Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Perfect Storm / The Criterium Season

The Storm that didn't come

Here in SE Queensland, we have been expecting the storm of all storms. It was expected to hit the area last night. We were not just told by the experts in the media but it was also pretty obvious that we were going to get hit badly by checking the weather bureau. I checked the BOM site (great site to check the weather before a ride) a few times in the last couple of days and it was looking pretty stormy to say the least. For a couple of days, the Radar showed cloud formations stretching from WA to NSW and QLD and stormy weather in the Tasman Sea. So, we all expected the storm of all storms.

The good thing, we got spared, somehow they disapeared before getting here. We only got a strong wind over night. This morning, we woke up to a nice cool morning. Driving to work at 4:30, I could not stop thinking: - What a great day to be on the bike!!!

Maybe in a couple of weeks.

Criterium Racing this summer

Summer in Australia is synonymous of Track racing, everyone knows that. But it is also the time of the year when the size of the fields grow twofold in every club Criterium in Brisbane, perhaps in the country. Clubs like HPRW and Balmoral, to quote just a couple, run their ultra fast "crits" in closed circuits every Saturday morning. Other clubs run their events on Sundays.
These club events also attract track riders as they can benefit from the flat circuits and from riding, or hiding, in the pack for most of the 45-60min races and then sprint for the last 100m or so before hitting the line. Less powerful riders often attempt to break away from the pack but are usually caught in the last 500m or less.
The pace in these races can be anything in between 38 km/h for a C grade bunch and 45 km/h for A grade. With some tight corners in most circuits, racing crits demands good bike handling and lots of explosive acceleration.
There are a few Open Criterium races also, like the Twilight Series (Dec/Jan)run by HPRW and the Sizzling Summer Series run at the end of Summer. They are events which attract huge fields, some above average prize money and generate some very fast bike racing.
Now is a good time to do some specific training for the Criterium races this summer. Time to do some speed work, short all-out efforts and lots of racing. Perhaps a few laps on the track might help with bike handling and confidence to get right in there with the big sprinters.
Check some photos taken by young cycling "ace"/photographer Nick Schultz.

Good luck and Safe Riding!


Groover said...

Glad the storm didn't happen but the strong winds for sure made for a tough ride this morning.

AMRcyclist said...

A good training ride for what you told me!!!

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