Back to the Motorplex and that corner

Turned up early to get a few practise laps in and ended up helping out on the registration desk. Managed two laps behind the juniors and found the corner had been changed from the week before. A couple of barriers had been added to direct traffic through the first gate, moving the apex, totally changing the line through the corner and giving a bigger margin for error on the exit.

With 17 riders in D grade, including a few new riders and others who had never ridden the course. The first lap was supposed to be a sighting lap, so I took to the front to tap out a steady pace. Another rider who likes to sit on the front early in the race, came round me, so I settled into second wheel. We slowed for the tight turn up the hill, just as a couple of experienced riders who had not ridden the course before, charged to the front. Three wide into a single width choke point, do not mix, a lot of cursing and braking saw the bunch through safely.

The next lap and a half, I sat close to the front, but was burning nervous energy trying to keep safe. So I settled back as ticket collector and bide my time. I rarely attack early in a race, not for any tactical reason, more to make sure everybody gets at a good bit of racing in, before I try and put them out the back.

The tactics today were simple, put the sprinters into difficulty and go to the end in a small group. Halfway through the race, there was a little lull, so worked my way to the front on the return road, slowed into the single file corner on the line and hit it hard up the climb and over the other side. I kept the pace up for another lap, rolled off the front just after the climb. Then the counter attack came, I was not quick enough to grab the wheel of the four riders in the attack. The three or four riders left look spent, so I gave chase.

Three quarters on a lap later, two riders came past, at exactly the wrong spot for me, on the corner to the climb. I had swung wide, they came in underneath without warning and carried more speed than me through the corner and up the climb. Try as I might I could not catch them, then there was six on the front.

I had a couple of riders on my wheel, one of then took a few short turns. I did bulk of the chasing, though after a couple of laps it became obvious, we were not catching them. I could of conserved my energy and sprinted for 7th place. Instead, I kept pulling long turns, managing to catch one of the riders who was dropped and lapping a couple of riders who finished ahead of me in last couple of weeks.

The two on my wheel me fought out 6th place, not much left in the tank as I rolled over the line 8th.

Overall, I was a little disappointed that I missed the counter attack, and getting on the wheel of the two chasers. Otherwise I was happy with how well I am racing, being able to go to the front, ride hard for a couple of kilometres and drop half the bunch.

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