Sunday, 5:00 am: Out of bed after a 5 or 6 hour sleep. Breakfast, pack the car and out of the driveway at 5:40.
Drive to Eumandi (Sunshine Coast), for the Interclub Race, takes just over an hour.
Warm up ride with Sandra, Daniel and Mark was fun. Such a nice thing, riding with my partner and friends in such a beautiful place. We were meant to ride the 19 km loop and check the hills but didn't quite make it, as we were running out of time.
The 19 km circuit
Signed up, changed wheels, pinned number and was time to line up. A few new faces plus Mick, Adam, Adrian, Warren, Mick and Richard, whom I just met. I tried to have a chat about a race plan but it was too late: on our way at 8:40.
The Sunshine Coast team was very organised and looked great in their red outfit. They had the numbers to send riders up the road often. We, HPRW, had the legs to chase and control the race when needed. A few of us had a go at some stage but the guys in red were also well drilled on chasing and getting us back.
Mick, Richard and I for HPRW
After the second lap, half way mark, I decided to rest and save for a big hit on the last hill, 5 km before the finish. With me, at the back of the bunch, there were three Sunshine Coast CC guys and Mick, slightly out of form due to sickness but still keen ready for a big jump. As we approached the hill, they started moving up the bunch but I couldn't follow.
That's when I started cramping, from my right foot, up and around my calf muscle, my quads and groin. I managed to unclip and as I tried to stretch, the pain got really bad. The worst cramp I have ever experienced, it hurt like hell. I felt like crying. I have had issues with cramps before but it hasn't been a problem for over a year now. Might have to get back on the magnesium supplements again.
I managed to keep going and was able to get back as the bunch slowed down on the last incline. But it did hurt... I moved up slowly and noticed that one of the guys who was at the back had taken off and got a 50 m gap. I ended up behind two of the guys in red, whom looked happy to keep a slow pace as the guy ahead was also from their club, even though he had an orange jersey on.
Third wheel, 500 m to go. Nice spot if there wasn't a rider up the road so I started my looooong sprint. I didn't have much of a choice, I had to get to the guy in front and was just hoping that one of our riders could find his way to my wheel.
I caught the escapee but as it happened, the guys in red started overtaking me. They were everywhere. From behind them and travelling at full speed, came Richard who took the sprint and saved the day by a couple of bikes. Very nicely done!
"Guys in Red" everywhere but
Richard too fast
At the end of the day, it was great to race with a good bunch of people and at such a fantastic location.
More photographs: http://maxhr.zenfolio.com/p516241422/ and
Race time:2:03; Distance:75.2 km; Average speed:36.5 km/h; Max speed:70 km/h;Av.HR:153 bpm and MaxHR: 190 bpm.