Can corner, can’t hold position in group

WCMCC C grade criterium
Smeaton Way, Rockingham
4 January 2015

First criterium of the year and after my last three efforts, I was wondering how I would go. As my fear of cornering had returned. I was also racing in a bunch of 32 riders,

I tried to start close to the front, but after the rider ahead had trouble clipping in, I ended up mid pack. The pace was on, I was going to work hard to move up, everybody was fighting for position and some riders were taking excessive risks. So I slide back to ticket collector and took it relatively easy.

I did not have too many difficulties cornering when in the pack, and now sitting at the back, it was easy. I ended up backing off a bike length or two before the corner, carried more speed through the corner, I was on the wheel of the rider in front when they where accelerating hard out of the corner and giving me an easy ride.

The pace was on most race, there was always a rider or two on or just off the front riding hard. But nobody was getting away. A couple of times, as the pace slowed I started moving up, but before I got close the pace picked up.

When I thought there was 3 laps to run and slight lull in the action. I moved up on the outside on finishing straight, the pace then picked up. With a bit of an effort, I hit 50kph and got off the front with a small gap. Normally with the masters I get a lap or so off the front this late in a crit. Instead I got away for all of a quarter of a lap. I stay on the front for the next lap, just trying to slip away each corner, no luck. I slid off the front when they the 2 lap to go sign did not appear and realised I did not have the energy to fight for every position, this late in the race, with tired riders taking risks. So I dropped back, with the intention of finishing on the back of the group, which I did.

Looks like I have almost conquered my cornering issues, just need to work on my bunch riding confidence, holding my position and trusting my fellow racers no matter what risks they take.

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