Biting off more than I could chew

After last week’s effort, I decide it was time to step up a grade. I did not matter that I had not fully recovered from that virus, I was going to race C grade.

With the biggest field in A grade this season and the tight nature of the circuit, the normal grade order was changed. Which meant E, D and C were on the circuit at the same time. I also saw after signing up, that D grade was the best field of the season with Tom, Eddie, Tyler and some young visitors from the Midland Cycling Club.

C grade was also a little tougher than the previous few weeks, with a couple of the better riders returning. Also in C was Anthony the winner from last week, who had been persuaded to step up a grade.

The first lap was a sighting lap, the second I was close to the front when Anthony lead them up the short climb, the advantage of only weighing 63kg. The pace slowed as we turned of the narrow climb onto the false flat, so I hit it hard expecting to get a response from the bunch.

Instead I got a break and proceed to ride at TT pace for 60 seconds, before realisng I was not in a fit state to ride 35 minutes at that pace and promptly dropped back to commuting pace. In retrospect I should of done what I normally would do and kept going at TT pace. I would not of lasted, but it would be fun making them chase.

It still took more than a lap for the bunch to catch me. I rolled to the back looking for a good wheel to follow through the corners. A couple laps later the pace started picking up Anthony, was the first casualty. Next lap approaching the narrow turn into the climb, we caught a dropped lower grade rider. As they bunch hit the climb the bunch accelerated as usual, the lower grade rider did not hold his line through the corner and baulked Campbell in front of me.

The next lap and half it was pretty hard work, but the two of us chased back on. The bunch kept surging up the climb and on the finishing straight, both directly after corners I had issues with in earlier races. This week I did better, though there was still room for improvement.

I was tiring, a couple laps later Campbell was dropped, a couple hundred metres later so was I. The rest of the race was very ordinary, spent time with both Campbell and Tim who also was dropped from the bunch. Before ending up off the back. In the end I narrowly avoided being lapped and finished two minutes behind Campbell and Tim.

Yes, I did spend a little energy attacking and being off the front, it was a very measured attack. I used a lot more energy chasing back on after the incident with the lower grade rider. From there I knew I was not going to do what I wanted and get to the last lap with the bunch. Most disappointed I could not stick with Tim and Campbell and only finish a minute down instead of three.

So for the rest of the season (the next two weeks) I will race D grade, to get over this virus, improve my cornering (next week is a different tricky circuit at the Motorplex), not get lapped and then when the road season starts race C grade.

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