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The Race Reports Thread 2010

jibberjimjibberjim Posts: 2,810
edited October 2010 in Amateur race
Last year Toks started this with:

"Come on then lets make this a dedicated race report thread. It will be especially great to hear from Newbies and those that are starting to progress. I'm in my 3rd proper year of racing and I'm hoping to bag a win this year and rack up the points as a 2nd cat racer. Ok thats enough -here's last weekend report"

I think various things got in his way on that one, but I'll start it this year with:

Come on then lets make this a dedicated race report thread. It will be especially great to hear from Newbies and those that are starting to progress. I'm in my 2nd year of racing and I'm hoping to bag a point this year and rack up the finishes as a 3rd cat racer. Ok thats enough -here's yesterdays report:

Tom Hawkins Memorial Road Race 2/3/4 Aylesbeare.

So I was down in Devon for a party, and entered this race, a 2/3/4 race of 4 laps of a 12.5 mile circuit. Good well run race, not many faces from my normal south east racing, but surprisingly a few had made the trip.

I started in a poor position in the pack, and the race went hard from the start, even the neutralized section which was up the last 500m of the course which was pretty much a 6% hill had me working harder than I would've liked. The profile showed a few miles of rollers, 5 miles of downhill and then 5 miles of uphill, I'd not had time to ride any of the circuit so I didn't know what more to expect.

I settled in and moved up nearer the front through the rollers, feeling good and with reasonable legs at this point for some reason I decided to join an early attack, we got a small but gap and the 6 of us were just beginning to form into a working group when a lorry appeared between us and the lead car and slowed us down enough at roundabout to end the break there and then.

It was my first race of the year and I fell asleep a bit when everyone else obviously knew the desperate need to move up before the long hill. It was on narrow roads, with no further passing places and I was in the 2nd half of the field at the start of it. At the start of the steep bit - a short 10% introduction to a 1km at 6% - this as part of a 7km at a 3% average hill the bunch was still together with me about in the middle of 70-80 riders. By the top, Jules Birks was 30m clear winning the prime, and the rest of the bunch was all over the place. I turned to the next km at 2% watching a group of around 25 form in front of me 50m ahead of me too spent to sprint to get back on. Looking behind me showed just a couple of fading guys also looking rough, but no-one there to help me get back on.

Here's a picture of the pain a minute or so before this:
4451175914_cf5f49a6a3.jpg

I tried, I gave up, told myself not to be stupid, I can't get dropped after 30 minutes - my power file shows seesawing as I push again and then collapse, and push again. Still no-one behind to call through, I was convinced this split would last and I just pushed myself onto the back to make the lead 25, with a lot of pain.

Unfortunately despite the pace not dropping much, obviously there was enough strength behind as half way around the lap, another 20 joined on. The solo effort could've been ignored - if only I'd known.

Second time around up the hill, I was better placed at the bottom and held a top 10 place once the steep part and race for another prime started - again I fell off the group of 25 and had to fight back on, but not as bad as the first lap.

Not much action in terms of breaks, lots tried, but no-one was really getting away, the primes probably nullified it on the first two laps, but it still wasn't until the start of the 4th lap that a 4 man break got started. I'd actually been closer up the hill but still decided my only hope of any result was to join a break, as 25 people were faster than me up the hill every time, and I definitely had no more to give.

Unfortunately, after a good jump and getting half way across to the group of 4 just as they started, my left calf cramped, I'd had it earlier in a sprint out of a corner and whilst it didn't end my race, it did end my bridge attempt. The 4 established a reasonable gap, and on the one steep rise in the otherwise long downhill section Jules Birks and another rider disappeared down the road towards them. After some watching there were solid attacks throughout the remaining group of 20 and large gaps were opening, but it eventually game together with Jules still 20 seconds ahead, and the group of four 30seconds or so.

