31 May 2015
Just because I have no shared any race reports, does not mean I have not been racing or writing reports. I even won my first race in over a year, taking out a reduced bunch sprint at Casuarina four weeks ago.
I did want to publish all my reports in chronological order. However, there is a lot of work to be done in finishing the reports written and writing missing reports. So I am cutting my losses and starting from last Saturday.
The Dwellingup Handicap is not a favourite of mine, mainly because as you ride back from Pinjarra up a busy Williams Road, there is a six kilometre or so climb, with a two kilometre section averaging 7%.
One advantage of being backup web person for the club, is getting to see various documents including the handicaps before other people. I was in the third group away, 8 minutes after limit (the 1st group away) and 12 minutes before scratch (the last group away). Which I knew would catch me as there was a 19 minute difference between the fastest scratch rider and my time last year. In the fourth group 3 minutes behind us, was Lachlan who riding from the same group as me last year, beat me by 6 minutes, now a year older and riding under 17 gearing, I was expecting Lachlan to take the win and me to finish mid pack.
I was hoping for a group of seven riders from the start list. But not everybody made it, instead we had four riders, the smallest group on the day and only one other rider, Gary, I knew had raced here last year. Both me and Gary took long turns on the little climb out of Dwellingup, I swung off two thirds up with my heart rate sitting on 170, well above my threshold range of 160 to 165. Sat on the back on the steep descent, mainly because I did not like the two railroad crossings.
On the way to Pinjarra turn around, the four of us worked well together taking turns, one rider did struggle a little missing the occasional turn. Before we got the turn around, I skipped a turn as my heart rate was heading towards 170. It did not take long for my heart rate to recover, but I will heart rate was sitting in upper end of threshold since the descent. I was wondering what was going to happen once we hit the climb in 12 kilometres time.
On the return we had our prey in our sight as we were slowly catching the two groups in front. Unfortunately the group behind had a full compliment of riders and was working hard, they caught us about halfway to the base of the climb. I sat on the back of that group, not wanting to take a turn as my heart rate was sitting on 170. Had to close a couple of gaps as riders could hold the pace.
It was apparent there were two distinct subgroups, the six riders in front of me including Gary who were taking turns and another five behind me including a couple from the 2nd group we picked up on the descent, who was just holding on. We were about to catch the two groups ahead at the base of the climb when my left leg started spasming, I quickly signalled the riders through. I watched the a big group form and then split in two, the six riders riding in front of me and everybody else including the first two bunches.
Only took 20 seconds for my leg to stop spasming and I was off in pursuit, I could see the bunch ahead fracturing quickly and I started catching a couple or riders. I was also being caught be groups from behind, first chop and then scratch. Then Andy, the rider I rode up the hill behind last year, he was the only rider I attempted to hold and that lasted all of 100 metres.
Got to the top and found a new lease of life and charged down the little descent and then up into Dwellingup to finish 31st of 45. The good news was I was 40 seconds faster than last year when I finished 13th off the same handicap. I have new power PBs for 55 minutes to 1 hour 23 minutes. Still the actual climb was 30 seconds slower than last year.