 from Sundays race.

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