Our group now worked well to pull these two groups back, and halfway up the hill we were all together. The smaller group of around 28 people made it easy to move up, and I got to the short descent that prefaced the final steep mile nicely positioned in 7th place, right next to Jules. There our ways diverged, Jules sprinted up the hill to the win, I sprinted for 15seconds, realised I didn't actually have any sort of sprint, threw in the towel for a few seconds of soft pedalling and then rode just hard enough to get up the hill, even managed to pass a couple of people back who passed me during that "sprint" and the soft pedalling, but rolling in in 24th place in the end, only a few of the bunch behind me.

So at least I wasn't last in a race for the first time in 12 or so races, there were groups all over the road rolling in 10, 20 and more minutes down. But I took an absolute kicking, maybe the non-south east based people are right, a 2nd cat in the south west is worth a lot more than a 2nd cat in the south east. South East 2nd cats have never given me such a kicking, of course to prove that wrong, it was won by a south east based 3rd cat, just like me.

An enjoyable race though, much tougher circuit than any I've ridden in the south east and a good long 12 mile lap, well marshalled, little traffic, and only a couple of potholes throughout. I'd recommend it, but only if you want to suffer.
Jibbering Sports Stuff: http://jibbering.com/sports/
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Posts

  • softladsoftlad Posts: 3,587
    nicely-written piece Jim - well done on hanging in there.. ;)
  • ToksToks Posts: 1,143
    Jibberjim wrote:
    Last year Toks started this with: ...I think various things got in his way on that one, but I'll start it this year with:
    lol...yeah 2009 wasn't a great race season especially when my race bike was stolen in August. I'm not sure how much racing I'll do this year. We'll have to see

    Wow that was a tough race. Thanks for such a a thoroughly comprehensive write up Jim,,well done. Have you got any numbers for us?
  • jibberjimjibberjim Posts: 2,810
    Toks wrote:
    Have you got any numbers for us

    Of course... includes neutralized.
    Entire workout (253 watts):
    	Duration:  	2:05:58 (2:06:40)
    	Work:      	1911 kJ
    	TSS:       	193.6 (intensity factor 0.96)
    	Norm Power:	307
    	VI:        	1.22
    	Distance:  	81.507 km
    	Elevation Gain:    	1164 m
    	Elevation Loss:   	1140 m
    	Grade:     	0.0 %  (24 m)
    		Min	Max	Avg
    	Power:       	0	1266	253 	watts
    	Heart Rate:  	90	181	156 	bpm
    	Cadence:     	46	201	99 	rpm
    	Speed:       	7.2	72.5	38.8 	kph
    

    The 15minutes up the hill and back on at the end of the first lap was 322watt average, 360watt normalized, within that the 1:45 on the steepest part of the hill at 515watts.

    The 2nd lap, those 15minutes were 309 AP 343 NP with the 1:45 @ 487 (I managed to hold better speed on the descent into it)

    On the 3rd lap, the 15 minutes was 280 AP 321 NP, much lower mainly 'cos of an easy start to the hill, and much less getting on over the top required and the 1:45 hill was @ 452

    And the final 15minutes of the race - which includes the flat section where we were broken up and then chasing to get back the breaks where I joined the effort. were 307 AP, 327 NP and the final hill where I bailed on it was 2 minutes at 387.
    Jibbering Sports Stuff: http://jibbering.com/sports/
  • ToksToks Posts: 1,143
    Jibberjim wrote:
    I started in a poor position in the pack, and the race went hard from the start, even the neutralized section which was up the last 500m of the course which was pretty much a 6% hill had me working harder than I would've liked. The profile showed a few miles of rollers, 5 miles of downhill and then 5 miles of uphill, I'd not had time to ride any of the circuit so I didn't know what more to expect.

    It was my first race of the year and I fell asleep a bit when everyone else obviously knew the desperate need to move up before the long hill. It was on narrow roads, with no further passing places and I was in the 2nd half of the field at the start of it. At the start of the steep bit - a short 10% introduction to a 1km at 6% - this as part of a 7km at a 3% average hill the bunch was still together with me about in the middle of 70-80 riders. By the top, Jules Birks was 30m clear winning the prime, and the rest of the bunch was all over the place. I turned to the next km at 2% watching a group of around 25 form in front of me 50m ahead of me too spent to sprint to get back on. Looking behind me showed just a couple of fading guys also looking rough, but no-one there to help me get back on.

