Getting better at this cornering, most of the time

PDCC C grade criterium
Smeaton Way, Rockingham
11 January 2015

It is surprising what a little bit of practice and confidence does with my cornering. Sure I did drop a bike length a couple times in corners, but I spent more time cursing the riders in front who slowed into corners, forcing me to apply the brakes. The only time I applied the brakes to slow into a corner on my own accord was on the flying last lap and I was not taking the usual line, overtaking B grade.

I now have a new skill that needs improving, the ability to hold my position in a bunch and move up, particularly in the last couple of laps.

The bunch rolled out with me on the front, I found out how strong the headwind down the back straight was. I kept a slow pace, until we swung onto the main straight with a good tailwind and the attacks started. I stayed close to the front for the next ten minutes or so. I did not chase down any attacks, there were plenty of other people doing that. It was a case of being near the front in case a break went away or the bunch split. After Jordan put in a solid attack for no result, I decided it was time to slide down the bunch and assume my usual position as ticket collector. As I was not comfortable trying to constantly defend my position, doing it badly and using energy doing so.

With a little over 10 minutes to go, I worked my way to the front. I had conserved enough energy to be able to work on the front. When back in third or fourth wheel, you were getting riders who where not willing to work on the front, diving up the inside of you on a corner to grab a spot.

I was mid pack when the bell rang, Jordan launched a desperate attack not having the gearing to sprint. The bunch reacted, hauled him in of the back straight. Just as we caught B grade. Ended up at the back, lost time taking a different line round a corner and started chasing hard. Got a couple by the line, but the difference between the riders who finished between 2nd and 12th was their ability to get in to a good position and hold it on the last couple of laps. So that is my next skill to practise, including shutting the door on riders diving up the inside.

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