Back to D grade next week

PDDC C grade criterium
15 December 2013

Arrive with enough time, to register and ride a couple of laps. Only to find the newly widened top corner had been damaged by a tractor, rendering the new section dangerous and resulting in the new section of corner being roped off, reverting to last year’s narrow single file corner. Did not even get to test it at speed, as next time round two other riders where slowly making their way round.

Rolled back to the start, to find that A and B grade had been combined, not surprising as there was a teams event on in the city. Which meant C grade was starting in 10 minutes, when I was expecting 40 minutes. Gel, fluids, pin numbers on and I was lining up at the start. Totally lacking in confidence in my cornering and nervous as anything.

Started towards the back of the bunch, and slowly drifted back to be ticket collector, which was a bad move. I thought I cornered badly and drove hard out of corners to catch back on. The rider just ahead of me had my total lack of cornering ability, or worse as I had to brake mid corner a couple of times to avoid collecting his wheel. But he punched so hard out of the corners I could not follow. I quickly realised, I needed to pass him.

But the pace picked up, I was chasing on the full length of the straight, get gapped in the corners, chase, get back on by the next corner, etc. By the fifth lap I was off the back and was not going to get back on. Like last week, I used the race as TT and cornering practise. I tried to stay away but got lapped on the start finish straight with a lap to go. Still I finished the race and for good measure, sprinted from the final corner to the finish and surprised myself how well I did.

The next Peel criterium is at the Motorplex, so I will drop down to D grade, to get my confidence back for those corners and see how I go. Not that I should be too worried, the 4 rider breakaway in D today, were only a couple of seconds faster each lap than me solo. And I was a few seconds faster each lap than the main bunch.

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