    It always takes me a few races to get back into the groove. It's really important to be in the front third of the bunch even during the neutralised section - burning matches to stay in touch before the race even starts is never good a good thing; and boy do you pay for those above FTP solo efforts. Cool ,thanks for sharing[
  • Tom ButcherTom Butcher Posts: 7,137
    Copied and pasted (slightly amended) the report I did for our club forum :
    LVRC Fleche Waltonne - 5.5 laps of a rolling 10 mile course with a steep hill each lap up to the finish.

    Nice easy run down to Husbands Bosworth - not far off the M1. Not having raced for 2 years there were a few nerves but they soon disappeared when the flag dropped - the riding seemed a lot more predictable than in most BC races I've done in the past with nobody making unpredictable moves you could worry about the racing rather than avoiding crashing.

    First lap there were a few attacks - nothing that stuck. Second lap clubmate Pete Turner and another rider got a good gap - maybe 70 yards - with one other rider trying to go across I thought I may as well have a go and bridged across to make three up front. 40 odd miles is a long way for three to stay out so it looked a bit better when two guys in Virgin Active kit came across from the bunch to join us. We had a good gap at this point but the Virgin guys were hammering it and come the climb Pete and I were shelled out. We decided to ride on and see if another group would come across but the only rider that did was our own Andy Eagers and as we'd already been shelled by one fast moving group I thought better of trying to join him. Andy bridged across to the front three - at some point they were joined by Phil Rayner - these 5 stayed clear for the race with Andy taking second.

    After that I took a lap and a bit just sitting near the back of the bunch recovering - if anything had gone away then so be it - there was some action but again nothing that stuck. 2 and a half laps to go Pete again had a little dig off the front - I was moving up the outside anyway so just continued with that and joined him along with a Solihull and a Lichfield rider. Come the steep hill with 2 to go Pete and I were again shelled (really must work on my climbing) but the two ahead sat up and waited for me - Pete was a little further back and probably paying for a 100k audax yesterday drifted back to the bunch and climbed off with a lap to go.

    The next lap was absolute murder - the Solihull rider was the strongest but we shared it pretty well and stayed out of sight of the bunch. Come the steep hill again at the bell and the Solihull rider went up it faster with me behind and the LIchfield rider futher back - I thought about waiting as three are better than two but as the Solihull rider was forging ahead I got my head down and chased him - by the time I caught him the Lichfield rider was too far back.

    So 2 of us rode on - I was suffering majorly now and with about 4 miles to go 3 riders came across. After a bit of discussion about sharing the work we settled down pretty well with one guy sitting on. The Solihull guy had a word with the rest of us to work him over which we duly did - to be fair the way he went out the back when we left him on the front and then attacked I think he was just out of gas rather than sandbagging. By the time we got to the last ascent of that ******** hill I was pretty much on my last legs and was more concerned with the guy behind possibly coming back than beating the other three. Finished 9th.

    Overall really enjoyed it - but boy it was hard work !

    it's a hard life if you don't weaken.
  • BronzieBronzie Posts: 4,927
    Finished 9th.
    Not too shabby for your first race in 2 years - nice one! 8)
  • Homer JHomer J Posts: 932
    JibberJim
    How was Goodwood? One of our club was not amused

    http://vcmeudon.blogspot.com/2010/03/goodwood-season-underway.html
  • jibberjimjibberjim Posts: 2,810
    Homer J wrote:
    JibberJim
    How was Goodwood? One of our club was not amused

    http://vcmeudon.blogspot.com/2010/03/goodwood-season-underway.html

    I was similarly unimpressed, it was probably the last non-handicap circuit race I'll do for some time, such a negative race, and essentially nullified as a race by the endless collision with E/1/2 race and their instance on doing nothing other than when we pulled past where they then attacked.

    I only rode it as I was there for the LWCR and after a visit and ride with Brighton Mitre the night before so it wasn't quite such a trek down there, I doubt I'll be back this year. Didn't bother with a report as there was so little to report.
    Jibbering Sports Stuff: http://jibbering.com/sports/
  • marykamaryka Posts: 748
    Homer J wrote:
    JibberJim
    How was Goodwood? One of our club was not amused

    http://vcmeudon.blogspot.com/2010/03/goodwood-season-underway.html
    :lol: Funny write-up, that. Here's my take on the race, not as funny but just as unamused.

