Did an out and back 38 km undulating road race in D grade (as always) last weekend. The circuit was coarse bitumen which made for hard work. And wind in both directions??? Say What?
Myself and another local rider and a team of 6 others, most of whom were doing their first road race.
All good and all swapping turns for first 5-6 kms then one of them went off the front and the rest stopped working.
As he was pulling away I went after him (eventually 4 times I think); my friend broke away twice but ran out of steam and was reined back in.
On the last six or so hills their riders took turns at leading out but I hooked on to every one of them and in the end had nothing left (which probably happens when you don’t ride enough).
I misjudged the finish line placement with two hills to go; I knew what was going to happen and couldn’t do a thing about it on the last one.
I stood up to go and started “sprinting” up the hill changing up a gear and then three bikes came by. I gained a bit but that was it. Flat out sprint was pitiful.
I had a near vomit over the finish line but was joyed to see the 1st place getter launch his brekkie…the whole lot. Good, we made ‘em work for it.
Overall a fourth place but very happy given the poor training I’ve done. It gave me my best insight so far into the reality of being outridden and outsmarted.
PDCC Serpentine D Grade
Got promoted to D grade, well I was kind of promoted last week in the handicap race. Wore an E grade number but started with the first group of D grade riders 14 minutes behind the other E graders. Unfortunately the handicappers underestimated 2 of my fellow E graders, who could climb and time trial and they finish 1st and 2nd, more that 5 minutes ahead of any other riders. The handicappers got me right, finished 21st out of 42 riders. I was happy that my time was 3 minutes faster than the winner's time, who I expected to have difficultly following up the 5km climb.
I had no great expectations for today, my quads have not recovered from last Saturday and I felt it during my two short rides during the week. Serpentine is not my favourite course, flat with a fairly rough surface. Plus I had a very disorganised day and only arrived twenty minutes before the start, soI did not get a good warm up or scout the finish properly. I had a simple aim finish in the main bunch, getting spat out the back on the last couple of Ks would of been acceptable.
Rolled up to the start line to find out that A and B grades got combined, which meant we started a couple of minutes early and only had to complete four 8.8km laps, the same as my previous E grade races here, instead of the usual D grade 5 laps.
From the start, three riders took control, sharing the work between themselves and keeping the pace up, so I just tucked in as the last rider just behind Pat, who I ridden a couple of social rides. I quickly realised that I do not corner fast enough for D grade, and spent some time trying to improve. On the 2nd lap, we passed E grade, who had stopped at the side of the road after a nasty accident had injured a couple of riders.
The pace was fairly consistent, after the first lap, I was worried if I could keep up the pace for four laps. I did not need to, other than needing to work hard out of a couple of corners, I stayed on the back of the group and it stayed together. A couple of riders got away, but before I needed to decide to chase them, other riders brought them back.
With a couple Ks to go, the pace picked up, riders started getting spat out the back, and I was working my way towards the front, with a few hundred metres to go I found myself in third place. With the two riders in front, up and sprinting, I decided I could not make it across to them and just stayed seated and drove to the finish, another rider flashed past me on the outside and looks like they caught the two in front and then on the line, then Pat snuck passed me on the inside for 4th.
Happy with my performance, especially after the other riders mentioned this was the hardest constant pace they had ridden all year. I also learnt, no matter what, even if you are feeling crap, scout the finish, have a plan or three, no matter what sprint hard from your chosen sprint point.
My thoughts and best wishes are with the two riders from E grade who go taken away by ambulance.
Well today was a day of extremes...talked into riding at penrith regatta winter series by my mate and discoverd that it was 12 laps in stead of the usual summer 5 ,that itself wasnt such a problem except i had Cervelo masters super series at 2pm aswell ...was a good race nice and surgy with a few guys trying to break...managed the win in the sprint so well chuffed....40 bucks in the charity kitty as im raising for Fred Hollows as part of a trek to everest....also a HUGE thanks to Liam for donating his $20 for third to the cause...
On to the Cervelo....was the long course at eastern creek and proved a chalenging and interesting course,some very strong guys as to be expected and i was more than shocked to hear one particuliar chap rides A grade for his club rounds normally...anyway legs were dying a little but megga chuffed to finnish mid field and that totaled 110km of crits today......pleased is an understatment.......anyone else fancys a overkill day i will introduce you to my mate .
Top effort George. Chapeaux to all those who raced morning and afternoon today. Were you in the C grade group at WSID? Saw the later stages of that one and the A grade. Club mates I spoke to who did the C said it was a hard work out. A grade pace was awesome, that four man breakaway were flying.
FPR Jubilado Bludger
Sorry I didn't see this last week, bit redundant now. But anyway...
I raced yesterday, C Grade 2, got 7th, and will do a report once I upload the strava data, probably tonight.
