It’s been seven weeks since I raced. Funny how all my race reports seem to start with a disclaimer of poor preparation, but it’s been a very busy year, and this week is only my eighth outing. I’ve managed a few commuting kms but this week that also stopped with arrival of Le Tour (and sleep deprivation set in).
However, this week was the 2 day tour, which involves a time trial. Never tried one before, so despite the lack of preparation, I felt I had to give it a go. It was to more of a ‘suck it and see’, rather than realistic objective to win or place.
As mentioned by Dalai, the forecast was for a pretty wet weekend, but on Saturday we had rain before, in between the ITT and the afternoon road race, and after we raced. Sunday, no rain. The weather did play a factor though, it was windy.
Anyway, Saturday morn, 22 km ITT at Lang Lang. Never done one and wasn’t sure what to expect. Made a last minute decision to take the trainer. Good decision, I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many trainers before in one place. I was well warmed up when I got to the start line early. By the time I started, I was cold again. That cold wind was strong. My goal, was to break 40 minutes. I was 47th starter. Just on 10km, I was overtaken by number 49. He started 2 minutes behind me, and passed me in less than half distance. I know I wasn’t going to be competitive, but all I was thinking was ‘uh oh, long weekend ahead’.
Fortunately, he was the only one to pass me. At the far end of the course, I was almost two minutes down on my goal, but the course changed directions, and wind became a tail / cross wind. I finished with a time of 39:46, so pretty happy. Until I saw the results. I finished 12th out of 13. Ok, yes I was under prepared, but the winning time was 6 minutes faster!!
The afternoon was 3 laps of the time trial circuit. It started a typical C grade affair. Only 3 or 4 of us working. I did a bit of work, but after the first attack, I was almost dropped, so decided a little less work was to be the order of the day. Then the next attack occurred, and I only had just decided that I was going to take it easy, and I had a brain fade and tried to jump the gap. I didn’t get very far and I was hit with cramp. I think we were only about 1/3 distance, so that was a worry, and decided to take my less work thought seriously.
I was actually surprised, things have changed in the last seven weeks since I last raced, C grade was very attacking. It seemed to always be a solo attack. Not very often did one or two bridge the gap without taking the whole pack with them, so we stayed together until the end.
In the final sprint, I attempted to participate, but cramp hit me again but I was pretty happy to get 7th.
Sunday: After a poor nights sleep, I woke to a resting HR of 68. Not good, but I surprised myself by getting out of bed. Today’s race, the 72 km flat course out at Cora Lynn was much like the previous days. Quite a few attacks, a couple of which managed to stay away for a few kms, but always coming back together. And similar to yesterday, not many wanted to work, and from time to time we actually to low 20’s before someone would finally go. I wasn’t feeling great after yesterday’s efforts, so spent a minimal amount of work at the front, especially in the second half. Occasionally when it slowed, the idle thought of attempting a break was always stopped with the thought that yesterdays time trial demonstrated I had competitors who could time trial 6 km/h or so faster than me.
So, we all came back together, and going with the wind home bound on Nine Mile Rd. The occasional attack would get us up to the mid 50’s km/h. It slowed as we approached Bunyip River Rd. The marshals were out, and stopped a truck on the bridge that was heading towards us. Here we’re supposed to turn left onto Bunyip River Rd, BUT EVERYONE GOES STRAIGHT TO CROSS THE BRIDGE. I was sure we had to turn, and slowed. The two in front of me turn, so I go too, now in 3rd and hit the hammer. Unfortunately, the hammer broke after only 300m, and the last 700m was a slog and a few passed me, but I managed to hang on for 6th.
All in all, a great weekend of cycling. Hopefully I get to do something like that again, but with better preparation.