That close to going with the plan

PDCC Criterium C grade
1 February 2015

C just after the startThe calm before the storm, the start of the first lap. photo by Mark Glorie

After my last couple of C grade races at Parklands, I went in with the simple intention of doing the minimal amount as work as possible, not to attack and finish with the pack. It almost went to plan.

The first lap was at a steady pace until we hit the climb, I was at the front and just slid down the pack as the pressure was put on. The pressure stayed on for the next lap, we lost a few riders even before the next climb. The lighter younger riders were doing the damage on the climb, even splitting the pack once. However, the older heavier riders, like yours truly would get back on the descent.

With two laps to go, Tyler who one of the younger lighter riders doing most of the damage attacked on the slight rise before climb. Nobody could or would go with him and he rode away to a deserved solo victory.

On the final climb, I started moving up from ticket collector. I was expecting an attack, I wanted to be able cover it. However, nobody attacked, most riders were struggling. So I attacked, I hit the top of the climb with Jordan, one of the states best under 15 riders. My usual kick over the top disappeared and Jordan went flying past. I paused for a few seconds, before realising Jordan with his restricted gearing was not going to get away and nobody was coming past. So I gave chase, hoping we left a few riders struggling up the climb. I caught Jordan on the downhill and then my legs gave up on the first corner about 800 metres from home. I could not hold on to the bunch as they went past. I lost the sprint for 10th place with an equally spent Jordan.

I was a little disappointed finishing just off the pack, but I will never ride a conservative race and have had success attacking on that crest. In hindsight I needed to attack a little later up the climb, to make sure I had enough of a kick to get away over the crest. Then once over the crest, give it everything without pausing.

The interesting reading was the lap times, my fastest three laps of Parklands were in today’s race and those three laps where faster than B grade fastest times. The B and C grade averages were almost identical and my power data was almost identical to the winner of B grade, except for the race winning 10 seconds at 1000 watt sprint (and my exertion up the climb the last time) That said I need to convince the handicapper I need to drop to D grade for a special race next week.

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