Another racing lesson

WCMCC C grade criterium
10 November 2013

Lesson for today, when racing at a new course:

  • Know where it is
  • Have a realistic travel time
  • Leave on time
  • When you get there 10 minutes before the start, make sure your front wheel goes on straight and does not rub the brakes

    So I line up without a sighting lap or warm up. And we are off at pace. I drop to the back, first two corners no issues, the third corner I don’t like, particularly the traffic island, so I wash a little speed off with the front brake. (Which I don’t realise causes the front brake to rub on the rim). Which makes me work harder on the only downhill section of the course, which due to a headwind is the toughest part of the circuit. Swing uphill past the finish line and repeat

    The first few laps are done at a hectic pace, I was trying to learn the circuit at the back of the bunch and was constantly moving up, as riders are going out the back. Down the back straight, the group has halved in size from 18 to about 9. Through the final corner and suddenly there is a gap, I put in a huge effort to get back on, I realise as I turned on the uphill finish straight I am dragging a couple riders with me. It does not matter, I get back on, taking three with me and promptly explode.

    I keep the bunch almost in reach, till that corner, go through it, then realise my front brake is rubbing. Adjust the brake on the move, make a mental note not to use the front brake for the rest of the race and realise with the time lost, there was no way I would catch the bunch and settle down to avoid being lapped. Unfortunately the first five laps took their toll and I got lapped seven laps later.

    Of the 18 starters, only 12 finished, the first few laps took the toll or more than me. I just made stupid mistakes before the race, a good warm up, an understanding of the circuit and a front wheel that did not rub would of let me be competitive. As the pace was far more settled from the 6th lap to the 16th and final lap.

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