PDCC C grade road race
3 May 2014
I had not ridden all last week, I was trying to shake a cold I picked up last weekend. So I did not know what to expect from my body. My big aim after last week was to sit back and survive the first couple laps and take it from there.
The numbers where down from last week, which was a little surprising given the weather was good, warm, sunny and only a moderate breeze. Of the ten riders, I noticed Mark making an appearance. Last time I raced him was over the same course 9 months ago, where he beat me in a single lap prologue by over a minute and then rode away from the bunch with two laps to go for the win, while I got spat out the back when the group tried to catch him.
The first couple of laps, I found myself in the unfamiliar position of riding close to the front, taking turns. Particularly the climb on Bodeman Road. It was more about survival and keeping the pace within my limits. After a couple of laps, I found myself back to my usual position as ticket collector. With Gary who was riding with a broken rear derailleur cable and restricted to two speeds and Mark who appeared to be struggling.
Next lap, up Bodeman Road, I went to the front, to drive the pace and try and drop Mark. The result, I almost cooked myself in the process and found myself dangling off the back with Mark for the next couple of laps. We both survived and with two laps to go Mark put down one of his trademark attacks. I was capable not of chasing, but the bunch pulled him back.
The pace slowed on the final lap, and when we crested the climb on Bodeman Road, I put in an attack. As on previous laps nobody took the lead on the descent and I was always braking to not get to the front. So I drove hard, I did not expect to get away, I just want to make it tough. Off the descent and up a short incline and onto Lyon Road. Nobody wanted to take the lead, so I kept a decent pace and then start pushing hard up the long incline. I then got a cramp attack in the left leg and that was it.
The bunch rode off in the distance as I crested the incline without pedalling. After 45 seconds, I could move my leg with what felt like a big knot in the muscles. So I continued on the lap, I could see the bunch just ahead, travelling at a leisurely pace and it seemed I was slowly catching them with only one and a half working legs. Over the last incline on De Haar Road with a couple of kilometres to go the bunch picked up speed and I rolled across the line less than a minute in arrears.
Other than the cramp, which probably caused by poor hydration, before and during the race. I was happy with my physical performance given the cold and lack of riding. I was not happy about my tactics. I did not need to spend so much energy on the front in the first two laps, particularly the second time up Bodeman Road. I should not of gone out so hard up the climb up Bodeman Road in an attempt to drop Mark, far better take the lead on the descent and Lyon Road incline. As for my last lap antics, sure have fun on the descent but the energy used on the Lyon Road incline would of been better spent on a late attack or even in the sprint.