    The E/1/2s were set off a minute or so ahead of the 3rds and the 100-strong 3rds bunch caught them pretty easily. Then they and we see-sawed back and forth for a while with attacks going here and there from both groups -- funnily enough whenever one race managed to catch the other :roll:.

    Finally the E/1/2s all spun off and shortly after that (right after I had moved up the bunch in a well-timed and well-positioned effort on the outside :D) we were strung out through the chicane and our bunch split in 2 with the gap growing to ~20 seconds. The pace was pretty quick so I figured something like that had happened and was kind of excited that I was on the right side of the split.

    But half a lap later we caught the E/1/2s again and the commissaire stopped us and made us regroup and wait -- no way to know who was in what bunch in our race so no gap was given, though he was diligent about timing the E/1/2s who were off the back of their race. We set off a few min later and after that it was just a countdown to the bunch sprint. To be honest, I neither knew nor cared that 2 guys got off the front, I was pretty annoyed by that time and swearing up and down in my head that this was positively the last time I ever do Goodwood!

    My big highlight of the race came with about 2 laps to go when I was coming around the outside bend just before the chicane and a guy about 2 wheels in front of me overcooked it and swerved violently, causing the guy in front of me to jump a bit. I reacted by widening my turn straight onto the grass (in hindsight probably unnecessary but I was riding the edge of overcooking that corner myself so a bail-out seemed the best thing at the time). I did some cyclocross for 50 yards, glanced over my shoulder, then without hesitation jumped on the very back of the bunch as they came past. Thought for sure I'd have some work to do not to get dropped, but to my surprise I moved up quite easily again. The best part of that race was realising that I handled all the surges and accelerations easily and had no problem moving up the bunch when I needed to. Part of that was the sheer number of riders, but I'm also quite a bit fitter than I was this time last year! Hope that transfers over to some good results in the women's road races coming up soon. :D

    As as aside, I realise that being a commissaire is a thankless task, but having just the single car for both races created some dangerous conditions at times, as he drove around and through the bunch to try to break up the two races several times before finally stopping it. To be fair, the riders in both races weren't helping things with the way they attacked, rode left or right depending on the wind, etc., but why the commissaire waited for half the race to be over before stopping us was a mystery.
  • ToksToks Posts: 1,143
    Nice write up Maryka. Have you given up blogging now?
  • Tom ButcherTom Butcher Posts: 7,137
    That was a great report on what sounds like an awful race - emergency chase services - couldn't help laughing.

    it's a hard life if you don't weaken.
  • Damien_KWDamien_KW Posts: 47
    I rode the Peter Young Memorial RR on Sunday. I'm not sure who won - I think he was changed, showered and half-way through his massage before I crossed the line.

    However, I've collated all my statistical data from the race, and produced a race report through the medium of charts and graphs (sort of) which I have posted on my blog:

    http://inthesaddleblog.wordpress.com/2010/03/30/peter-young-memorial-road-race-a-story-in-graphs/

    Hope you enjoy it more than I enjoyed actually riding the race.
    IN THE SADDLE
    "Locals are watching from pavement cafés. Non-racers. The emptiness of those lives shocks me." Tim Krabbé, The Rider
  • ToksToks Posts: 1,143
    Damien_KW wrote:
    I
    However, I've collated all my statistical data from the race, and produced a race report through the medium of charts and graphs (sort of) which I have posted on my blog:

    http://inthesaddleblog.wordpress.com/2010/03/30/peter-young-memorial-road-race-a-story-in-graphs/

