Riding with a little more aggression

PDCC D Grade Club Championship
Wandi 7 September 2013

While writing my previous race reports, I realised I was not riding with the confidence or aggression to win race. So I decided to do something about that.

Prior to the race, I was watching Marianne Vos win GP Plouay by attacking, splitting the bunch, working with those riders to get a good gap, repeating the process again and again, then soling to victory with a final attack in the last few kilometres. So that was going to be my tactics, stay quiet for the first half of the race, attack, break the bunch in two, work with those riders to establish a break, attack again to shed more riders, then attack a kilometre or two from the finish.

Except things did not go to plan. I took my race bike out the car, put it against a fence and did my warm up on my crit bike, to see if it was capable of being raced the next day at the circuit, it was not. Jumped on my race bike, lined up at the start, took off and something was not right. My rear brake was rubbing, probably from leaning up against the fence. Took me less than 20 seconds to fix, but now I was chasing back on, gained ground up Bodeman Road and the climb, lost a little into the headwind on Lyon Road. Was expecting to have to work hard down De Haer Road, when the bunch slowed after the little lip and I rejoined.

Next time up Bodeman Road, I put in a little dig, which was purely a show of strength. No intention to do any damage, just a statement that I was feeling good. Next time down De Haer Road a rider attacked, the bunch quickly caught them, so I countered. For no other reason than it seemed a good idea at the time, I actually had a 5 second gap over the start finish line. I just keep a steady pace and made the others work to catch me, which they did. I did not realise it at the time, but by the end of the second lap, we had already put Arthur and Andy into difficultly and there was only 7 of us left.

The next couple of laps, I sat back and recover in part. I did my share of work on the front. It was more to be seen as doing my share of the work, than anything else. There were a few attack from others, nothing I could not handle. But it lead to a very stop, start and at times slow race.

The second last time up Bodeman Road, I attacked with a purpose to put Clint into difficultly and take out Lara and Fraser as collateral damage. I attacked halfway up the climb and continued up Lyon Road. It was with little success, Fraser had been tailed off, but Lara and Clint who I feared for being able to chase down my next attack were still there.

A couple of minor attacks, a little work on the front and we swung into De Haer Road for the last time, I was on the outside with Clint tucked on my wheel, still as we crested the little lip about 2.5km from home, I stuck my head down and went for it, with about 1km to go, I was aware of a couple of riders on my wheel. I slowed slightly and tried to convince Clint (who I later found out was suffering from cramp) or Frank to go through, but neither would. I was gulping in air when I saw Dave and Don catching us, so I hit it as hard as I could, it lasted until 200m from the line when Dave caught me, and then Don went passed him to claim his 1st win of the season, Dave 2nd, Frank was justing hanging on their wheels for third, Clint rolled over the line in 4th with me not far behind.

Apparently the chase had taken a lot out of Frank and Clint, and if I had kept my head down with 1km to go, I might of taken the win. Still something for next time.

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