Race Report PDCC Nambeelup 29 September 2012
It was not one of my better organised days, arrived late, my warm up was riding from the car to the start line, finding out my new power meter was not working (hopefully just flat battery)
With the AFL Grand Final on today, I expected a smaller than usual field today. It was only 5 riders compared to 16 last week in D grade. To make things interesting the 5 riders were combined with the 5 from C grade to make a bigger group. Which destroyed any strategy I had planned and reverted to the hang on and see what happens tactics I use most weeks.
Nobody really wanted to take second wheel as we rolled off the line, so I did. The C grader at the front set a steady 36kmh for the 1st km and then swung off, I took my turn as we swung on Corio Road, picked up a slight tailwind and I was sitting on 38kmh. I swung off, dropped back to my usual position as ticket collector and a couple of other C graders picked up the paced to 40kmh. I did try to get my garmin to find my power meter, dropped off the pack had to work to get back on. Took a drink at the wrong time, off the back had to work to get back on. Not paying attention, off the back again, more work. Last ride through the corner, more work. On to Lakes road and we are still on 40 kmh, after a couple of kms at this pace, I am off the back and I work as hard as I can, but I can’t get back on, I pop.
I cut my losses and settle for a steady pace, expecting more riders to get dropped. Instead a couple of kms later the group slows, not slow enough for me to catch, but slow enough to deny me company for the next 40km. The only company I do get is a magpie crashing into my helmet, half a dozen times as I head up Corio Road the 2nd time. One of the marshals I usually race with, feels sorry for me and provides a little motor pacing for me as I head to the finish for 5th of 5 or was it 6 riders in D grade.
Lesson learnt for today, while my hanging on the back and working hard at times, lets me survive in the group with D grade most weeks. It will not work if I want to get to C grade. I am going to have to learn to ride in the pack. Well that is what the Crit season is for, as well as improving my bike handling and sprinting.