Sunday, October 9, 2011

Nationals road race report... and packing for the season.

A disappointing result, I must say.

The preparation for the Nationals road race was adequate, I believed. Perhaps I got to Ballarat a bit under-done but certainly not over-trained or tired. So, what went wrong?

At dinner, the night before and after having driven the course, Brian and I agreed a break had little chance of succeeding on the flat open course around Lake Learmonth, unless a group of six or more strong riders got together. We predicted a bunch sprint with at least half of the field.

I have worked on my finishes lately but mentioned that if it was going to be a full on bunch sprint, he could sit in and wait to get dragged to the line because I was planing to jump with 1.5 or 2 km to go.

Well, a break of three riders did get away early (20 km). I thought it could have been a good move and jumped to bridge (no, I never learn) but hoped that a handful would have followed. It didn't happen that way but Brian came across and the small grupetto kept riding.

We worked for about three laps (45 km) but didn't manage a gap greater than 45 sec, I think. It didn't look very promising at times but we kept pushing. I had a tough time hanging on after 30 kms but recovered a bit after skipping a few turns. When we got caught, I had no problems staying at the front and even helped to chase small groups trying to get away.

With 5 kms to go, and unsurprisingly, the scenario was set for a bunch sprint. The 33 bunched up riders travelling very slow. With 2.5 km to go we were doing 37.5 km/h. I felt the urge to go but waited a little longer because of a head wind.

Finally, with 1100 m to the line, I took off and hoped that the S bends ahead would help me getting a gap. They helped but the legs didn't and I faded with 400 m to go, crawling as the bunch went past and finishing last.

Race stats:
Dist: 78 km
Time: 1:58:52
Av. Speed: 39.6 km/h
TSS: 162.8
I.F.: 0.909
Av. Power: 231 W
Norm. Power: 273 W

Last shot at it:
Dist: 665 m
Time: 45 sec
Av. Speed: 53.4 km/h
Av. Power: 543 w
Max. Power: 956 w

In a good note, Brian, after riding strong the whole race, did position himself well, jumped on the back of the chasers and crossed the line in 7th place, a really good result.

It wasn't all that bad. Later in the evening, and back in Brisbane, I attended the club champions presentation night and collected my beautiful little prizes. I had a good year at club level and will now wear a 2011 masters 5 champion jersey.

That's the end of the season for me, it is time to pack for a holiday without the bike. Perhaps...

And what went wrong in Ballarat? Well, I just have a lot to learn... and an abscence of a good coffee that morning!


ETrust said...

Bad luck Alberto - but some pretty impresive power numbers nonetheless! Congrats on your CC 2011 Jersey.

Anonymous said...

Good form doesn't always translate into a podium finish. You tested your luck it and it didn't work out, this time. But the disappointment for you is that there is no opportunity to say, "oh well, better luck next week". Enjoy your holiday but don't forget to take your bike. I want to hear all about it right here on this cycling blog.

AMR said...

Thanks for the comments, ETrust and Anon.
I am content. It was a good, hard race after all and I will probably do the same thing next year... no point going there and racing for 2nd, 10th or 30th...
Looking forward to get on the bike again and start working on those numbers...

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