RCCC (Roues Chaudes Cycling Club) Australia Day Criterium, Bentley Tech Park 26 January 2013
First time at in an “open” race and first the Bentley Tech Park circuit, with one difficult corner, downhill, off camber 90 degree that caught a few A graders out later. Another 90 degree corner and a uphill drag to the finish, which should suit me.
I was hoping for another PDCC rider, instead got 4 from PIHC, 3 from SPR and 3 juniors from MCCC in the total of 19 riders, I believe. If this was going to be a team tactics race, I was going to be in trouble.
Also racing at the same time as D grade was the B grade women, they would normally be paired with the men’s C grade, but due to the size of men’s C grade, they would be starting a minute before us and finishing 4 minutes or so later.
The first couple of laps where tough, I was having trouble with the downhill off camber corner, but I was not the only one. Hanging round the back of the field I got caught behind slower riders and had to work hard to get back one.
Then we got caught by B grade women’s bunch, instead of letting them past. The lead riders on D grade tucked in behind and we picked up the pace to match the B grade women. The pace was pretty frantic for the next couple of laps, as the B grade women were trying to make a selection and probably drop the D grade men’s bunch. The pace was slightly reduced after that, but there was still big surges from the women. And it was working, every lap or two, exiting the off camber corner, I would pass a rider o two, who I would not see until the finish. After 10 laps there was about 7 or 8 D graders left and even fewer B grade women (from about a dozen starters). I was thinking top 5 finish, then on the 13th lap, I took the downhill off camber corner badly, lost too much speed and could not drive back onto the bunch and was dropped.
I kept going, hoping to pick up a few stragglers, which is what I did, past three D graders, so top 5 should be mine as long as I kept going and was not lapped. And to practise my cornering, surprised myself by consistently 36kph on the apex of the off camber corner. After 25 minutes, I passed the finish, yelled “two to go” they said yes, next lapped I yelled “bell” response was “bell”, sprinted to the line for what was supposed to be the final time and got told “bell lap” so I rolled off another lap.
Overall happy with my performance, some impressive 5 to 15 minute power figures, but I need to be more confident with my cornering ability, I might not be the best cornerer in the bunch but I am not the worse by far. So I need to ride further up the bunch, to avoid the poorer cornerers and not work so hard out of corners. Let’s see if I can put that in action tomorrow.