    Hope you enjoy it more than I enjoyed actually riding the race.
    What a refeshingly creative blog. 8) I'll definitley be check it out. I hope you can keep it up. As I know all too well, writing a blog can be just like 'training' sometimes you really can't be bothered and eventually you give up :cry:
  • jibberjimjibberjim Posts: 2,810
    Milland Hill 3rds race today, started off sat my usual position of basically on the front, in fact led the bunch for a lot of the first lap "chasing" 2 guys who got away early, but doing it at such an easy pace that I was still getting a bit bored - I need to learn that cruising around in the bunch at an easy pace is a good thing to do in a race, not a bad! Finally a few guys attacked so there were now 5 people down the road in a couple of groups and I decided to bridge up to them - my highest 5,10,30 second power of the race, and 90 seconds at 480watts a silly waste of effort. As as soon as they were on the start of the climb, even the gentle foothill before the 25% monster they completely eased up - 15minutes into the race this was silly anyway...

    It gave me excellent position for the hill and I comfortably spun up it at the front, 34x25 is a good gear, and I figured the hill wasn't going to be that big a deal for me all race.

    Lap 3, Again sitting at the front at the base of the Hill, but this time Damien (Damien_KW), a teammate and fellow forumite took off up it like a rocket. He quickly established a gap, whilst I led the bunch through the finish and around up the hill slumped over the handlebars pretending to be working my censored off, hoping a couple of guys would bridge up to Damien, eventually a couple went and then I settled in to blocking, hopefully for the rest of the race.

    Pretty quiet in the bunch for a couple of laps then, a few people worked hard to get away on the flatter parts at various times, but I always closed them down, hoping either for the free tow to Damien, or they'd give up. They always gave up. A dynamo eventually went on the hill, and I couldn't cover it at all, a very good attack with just 2 laps to go.

    On the last lap I was pretty sure Damien and his group would stay away, but still just covered attacks never joining the work. With 7km to go Tom Bell (tomb8555) of Twickenham, went and I just followed only to look back and discover we had 10seconds at least. We caught a Lewes guy who had been dangling and were 3 nicely away. I was feeling pretty good, and with Damien still out of sight pretty sure I was free to work without towing people up to him.

    On the last corner, with maybe 20seconds on the bunch, Tom managed to slide off whilst leading us around, I just made it between him and his bike as he came unclipped with nothing more than a dead leg as his foot caught me as I squeezed through. Unfortunately the Lewes guy tried to go inside him and managed to just collide with Toms head, coming down too. Both riders were up and about and not looking too bad at the finish, so I think they're okay at least!

    With my leg having a dull ache, or maybe just because I'm a wimp, I couldn't stay away solo and the bunch caught me half way up the hill and lots just cruised past, me only managing to hold for 17th place or so. Fortunately it was still a great day out with Damien staying away, and me staying upright!

    Power details, including neutralized
    Duration:  	2:18:30
    TSS:       	205.3 (intensity factor 0.943)
    Norm Power:	302
    VI:        	1.23
    Distance:  	82.208 km
    Elevation Gain:    	1327 m
    					Min	Max	Avg
    Power:       	0	 1217	245 	watts
    Heart Rate:  	117	179	156 	bpm
    

    Tomorrow cutmill, and another good day out hopefully!
    Jibbering Sports Stuff: http://jibbering.com/sports/
  • tomb8555tomb8555 Posts: 229
    :oops: :oops: :oops:
  • jibberjimjibberjim Posts: 2,810
    tomb8555 wrote:
    :oops: :oops: :oops:

    You were going very strong until then!, you'd opened the gap to the bunch easily all by yourself - I was enjoying my free ride! I should've done better. Hope you're good to ride tomorrow!
    Jibbering Sports Stuff: http://jibbering.com/sports/
  • ToksToks Posts: 1,143
    Great stuff Jim, getting the report on evening after the race is much appreciated. Initially I was worried you'd turned yourself into the "bunch engine" but it was clearly a good team strategy. Given your current FTP (320watt) the numbers indicate a good solid alround effort. I look forward to your Milland report this eve :wink:
  • jibberjimjibberjim Posts: 2,810
    Cutmill 3rds race.

    Despite not feeling I worked that hard yesterday, I felt pretty rough today, not really going well at all. Not much happened in the early part, 4 guys slipped away right from the start but everyone let them go...

    I did very little, in fact I sat at the back much more than normal, but not much really happened in the bunch, the occasional attack, a couple from teammates but nothing really impressive.

