PDCC D grade race Dog Hill
23 June 2013
Riding down to the race, I realised the main straight would be into headwind, and decided on my tactics for the day. Approaching the bell, attack and ride hard into the headwind. I knew from last week, an organised chase was unlikely, relying on individual riders to try and chase me down. A big plus for me was I had finally recovered from the cold that has ruined my season so far, so hopefully I was strong enough to stay away, even though I had not trained for 6 weeks.
Five riders from the Unicorn Brewery/Hall Cycling Team (UBHCT) made this the biggest field for the season, 19 in all. From the start, it was obvious the UBHCT riders was riding as a team, and their tactics was to ride as hard as possible on the first lap. I was sitting towards the back of the field, surprised that riders where not being put into difficulty. As hit the short rise about 1500m from the finish, the strongest UBHCT rider with Don tucked on their wheel had a small break. I was not going to let those two get away. I bridged, they slowed, I went to the front and drove. I could here voices behind me, that were not Don or the UBHCT rider yelling we had a break. I drove on for a little longer, then swung off to see half a dozen riders behind, with the rest of the bunch scrambling to get across. The momentum disappeared from the front and the group was back together.
The next three laps was a little slower pace, a few riders attacked, if it was a UBHCT rider, another rider brought them back. If it was another rider of the front a UBHCT rider brought them back. But nobody was getting away. On the third lap a few riders got off the front down the back straight. I got to the front and drove hard for a couple of minutes, nobody was willing or capable of coming through and the group was back together. One of the UBHCT riders said ‟Nobody is going to get away today” and I replied ‟I can but try”.
On the 4th lap, the short rise before the finish, two UBHCT riders went off the front, I followed, the pace was not excessive so I attacked and went hard to get gap. I failed and my race was over, I rolled to the back. On the final lap I was just hanging on, when the strongest UBHCT rider went off the front again. I bridged and when the pulled off, I kept tempo for 30 seconds before sliding down the pack and off the back.
The next half a lap, I was a maximum of 50m off the back of the bunch, It kept looking like I was going to claw my way back on, then they picked up the pace for the finish and I crossed the line 15th some 45 seconds down on the winner. From what I heard the UBHCT riders sprinted for the painted line on the road which was the old finish, not the real finish 200m down the road.
It was a good race, I throughly enjoyed it, even though my fitness and tactics was not up to it. It looks like I am over the cold and back in training. So my form should improved dramatically over the next few weeks.I am just going to need new tactics as it looks like the UBHCT riders will be joining us on a regular basis, so my chances of getting off the front are going to be limited.