Stick to the plan

PDCC C Grade criterium
18 January 2015

I learnt my lesson from my last race here. So I went into the race with a simple plan, keep my head down, do the minimal amount of work required, and do not attack until the a lap and a bit to go.

The first lap was steady, it picked up on the second and on third ascent of the climb, it was at pace and that put a few people into difficultly. Nobody was willing to drive the bunch, so the stragglers got back on.

Next lap, another little attack up the climb, a few appeared to struggle so I attacked over the climb. Got a small gap, then realised I was chasing a car with trailer, which I was gaining on. So I eased back, got caught at the end of the downhill by a solo rider but did not have the kick to jump on. I ended up on the front of a reduced bunch with a rider 10 metres ahead. I could not drive it faster and by the time I was off the front most of the stragglers had regained contact.

Next lap, another attack up the hill and this time I was in difficultly, along with 3 others. Chased hard solo, but the bunch did not ease up this time. It took some effort to jump on the three riders as the came pasts. Two other riders took turns driving, as I recovered. We were slowly gaining on the riders ahead. Up the climb I took the front, driving at what I believed was a strong steady pace, got two thirds the way up and bang, that was it, my legs were gone. I rolled around for a lap and bit and finished 10th.

So what went wrong? Should I stuck to my plan? Well with hindsight, my power data and lap times of other racers makes interesting reading. The day before the race on a group ride I rattled off my personal bests for power over 10 seconds 800 watts, 30 seconds 600 watts and 2 minutes 400 watts.

My attack up and over the hill averaged 600 watts over 30 seconds. Six minutes later, trying to cover the attack up the hill it was 600 watts over 30 seconds. Charging up the hill another six minutes later when I popped it was 550 watts over 20 seconds. So I know what I need to concentrate my training on to do well on this course.

Still it is full of ifs if I did not not attack on the third lap, I might of be able to hang with the attack on the fourth lap, I might of been able to survive a fast fifth lap and even faster final lap that saw the bunch of 16 reduced to 4.

In addition to practising 600 watt 30 second hill repeats every 5 minutes I need to stop trying to set power PBs the day before a race, and stop attacking early in the race.

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