    With 3 and a bit laps to go, 35km, I decided that whilst I wasn't feeling good I might aswell give it a go, a quick burst to the front, got a gap, 5 seconds not pedalling as I thought WTF am I doing, but then I committed, quickly passed the car and hammered it up the hill and down the descent to The Sands, and over the lumpy bit. Coming through the marshals at the next bend they gave me a time check of 2 minutes. This deflated me totally, as I'd already got a minute or so on the bunch, it turned out the gap to the four ahead was 3 minutes, not the 1 minute that I had in my head when I attacked.

    Nothing else to do but keep working though, through 1 lap, someone shouted 1:25 to the bunch, which was nice, but pointless as I desperately needed someone to ride with, I couldn't sustain the pace I was doing alone for much longer. Coming out of The Sands the 2nd time the NEG guy I had for company told me a guy who'd fallen off the break had just crested the hill - so maybe 30 seconds. I was really beginning to suffer but with this extra incentive I gave my last. This was also the time I had the last of my food, with still at least 30 minutes to race, I was basically stuffed, and I knew it.

    Worked for the rest of the lap, saw the guy ahead occasionally, but I never really got close. Turning the corner up the hill, I basically collapsed, bonked, nothing left to take me up the hill, and as we came across the finish line the bunch passed me, I could do nothing and just carried on pedalling slowly for a last solo lap.

    No idea where I came, no idea what happened ahead, but I made it to the finish, pretty broken. I gave it a shot, maybe if I'd known it was 3 minutes and not 1 minute, I would've gone later...

    Power including neutralized:
    Duration:  	2:27:32
    	TSS:       	182.6 (intensity factor 0.862)
    	Norm Power:	276
    	VI:        	1.2
    	Distance:  	82.428 km
    	Elevation Gain:    	1346 m
    						Min	Max	Avg
    	Power:       	0	 1009	230 	watts
    	Heart Rate:  	94	175	 150 	bpm
    

    Not very good numbers, but partially due to the very poor last lap where I was pedalling squares bonked, but it hadn't been that tough up until then. The 45 minutes I was away solo was only 280watts NP 300 though, so it should've been achievable, but it really wasn't the day for me.
    Jibbering Sports Stuff: http://jibbering.com/sports/
  • ToksToks Posts: 1,143
    Nice one, thanks for reporting. Sounds like a an emergency energy gel or two wouldn't go a miss :(
  • jibberjimjibberjim Posts: 2,810
    Toks wrote:
    Nice one, thanks for reporting. Sounds like a an emergency energy gel or two wouldn't go a miss :(

    I carried my gel flask - 600 calories on saturday, but mostly due to the massive numbers we had today I didn't stick it in my pocket 'cos I'm not sure I could've got it out without ripping the numbers off. tbh, it wouldn't've mattered as I had no water left, drank a suprising amount today - both big bottles.

    Not sure why.
    Jibbering Sports Stuff: http://jibbering.com/sports/
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,692
    Hmm. This just shows me I've got a hell of a long way to go before I can do anything in a Cat 4 race!

    Good write ups there people, keep them coming...
  • jibberjimjibberjim Posts: 2,810
    NapoleonD wrote:
    Hmm. This just shows me I've got a hell of a long way to go before I can do anything in a Cat 4 race!

    Don't think too much about the watts I do - I'm very un-aerodynamic and I like to waste energy, so people are getting a lot better results with less effort.
    Jibbering Sports Stuff: http://jibbering.com/sports/
  • jibberjimjibberjim Posts: 2,810
    Actually my watts there are somewhat suspect, both HR and aerolab from when I was away solo suggest I was doing quite a bit more than that, so I fear the zeroing on my PT was off and I was actually doing a bit more than suggested... Gives more evidence on why I so completely blew up.
    Jibbering Sports Stuff: http://jibbering.com/sports/
  • Did the 4th Cat race at Hog Hill today: one hour plus three laps. It was very windy which made for difficult racing. The 3rd cat race was on before our one and I think CC Hackney filled the first three places: One of them, a teenager called Alex Peters who's allowed to ride Senior races, then did our race as well straigt after. He won it. One to watch for the future.

