Monday, May 26, 2008

Criterium Championship / Avanti Classic Handicap Race and the Giro

The weekend is over, two more races under the belt and one OK result.

Club Criterium Championship

On Saturday, Sandra and I rode from home to Nundah where the club crit was held. It is only a 10 min ride and I still managed to get abused by a ute (pickup truck) driver. At 8:00 am, not the way anyone wishes to start a ride...

As we arrived, the club Elite A guys were fighting for the medal, a good race to watch. My race started at 9 something, a couple of minutes before Sandra's race and a couple of minutes again, before Elite B. So, with that timetable, I expected a bit of confusion on the track. Good in one way, the numbers were down for the club championship races. There were 8 Masters riders in my race and 2 in Sandra's event. Nevertheless, all keen to grab a few championship points.

As the course is flat with a long straight finish, the heavy sprinters were there and were certainly the guys to beat. I planned to take advantage of the cross wind and do a solo attack in the last 5 min of the race. All I had to do till then was cover the attacks, make sure I was in the break if there was one and conserve energy for the end. Simple. And I did that very well this time.


Around the 25 min mark, a break with three guys went. The five left behind, including me, talked and kept working well together for a few laps just maintaining a safe distance. Then, an attack within my group. I reacted quickly but couldn't get his wheel. The race was on to bridge across and we managed almost at the same time. My HR are at 187 bpm (96+%).

Unfortunately, the club officials made a mistake and we were given the "2 Laps" to go sign at 48 min, not at 60 min as it was announced in the brief. Small mistake, yeah, right! So, no time left for the group of six riders now. Nobody did anything until the the bell, when my friend Aaron took off dragging one of the sprinters. I was third wheel but decided to wait. On my wheel, two other sprinters and the sixth rider.

We went around the "S"s at the same speed, just 15 or 20 m behind. Not a big gap. Someone decided to chase on the last bend and I jumped on his wheel. I was feeling confident but forgot I was dragging the sprinters on my wheel. We caught the two and with 200 m to go they came flying. There was a bit of a squeeze but I managed to go around the three in front and get away for a third .


and Max Speed:56Km/h

All results:HPRW Club Criterium Championships

Best thing, lots left for the next race.


2008 Avanti Classic Handicap Race, and lots of pain

Now, that was a race. A fast, exciting and very painful event for everyone. I guess, that is what a handicap race is, specially an 80 km sort. Some interesting reports by Sandra and Daniel White, worth a read for a different perspective.

I was placed at 23 min with another 20 guys, with the Scratch group at 31 min. Most of us were Master A riders, category I will be racing most of the Open events this year.

For me, this was more of a test not a race which I thought I could win. Also, being a handicap race with 250 riders, chances are someone unknown could take the purse just for being given an incorrect start.

Our group started very hard, sign that it would be no easy ride. I cover the first few kms with my HR around 95%. Like a long, long sprint. We did settled a bit as we got organised and doing turns. The speed was high, average kept above 42.5 km/h... which is not bad for a bunch of old farts!!! At that pace, it didn't take long for riders to start missing turns and even get spat off the back. Still, there were about six of us pushing as hard as we could. We overtook a few solo riders but didn't see any groups until the sixty or so kms mark.

One feature I remember of the course in Lowood, SW of Brisbane is the Wivenhoe dam wall, which Sandra had described as a beautiful place. Basically, you crest one of the inclines ( I wouldn't call them climbs) and as you look down you see the wall. Really nice view and fast...That was where we got caught by the "27 min" and "chopping block" groups.

It was a large group but I am not sure how many because I pushed my way in really quickly as I didn't want to get stuck at the back of it. With that move I ended up taking many turns at the front, sometimes just making it as the group was flying. Good that I could keep up with them and momentarily drop most of the guys from my group.

On the down side, I didn't measure my efforts and didn't drink or eat for quite a few kms. The result: I cramped. All I remember was passing a few riders that I could recognise, riding on this beautiful tree-lined road and thinking I should slow down to take a drink and try to see where the other Masters riders were. That was it, at that point my two legs gave up and locked up as I tryed to stretch them. Probably an interesting sight for the riders behind as I was stuck on that position and could hardly turn the cranks to change gears and get out of the way.

I ended up on the side of the road trying a few stretches and watching riders going pass. I saw Sandra coming and close behind the "scratch" bunch. They didn't look as they were going too fast so I screamed to Sandra not to stop and try to jump on. I managed to get going again and after spinning for a while I even got back on the big chainring.

Through the township and into the straight, I overtook a few riders and saw the huge crowd on the side of the road. The best thing being, I caught up with Sandra again and finished the race with her on my wheel, just like we finished our rides so many times in the past. And only 3 min behind the top guys in my group.

Distance: 80+ km; Time:01:55:xx; Av.Speed:42+km/h; MaxSpeed:64.5 km/k and AvHR:161bpm

The Giro goes on

A few stages gone by and the rider to be remembered is: SELLA. Again, a star on the making on my old 2004 Giro dvd doing it again, and again!


Whitey said...

Well worth waiting for! I saw you cramping when I passed you and it looked so painful!

The Club Champs were good to watch, congrats on third! You'll win the road race and the ITT then we can all (You, me and Sandra) be in the Club Champions Jersey for a year ;-)

Chris said...

Good race reports. 3rd is a great result.

Cramping is a tough thing. Once it happens there is nothing that you can really do except deal with it. In a race, that usually means giving up a chance for a good result.

Why does the Australian racing season happen in your winter? Or is it just racing season in northern part of the country?

AMRcyclist said...

Thanks Chris,
I think, they decided to run most of the road races in winter because they found summer to be too hot, in Queensland that is. In the Southern states, they have the major races in summer (Jayco Tour, Tour Down Under, World Cup races, etc).
Historically, summer has been the season for track carnivals and criterium races. Having said that, the so called road racing season is getting longer and longer and crits are now raced all year around.

Looking forward to read on the crit in San Antonio.


PS. Young Tony has sprinter's legs already...

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