After being convinced to buy a road bike in February 2010 and setting myself the goal of completing the 210km Around the Bay in October, I again was convinced to start racing and here is my story.
Saturday, 17 September 2011
Casey (Windy) Fields World Championships - 1st Place C Grade
Ok, today I came in with a bold strategy - sit in and save myself then break 15mins to go. They said it couldn't be done, but I proved them wrong. The aim was to get on the front, pull a hard turn and ride casually away (as I have accidentally done in previous races) not alerting the group and once clear, put the hammer down. Today the field was slightly smaller than other weeks but it still contained a number of strong riders. The pace was on in the 2nd lap which was enough to split the bunch into two groups leaving 12(ish) riders in contention. Looking back over my Garmin data, judging from my heart rate there was another 4 break attempts before it all settled down into a steady rhythm.
I was able to sit in up the back conserving myself for the big move while other riders jostled hard for position and a couple of the stronger riders continued to pull hard turns and make multiple break away attempts. Just past the 30min mark, there was a double attack (one attack followed by another) which tested my legs a little more than I would have liked, once completed I sat in and watched my heart rate reduce before making my way to the front. The key here was to pull a hard turn in the cross winds, form a gap between myself and the second rider and gradually pull clear. I was hoping for call back in the peloton to let him go, and once I had 50m I let my legs do the talking.
This was the point of no return. I just had to harden up and keep the pedals turning no matter how hard it hurt. I watched my heart rate climb to my lower VO2 zone and that's where it stayed for the remaining 15 minutes just as I have done previously at Kew Boulie ITT. There was plenty of confusion with multiple groups on the circuit passing each other, passing me and me re-passing them (including B grade). But this played to my advantage as I was unsure how far the C grade was actually behind me so I kept pushing hard. One lap to go I was joined by another solo C grade rider and we held it all the way to the finish 400m or so ahead of the remaining riders. I sat in behind the other rider approaching the line, and once he looked back around I made my move at the last minute leaving it for the judges to decide. The call fell my way and I was rewarded with my 2nd C grade win. Bring on B grade I say and crit season is only a few weeks away.