    I told myself beforehand to make an effort to stay further up the bunch. I've paid the price a few times recently for hanging on at or near the back: I usually take comfort from having a few riders behind me, but I've finally worked out that if they're behind me they're probably going to get dropped. Also, if you stick on the wheel of someone at the back and then they get dropped, you've suddenly got a gap to jump across to get back on.

    Anyway, my plan didn't work too well. In a field of 31, I managed to stay in the top 5 for about half a lap, and then effortlessly started to sink back through the field. After a lap and a half I realised I was at the back, so I forced my way up on the right hand side and got back to the front. Within a lap I had sunk towards the back again and the people behind me were starting to get dropped.

    On either the fourth lap or the fifth lap I started to lose contact. I desperately chased down a rider from Dulwich Paragon, but by the time I'd got on his wheel a gap had opened in front of him of about 20-30 metres to the bunch. I said 'come on!' to him and came past as we started the climb, thinking we could chase back on together, but he got left behind. I then spent about four minutes riding as hard as I could to try and get back, but the bunch stayed a tantalising 5 or 6 seconds out of reach. The problem was there were some headwind stretches that were an absolute nightmare on my own. Finally the elastic snapped and the bunch started to pull away from me.

    After the race I overheard someone say that the pace was higher in the 4th cat race than the 3rd cat, but I looked at my computer just after I got dropped and my average speed was 21.6mph, which doesn't sound that fast. I wasn't really sure what to do now: I'd been going less than 20 minutes, so there was still another 50 minutes or so to go and I didn't really fancy doing that on my own. I kept the bunch in sight for a bit, knowing I couldn't catch them, but hoping someone else would get dropped, but nobody did. I could see there were six riders behind me, including the Dulwich bloke maybe 30 seconds back and a group of three about a minute back. I sat up and took it easy for a while and waited for the Dulwich rider to catch me, then we worked together for the rest of the race.

    The bunch came round and lapped us at about 46 minutes. The bunch was still about 20 strong at this point. We could easily have sat in, but the commissaire had said that wasn't allowed before we started, so we had to let them ride off. Then we picked up another rider, a guy from Colchester Rovers, and worked as a three. Meanwhile someone had put the hammer down at the front of the race and the bunch had fragmented into several groups. The leading group of maybe 6 riders caught and passed us again with about a lap to go, which I was grateful for because it meant we had one less lap to do and I was spent by this point. I got dropped by my two companions on the final lap, but finally fought my way back to them by the hill. At this point the second group on the road (maybe 5 riders) came along as well so it got a bit confusing. I had almost nothing left, but tried to attack to get that vitally important 25th place. I came past the Dulwich rider, but I'd gone too soon on the climb and he came back past me before the line.

    Not a great race for me, really: about 15-20 minutes of racing and 50-odd minutes of hard training. I'm a bit concerned that I seem to be getting worse as the season goes on: a couple of months ago I only got dropped by the leaders with about two laps to go and finished within a minute of them, but now I'm getting dropped quite early on and lapped.
  • jibberjimjibberjim Posts: 2,810
    Not a great race for me, really: about 15-20 minutes of racing and 50-odd minutes of hard training. I'm a bit concerned that I seem to be getting worse as the season goes on: a couple of months ago I only got dropped by the leaders with about two laps to go and finished within a minute of them, but now I'm getting dropped quite early on and lapped.

    Thanks for the report!

    The 4th cats destined for great things are now out and racing hard, making the races very tough, I doubt you've lost fitness, just the warmer weather's started attracting new strong riders who'll soon leave the 4th cats.

