Ok so it has been a while since I posted my last update; like usual life gets in the way and less important things get pushed aside; new job, moving, baby on the way, etc… It all adds up! That said the riding is still happening with quite a few solid 12-13hour weeks since my last post and further focus on improving FTP, before shifting to “race prep” for the VES Rd 1 in late March and Wombat 100 in April. All the riding is obviously working as I can’t seem to find a hill I can’t beat my personal best time up buy quite a margin each time I give it some, in additional I picked up another Strava “KOM” – for someone that was never much of a climber, sprinter or anything else bar endurance rider that’s an achievement in itself.
Here’s what I’ve been up to:
GCC Crits Rd 5
Only my second crit race so I wasn’t expecting too much and would have been happy not to be blown off the back like last time! I struggled a little at the start but dropped back a bit hang off the back for a few laps and then got back into the mix; felt good the second time around. A solo break shot away from the bunch… Late in the race I found myself towards the front and pushing hard which resulted in myself being well off the front for a few laps, eventually the bunch caught me but were reluctant to take turns… End result was mid pack, again burnt my matches a little early.
GMBC Gazebo Rd2
The evening of the 31st say GMBC hold the second round of the Gazebo 3 x 3 series; the race occurred at the end of another very hot week fortunately the evening temperatures were nice and the race was set to be a cracker.
The 200 odd riders lined up at the start, myself in A Grade being the first bunch off… Once started the race set off at a furious pace which like last time caught me out a little, I hit the single track midpack which is where I would stay for the remainder of the race. My race was going reasonably well until I had a few problems with my light not wanting to work in high beam, combined with the dust being thrown up by riders in front made for a hairy few laps with minimal light. Like usual towards the end of the race I had timed my laps well and it would be touch and go as to whether or not I would get across the line in time to do an additional lap; I bumped up the pace a little and managed to gain a few positions approx. 3kms from the finish… Pushing hard, I noticed my light had started flashing, or warning me there was only 10mins of juice left… Sure enough I made it to the line with only 1 minute to go, but without enough light to complete another lap I had to call it quits; close to 30 seconds later the 3 A Graders I’d just passed rolled though, and completed another lap!!! FARK!
So the race didn’t go quite as planned, but there are a few lessons to be learned from it for the longer races coming up:
1) Food and drink strategy worked well, but time in the feed zone needs to be sped up.
2) Work on that hole shot, I spent more time behind people much slower than I would have liked to.
3) Pedal faster damn it!
GCC Crits Rd 6:
My third Crit on what was one of many, many HOT AS HELL days in a row; luckily this race was in the evening so it had cooled off a little – still I felt a little over dressed with the sun gaurds on the arms. The race got off to a fairly steady pace and took a while to find any kind of rhythm, early in the piece two riders took off from the front which left the bunch to work out the minor placing’s. This race I felt pretty good from the get go, towards the front for most of the race I worked hard to keep my position at about 3rd wheel in the bunch. Towards the end of the race the pace hotted up a little with myself and a few others pulling turns at the front… Once again with approx. 5 laps to go I found myself at the front of the bunch; I was working hard to create gap but just couldn’t get a break… I lead the bunch into the final turn, snap… I left my sprint a second late and was swamped.
Once again not un happy with the result at all, working hard will get the results I am after eventually! It was a great race unfortunately my game plan was a little off this time.
Looking forward to the next round of crits, and hanging out for some LONGER MTB races!