Stan Gurney VC Memorial – D Grade criterium

25 April 2013 Midland

I had scouted the course out via Strava and Google maps/sreetview before signing up for the race. A quick couple ofs ighting laps and I found it was a lot more technical than my research revealed. For those unfamiliar with cycling terms a technical course is one with lots of difficult corners, and given my limited cornering skills this was going to be an interesting race.

I was racing with a couple of club mates, but neither were confident of lasting the distance. So team tactics discussions where limited. So I went into the race with simple tactics, start at close to the head of the race, get to the front early and ride hard, but not that hard my team mates get spat out the back. And hopefully finish in the top 10.

A soon as they announced our race, I was in the marshalling area, but so was more than twenty of the 34 starters. I grabbed what I thought was a good position, on the far left with a couple of people in front of me, which should of meant when I rolled out of the marshalling area, turned left onto the course and I would of been close to the front of the race.

How wrong could I be, the rider in front rolled out onto the course, turned left, struggled to clip in and did not pedal. So riders streamed past us on the right and by the time he clipped in, we where at the back of the field and our race was run.

I then made the mistake of trying to work my way up slowly, trying to get past people in the straights. It was not until the 3rd lap I realised most people were cornering far more conservatively than me. If I dived up the inside, turned hard and accelerated quickly out the hairpin I could pass a couple of riders in one move. Unfortunately by this time it was too late, the field had broken up into small groups and the gaps between then, where increasing fast.

By the time I tagged on the back of the 3rd group on the 5th lap, I realised that I was as close to the front I would get. So I settled down to conserve as much energy as possible for inevitable sprint, or at least lead my club mate out. At one stage I did go to the front, went round a hairpin and stuff educe the line and quickly ended up on the back again. But most the time on the back, as I would not accelerate as hard as the rest of the group out of corners, as I did not need to. as it was easier on me to keep a constant pace, so I drop a few metres out of each hairpin but get then back before the next corner.

So I was on the back on the last lap, when one of the junior riders lost his front wheel, I took evasive action to avoid him and ended up way of the back of the group.

Finished about 17th out of 34, so not bad seeing where I ended up after the 1st 100m of the race. Still I should of done better, but I will know for next year, line up earlier and if things go wrong, be very aggressive in the first couple of laps to get to the front group.

Race on Strava

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