Monday, June 16, 2008

Jon Brooks Memorial race report - Masters A

We were told it was going to be tough. Well it was!
XXX
My day started at 3:50 am, ten min before the alarm went off. It was just a matter of having breakfast (including a double shot latte), loading the car, last minute checks and off to Daniel's, a 5 min drive from our place. He was ready before the arranged time, which shows how excited he, also, was about this race.
XXX
Plan number one was to beat the ETA given by his phone navigation software. I always do! It was a long drive and the temperature was around 10 C. We were discussing how cold it was going to be at
Mt Tyson as the town isn't just inland but it is situated on Queensland's Darling Downs at around 500m.
XX
We arrived fairly early and witnessed the setting up process with road barricades, sponsor's tents, team cars and food stalls along the town's main street. A very well organised event, in a very small rural Australian town. I must congratulate the Toowoomba Cycling Club for their work and the town folks for their support also.
XXX
Altough I had more than a hour before my race, I still didn't get a good warm up. I guessed I would have plenty of time in the beginning of the 100 km race. The cold also made the getting ready procedures very slow. The expected max. was 15 C.
XXX
We were off on time, a group of 17 riders including 2 Elite women. Well, my guess wasn’t accurate, the attacks started at km 5 with the Ipswich “boys” showing they weren’t there to have a leisure time or to let anyone have an easy ride. Again, there were 4 or 5 of us covering the attacks and at some stage or another trying to get away from the bunch ourselves. It settled a little at the 25 km mark but it was clear the major move was about to happen.
XXX
At the start of the 3rd lap, 60 km into the race and on the back roads with a light head wind it did happen. Two of them first, then the third one which I tried to follow but couldn't get to his wheel… just there, about 5m in front of me. How frustrating! That was my ultimate mistake for the day. I chose to wait for someone else in the bunch to try to bridge straight away but it did not happen… THEY GOT AWAY!!!!
XXX
A chase group was formed with 5 riders. In the group, one of the riders just sat at the back as he belonged to the Ipswich club as well, a second rider (from my club) decided to do the same. I am sure he had his reasons (?!?!). So, it was up to the three of us to bridge the gap which had become 1'20" in just 10 or 15 km. They were driving it.
XXX
We went through the town for the bell and start of the last 25 km of pain with a 1' gap. The wind had picked up a little at the back and the roads started to feel steeper, not a good sign. I was really getting tired and was finding hard to go pass the front rider to take my turn. I decided to miss a few turns and start saving my legs to be able to stay with the group for the finish. Shame as we had gained 20" and could probably get a little closer.
XXX
In our group, Glenn Fordham was doing most of the work, on the last lap he did close to 45%. I was managing 30% and the third rider, Tony Wood, was struggling as well doing around 25%. My plans changed then, I wanted Glenn or Tony to get 4th but I wasn't going to let the other two have it. With that in mind, I forced the two to go pass me as we turned into Oakey Pittsworth Road with about 8 km to go, including the two climbs. I helped by pulling the group over the second last climb and moved to the back for the next one and for the fast 5 km descent to the town. We were doing 70 km/h and I was really spinning the 53x12 combo. I went around the last corner first but slowed down to position myself for the 1,000 m to the line.
XXX
In my head, I was wondering if there was going to be a sprint or not. I sat there, 5th wheel, literally looking at the cluster on this guy's bike and waiting for him to change gears. Close to the 150 m mark, he started moving up, changed down and started his gallop. Well, I wanted to beat him and this was my last chance. I dropped a couple (53x13) and followed him. At 50, I was passing him on the right and felt that I was spinning out of gear. All too quick. I couldn't see the line and had no time to change to the 12. All I remember is getting off the saddle, feeling out of control, sitting down again, feeling the front wheel off the ground a couple of times and throwing the bike for the line as I looked to left. I think I was less than a foot ahead of him but noticed Tony on the far left. I wish I had a photo of the finish.
XX
Indeed, it was a great finish with the commentator's voice coming out loudly off the speakers and spectator's noise on the background. And everything just for 4th. I was pleased with my tactics for the finish but getting 4th wasn't that important as Glen was the one that drove the group for almost 2o km on the last lap. The event organisers didn't care for the minor placings either, there was no final announcements on our finish.
XXX
In that matter, I don't agree with some event organisers, they seem to forget that we were out there for a tough ride as well. They choose to ignore that and use most of the resources to pay, in this case, the Elite guys down to 10th place plus 3 intermediate sprints. I don't think they should give us any cash but getting 4th, 5th or 6th in a 100 km race should get at least a mention. A friend of mine got 5th in Elite B, racing solo against a couple of teams. Doesn't he deserve something for his monster effort? I think so!!!
XXX
Never mind, I will win the next one!!!
XXX

No racing next weekend, back on the bike for training on Tuesday with Hill Sprints.

6 comments:

shane said...

mate, great effort on your 4th place at Mt Tyson ... so many people said to be prepared as it is a tough course - i refuse to take in any neg comments like that, but the down side of this, i wasnt prepared it was going to be THAT tough!

You must be feeling great in comparing to your '05 effort - well done.

Groover said...

Great race report.

AMRcyclist said...

Shane! Thanks mate, as I said no idea how I ended up on that dash to the line. Well done yourself for your 5th, it is a great result on the second toughest race in SE QLD (Wait for the Birrer Challenge).

Groover! Thanks. Next year we will do it together.

Chris said...

Great report. 4th is a solid finish. What was up with your teammate sitting on? I can understand the Ipswich guy. Maybe your teammate didn't have the legs, but I would still be bothered as you are.

We have the same issue with recognition and payouts over here. If organizers want the elite riders at their events they have to front the money and to do so they typically use the registration fees from the lower ranks to fund the prize list for the elite riders.

AMRcyclist said...

Hi Chris,
Really happy to have lasted the distance, after all the issues I had lately.

Yes, we never know what is going on inside peoples head. I don't mind riders sitting in because they are having a bad day but to sprint at the end... He does it oo often! That's alright, I will be keeping an eye on him.

Have you seen the 2009 Campag range?

Whitey said...

That was an insane race! Congrats on your placing, you really deserved it!

 
Blogged Blog Directory