Last crit of the season

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

The num­bers

  • Time: 37:37
  • Dis­tance: 23km
  • Avg Speed: 36.7kph

One Response to “Last crit of the season”

  1. bigjim Says:

    Hi Nick

    seems that your attck­ing needs a little help, you could try the fol­low­ing
    (there is many many ways to handle this)
    – not attack from the front (I think you worked that bit out)
    – if you can sur­prise oth­ers then your alreadt one or two pedal revolu­tions in front as you go by (depend­ing on the gear­ing, can be 7-8metres) this takes a little to under­stand the pedal revolu­tions v’s dis­tance
    – next time you ride, try rid­ing 50km dis­tance and every 5km sprint from a stnad­ing or nearly stopped pos­i­tion, for prac­tice
    – get on someones wheel and then fire at the last minute (you need to know who has safe wheels to on and who doesnt
    –if ya go early try grind­ing , big circles. but ya do need power to do that

    just a few ideas mate, not the answers but just pints of view to consider