Squadra di Vecchi Tori

Race Night by kiwicyclist
December 9, 2010, 2:03 pm
Filed under: Rides

As you will have seen from the blog over the past few months Marcus and I are pretty keen on our racing. 

In my case I try and race on a Tuesday night on the boards and, when I can get away from work in time during the summer, on Thursday nights at Sandown Raceway (a motor racing circuit) in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne, or occasionally Wednesday nights off Yarra Boulevard for  Hawthorn Cycling Club’s painfest (the circuit has a hill sprint leading up to the start/finish line and while I may Climb Well for My Weight I’m certainly no Pantani (despite sharing similar hairstyles)).

Mid-week racing has been pretty patchy over the past few weeks – our weather has, as local readers will know, been frankly shithouse for racing – ‘biblical’ has been used to describe some of the downpours we have had recently – and the Southern Vets club that runs the Thursday night racing had to cancel a number of race nights due to rain and storm risks and then in November the circuit was being used for a few weeks for  – strangely enough – its intended purpose of car racing.

Tonight (Thursday) looks like the weather will finally hold – I certainly hope so as I’m anxious to see if I can go ok as I’m supposedly ‘knocking at the door’ as my coach described it, of elevation to the next grade. 

Both Marcus and I have been training for crit racing over the past 2 months to separate programs devised by Rob Crowe – my program suggests I am meant to be ‘peaking’ in the next fortnight which is pretty frustrating when you can’t actually race due to inclement weather – peaking to win the ‘commuter cup’ or for training just doesn’t cut it.  So, good weather permitting tonight and with any luck I’ll have a proper report to come in the next few days. 

However we had an interesting race when we last went out a few weeks ago and for those who haven’t ever tried it before, I’ve set out below a slightly edited version of my post race report to coach. 

“Rob, Marcus mentioned that he sent you a short text with our results from Sandown last night.  You would have liked the way the race played out – I sat in the bunch maintaining position at about 5th -10th wheel keeping out of the traffic until about 20mins to go.
One rider got a break of about 250 metres for 2 laps and I noticed that each time we came around the far turn into the back straight the bunch would sit up with no-one concentrating – I waited for a lap until we reached the start of the hill and attacked hard out of the bunch from about 12th wheel on the far right hand side up the gutter (we were riding into the strong northerly sitting on the left hand side).  
I managed to bridge to the other guy in half a lap (redlined to get to him and then rode tempo at about 85-90% to settle down the heartrate – my max is theoretically 178 but I was sitting on 170 quite a lot of the race and felt fairly comfortable at that level) and together we kept the bunch away for about 2 or so laps until they bridged up to us.  
Leading into the penultimate lap I was sitting on the front coming down the finish straight and managed to move off the front with one other guy – by the time we turned into the back straight we had worked up a reasonable 150 metre gap and started to work together.  
My companion cracked on the final lap  as we hammered up the hill and sat in behind my wheel coming into the chicanes but then dropped off  as I rolled into the final turn.  I hit full gas into the straight for the sprint sitting hard on the left in the gutter – two other guys (sprinters) came across on the left over the top of me with about 150m to go and I jumped across to try and grab a wheel as they went past – couldn’t get on quickly enough and so I contested with
another guy coming up hard to take 3rd by about a half bike length.
I owe Marcus  a beer as he helped slowing down the chase on the final lap by jumping on the front of the bunch as they came up the final ascent of the hill. 
I was absolutely buzzing as its been my most productive (and enjoyable) race thus far – I REALLY like getting in breakaways  (when they work at least) – I reckon we would have been close to taking first and second if my companion in the break could have held on for a few hundred metres more – he deserved it for the work he’d put in.”

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