    Hog hill is a very tough course to race on, can you get to any flatter courses? Be a good opportunity for you to spend more time practicing your bunch skills - they also tend to attract larger fields than Hog Hill.
    Jibbering Sports Stuff: http://jibbering.com/sports/
  • marykamaryka Posts: 748
    Not a great race for me, really: about 15-20 minutes of racing and 50-odd minutes of hard training. I'm a bit concerned that I seem to be getting worse as the season goes on: a couple of months ago I only got dropped by the leaders with about two laps to go and finished within a minute of them, but now I'm getting dropped quite early on and lapped.
    Hog Hill is a very selective circuit! It's fast, technical, windy, twisty and hilly all at once, so don't beat yourself up for losing the bunch there. Some races are just like that. If you're improving in your training otherwise, then just keep doing what you're doing, and approaching each race as a new opportunity to improve and learn. Now that you've been there a bit, you should recognise some of the stronger wheels, so you can try to stay near them to limit your chances of getting gapped by a weaker rider in front of you.

    Regarding staying near the front of the bunch -- welcome to my world! When I race with men, it's a constant effort (mental as well as physical) to be always working on moving up because the more time I spend near the back, the more likely I'll get gapped or dropped. So yep, it's a whole lot of work and never gets any easier unless you're way fitter than everyone else and by that time you'll be moving up to the next category. :lol:

    You will improve if you keep doing it, but for more confidence and practice in the bunch you might want to try Hillingdon on Tuesday nights instead. Just be aware that more time in the bunch + bigger bunch = greater crash risk, and nowhere is this more apparent than Hillingdon! So just be careful to ride well and stay away from those who don't. Otherwise there are some other circuits that might suit you more, like Goodwood (this coming weekend, a 4ths only race, flat and wide and a great circuit to work on bunch skills and sprints.
  • Cheers. I wouldn't mind trying a flatter course some time.
  • ToksToks Posts: 1,143
    Hey Gattacattivo, sorry things didn't quite work out but hey that was a great report. There's been good feedback from Maryka and Jim so I haven't got too much to add. Keep training, its still early days - you'll be back :D
  • A couple of photos courtesy of the London Cyclesport website:
    Me sitting in that much sought after spot near the back of the bunch early on -
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/londoncycl ... 2/sizes/o/
    And then suffering up the climb fifteen minutes later an agonising 6 seconds behind the bunch -
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/londoncycl ... 1/sizes/o/
  • tomb8555tomb8555 Posts: 229
    Just a very quick update:

    After having an awful weekend where I crashed out on the last lap of both Surrey League road races, I had sworn I wasn't racing for a while - until a) I'd stopped feeling like an idiot and b) because if I managed to crash for a 3rd time in a row then I wouldn't know what to think of myself!

    So, having said all that on the Sunday, I get a call from a fellow TCC member last night and it didn't take much convincing to drag me to Hillingdon this evening for a little E123 race...

    I'll keep it quite short and sweet:
    A reasonable field, maybe 40 riders max lined up. From the start the pace was fairly high, I guess as there was a high probability it'd get dark before 1hr was up and the race would be shortened plenty of people were willing to give it the gas. Fairly early on Tony Gibb (Silver @ Track World Champs) and another guy disappeared somewhere into the distance never to be seen again.

    About halfway through a couple of people attacked and were allowed to get a gap so I bridged across and worked with them for a couple of laps until we were caught, and then chilled out for a bit at the back of the bunch to recover. About 35mins in the 3 laps to go board came up, so I started working my way back to the front. I guess it's an indication of the pace (and the headwind down the back straight) that it was much much harder to move up the pack than it had been in the Winter Series E123 a few months previously.

    I got myself into a good position somewhere in the top 10 with a lap to go, with the plan to take the final bend fairly wide so I wouldn't get boxed in and kick from there (it worked before once and I'm still a bit new to bunch sprints and usually manage to get myself boxed in somewhere - not an excuse, totally my fault!).. Unfortunately I was hit with a case of my personal Hillingdon curse, which is see a couple of guys attack early on the back straight on the final lap and think 'Hey, that looks quite appealing' and join them. Only to get caught on the final bend having already used up my sprint with the bunch flying past. I think I've done this in the last 3 races I took part in at Hillingdon - maybe I'll learn for next time.

    Think I came in mid-pack somewhere, although this race served its main purpose which was a confidence boost after a pretty demoralising weekend.

    Race time: Somewhere between 40-45mins
    Avg Speed: 41kph including warm-down lap

    Tom
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