Racing post flu

PDCC D grade Dog Hill 25 May 2013

Yesterday was my 1st ride for almost 2 weeks off with the flu. While it was not a fast commute, it convinced me, I was capable of racing today. Though I was hoping for fairly quiet race.

The pace was sedate for the 1st 500m, then Rob attacked. I would of been happy to let him go, he could not survived 40km off the front by himself. Instead he was chased down, but in the process a few riders where sent out the back door. The bunch slowed, a couple of riders worked there way back on. Then rider or riders went to the front and put the hammer down on the downwind section. I ended up jumping from group to group at 50kph.

The group would slow, then a rider would go to the front and pick the pace up and this was repeated again and again. It slowed as approached the rough section of road, that had been resurfaced and now had covering of small stones. So I went to the front, slowed through the corner, drove hard out of it and then rode than section at threshold. Towards the end of the section, I could hear voice “we have got a gap, go, go, go!” I kept going at threshold, hoping for another rider to come past and pick up the pace. In the end one did for all of 30 seconds, then I was back on the front. Then the voice yelled “they are back on”. So I took the opportunity, to slide down to the back of the bunch to see what damage had been down. Of the 17 starters, there was a dozen left and a couple of those were suffering.

Rob was trying to convince me to go to the front and ride hard, I politely refused the offer as we riding into a headwind, saying I would later. A couple of riders did short turns into the wind, then another out the corner and up the short rise into the tailwind, then promptly sat down. So I promptly went to the front and did a 2.5km VO2max interval, because it felt good. Nobody really pushed over the next couple of kilometres, so I did another 2km VO2max interval. At the end of that interval, I was spent, if another rider attacked now. I would be in trouble. Instead another rider started organising roll throughs. I had to miss a few turns as I was suffering, but I was not the only suffering and missing turns in the bunch of ten.

I recovered pretty well and when nobody wanted to take the front on the downwind section, I did. The problem was I was struggling to keep threshold pace, so I was happy to tuck into Frank’s wheel we he went past. I thought Frank was going a little fast into a 90 degree bend, I touched the brakes. Next Frank, overcooked the corner, touched the gravel on the outside of the road and came down hard in front of me. Gravel to the left, everybody passing on the right and Frank’s prone body in front of me. I hit the brakes and had visions of me hitting Frank and go flying over the handlebars. Instead my front wheel just touched Frank and I managed to unclip in time. No harm done, Frank was OK, the bunch slowed and waited for me, Frank and Rob who stopped to check on Frank to rejoin.

Each time we accelerated out of a corner, my hamstrings started stinging with lactic acid. Still I was not the only one suffering, when I went to the front on the downwind section and promptly swung off with cramps in the calves. Sitting on the back as the bunch slowed to less than 30kph gave me, time to recover and work on tactics. Not many options, so I decided to go from 400m out, which was where you normally would start the sprint, before they moved the finish line.

For once I was patient, I did not attack or follow the couple of early attacks, I was sitting on the back waiting for my designate spot, as the pace picked up and just before we hit my mark. Frank attacked and the group countered and we were up and sprinting, I lasted 200m before my legs where screaming with lactic acid and shaking from side to side. I kept going but I only passed a couple of riders to finish 7th.

Still given my health and lack of recent riding, I was very happy were I finished, particularly given the pace today.

PDCC D grade Dog Hill 25 May on Strava

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