aka last chance to get to C grade for a couple of months
Race Report PDCC Club Criterium Championship D grade Smeaton Way Rockingham
I have never had any luck at Smeaton Way, always finishing in the second half of the group. My dismal record had little to do with my limited sprinting ability, even though every race finished in a bunch sprint, but more to do with bad positioning and my lack of confidence in cornering.
Today, even suffering from my continuing cold, I was not worried about finishing in the front half of the group, I was aiming for a win and promotion to C grade. I decided on a simple tactic that was successful for Clint on the final lap in the WCMCC points race here. Attack hard on the final straight into the bell, get a gap and just ride the final lap flat out to the finish.
To that end, I settled in the now unfamiliar position of ticket collector, and stayed there for the a few laps. My first couple of laps was punctuated with poor cornering, but very quickly my confidence improved and I was having to feather my brakes after corners as I was carrying more speed through them than the riders in front of me.
There where a few half hearted attacks, which where quickly countered, this kept the speed fairly high. At times, the pace dropped, so after 15 minutes I took the chance to go to the front to successfully test my new found cornering confidence. About 200m shy of the finish line, I launched an attack, after crossing the line I could here Tom yelling Go, Go, Go so I drove to the end of the straight and swung wide, Travis came through and then slowed as the 4th member of our short lived breakaway, did not fancy their chances with the 3 riders who rode away with the race the week before, tucked in behind me as did Tom.
Attack nullified, I dropped back down the bunch and settled in as ticket collector, there where a few attacks, nothing serious and a few slow periods, but the pace was generally fast. Approaching the 35 minute mark, I made my way to the front on what I thought would be the second last lap, but I had been caught out before. I was right it was the 2nd last lap and I was on the front, not to matter, I set a pace I was comfortable I could keep going all day.
Then 200m from the line, just as the bell started ringing I attacked. When I got to the first corner, I knew I had not established a break, as I had at least one rider on my wheel. No problem, fired out of that corner into the headwind, round the next corner and down the back straight, my legs was beginning to tire, I knew I had more than one rider on my wheel. Still I drove on, round the next corner, I knew I had gone out too hard, but I kept going. Around the final corner, I was tiring, but I still thought I had a chance, 300m to go I was spent, 200m to go, riders started coming around me, after five, I sat up and cruised to the line finishing 12th.
So not the result I wanted, I could blame my tactics, I needed to attack from the back or middle of the peleton, not the front to get the element of surprise and get that desired gap. My current state of health and lack of training in the last couple of weeks was another factor. Still happy with my performance given my tactical error and health. Hopefully I should be fully fit and back to full training for the road race season that starts in a few weeks.
The race data on Strava
- Time: 37:37
- Distance: 23km
- Avg Speed: 36.7kph