Realising the errors of my ways

PDCCD D Grade points race Wandi
24 August 2013

I rode to the course expecting a scratch race and expecting the usual fun and games at my favourite circuit. Tom would attack from the start, I would reel him back, Don would follow. The two of us would get a break on the kick up Bodeman Road. Dave P and another rider or two would chase us down a lap later. This small group and whoever hung onto the wheels of the chase group would stay together until the end.

Rolled up to see all the usual suspects accept Tom, so wondering about race tactics, I found out it was a points race today. For those unfamiliar with a points race, it is a track racing event. Where you scoring 5, 3, 2 and 1 point across the line every 10 laps of the 400m or so of a velodrome, in a 100 lap race. This was a road racing version, scoring points every lap of 8.4km circuit with a little kick in the middle.

First lap was at a decent pace, but I keep my powder dry and stayed off the front. Heading do De Haas Road, the other Nick, who has not been racing with us long, she mentioned she was not going to sprint. I replied you need to stick close to the front somebody in bound to attack after the sprint. The sprint was fast for D grade. I did not over commit, I was happy rolling over the line in what I thought was 4th, picking my line to attack, I did not even see the rider on the inside taking the last point.

I launched my attack, it was not savage, but I got a gap quickly. So I settled back to TT pace and was joined by Nick, a little later we were joined by the remains of the bunch. Simmo who won the 1st sprint was no where to be seen and Dave P struggled up the final part of the climb. I eased back and the bunch settled down to a moderate pace.

This time the sprint went early, I was well placed and happy sitting in third wheel, still not willing to fully commit. When with about 100m to go, two riders overtook me and I eased back. This time I did feel I had energy to drive on, so I settle down the back as the bunch chased Nick up the hill. Next sprint was much shorter, still I found myself out of position and not willing to ride hard, end up settling for 6th.

Next lap, 3 A grade riders passed us at the top of De Haer road, the rest of A grade caught us, just as we passed the traffic island before the sprint. Which resulted in a rather choatic sprint, a few A grades sprinting for the final point, most just sat up and D grade sprinting through them. Don and Frank got a good gap, it looked like I was going to get third, eased back and David P got me on the line.

After the chaos cleared, I found myself off the front, I could of attacked, but I needed to keep clear of A grade, so I waited and by that time I got hauled back in.

Final sprint, attacked from a kilometer to go, did not get a break, so slowed, then attacked with 500m to go, that failed and I got swamped with 250m to go.

Last year, I would of been happy with a single point, not anymore, I was disappointed with a few close could of beens, but in writing this report I realised my main problem was I was not willing to fully commit by putting in a big effort in the sprints or in my attacks. Everything was based on surviving to the end, not sprinting flat out or attacking hard to break up the pack. Hopefully that will change now.

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