In direct answer to your question, the grades at the West Head race are misleading.
Firstly, the course itself is the toughest in Sydney, which attracts more roadies, and fewer of the "sit in for the whole race then sprint" types. No disrespect intended, that's a valid way to race, but there are plenty of that sort of rider in Bs and Cs at Waratahs, Heffron Saturdays, the various summer crits, and Beaumont Rd. There are very few at West Head, and those that want it to come down to a sprint still have to be tough and hard enough to get to the business end. So the course and the type of riders you get, makes for a major testing out process.
Secondly, the course, as the only dififcult parcours road racing within hooey of Sydney, attracts decent riders. Again no disrespect to Oakville, it's a good fun race, but the course at Oakville just isn't as tough. But with some real hardened roadies in A Grade at West Head, there are plenty of riders who ride A Grade everywhere else, but who go B Grade at West Head. Similarly, there are plenty of riders who ride B Grade everywhere else (me, for example) who ride C Grade at West Head. The quality of rider in each grade at West Head is generally higher than the same Grade at any other club race in Sydney. I ride B Grade with Waratahs, but C Grade at West Head. I sometimes get to the end of a Waratahs race and feel like I could have gone round for another hour. I don't feel like that at West Head! Just about everyone is just hanging in there by the end at West Head. If you are riding C Grade with the Waratahs, then unless there is some special factor (like exceptional punching ability up short hills), you should be trying D Grade at West Head.
Thirdly, as a matter of general principle, if you have been dropped by halfway, twice, you are entitled to request to be put down a grade, at any race, not just West Head. As you say, putting a proper climb in the race makes it harder not easier. If you were there yesterday or next time you get out there, imo you should be in D Grade.
So here is the report.
MWCC changed the race this month - starting at Akuna Bay. This suits me, despite being 82 kg, I climb a long hill quite well but struggle a bit more up the short sharp hills this race features. I had been thinking about a break up the hill, get 4 or 5 off the front and ride away. Hoho.
Satuday night, I set the alarm for 5.30 am, to get out to the race at 6.50, and do a proper warm up before the 7.30 start, and give it to em up the hill.
Woke up at 6.34, with light starting to stream in the window. My initial thought was "I've missed the race". But wait. They start the other grades first. The bike was already in the car. It's a 40 minute drive. I dressed, grabbed 2 up'n'gos (I don't ride, even 10 km without eating something) and jumped in the car. Was out the door in 10 minutes. Drove out there quickly, and arrived at 7.22. Got my number, and had time for a VERY short warm up - 3 minutes, nowhere near enough for what I had been planning.
Anyway, the other grades went away, I was in the second C Grade race. We started up the hill steady enough. About halfway up a Waratah rolled off the front, and no one was shutting him down. So in the steepish section (after the corner which is a nasty right hander if you do that hill in a downwards direction) I jumped up to him and we worked together up the hill. We were joined near the top by a guy in BMC kit. We went out hard, with a 20-30 second gap for most of the way out to the first turn. We were joined by a SUvelo rider. The turns were a bit inconsistent, but I was giving it everything I had - see the strava link at the bottom.
Anyway, we made the turn, but we eased slightly and that was it - we were shut down about halfway back. I reckon we had been away for 18 km. We had started with about 17 riders in the "peloton", but after the catch there were 12, so we at least made them work for it. That first lap was very fast - a strava pb for me, and at a very high heart rate - we averaged 36. The pace eased off considerably on the second lap, it was 2 minutes slower. There were no real attempts to break, although someone generally pushed it up each rise. I was feeling OK, but in no condition to be making a break for it - the 12 riders stayed together for the rest. Of the 12, everyone was fit and strong as far as I could tell with very few signs of fragility or fading, and to all intents, not droppable. Anyway, it came down to the last hill, a few guys launched away, and that was it, coming from too far back I passed a few over and down the hill and there were some guys at least 50 m up the road contesting line honours. I finished 7th.
This month - drop 2-3 kg. Do some 60-90 s intervals.
Strava is here http://app.strava.com/rides/12906471#
Well done rogan, sounds like a good race. I take what you say about the grades, but it's a bit hard to work out given that there were some regular C grade riders in C grade with me. I did ride D grade there my first time out, when I was in D grade at Waratahs, that bunch was about half made up of people who were racing for the first time, two of whom dropped us on the way back on the first lap - I chased them down and dragged one guy with me but blew up after that. I wanted to race C grade after that for the bigger distance. I can't help feeling that we need a better grading system. Clearly Waratah grades aren't going to be the same as are needed at West Head but it would be good to know that you were racing against your peers wherever you went.
In the end, I didn't feel up to it and opted to go to Lansdowne instead for a diminished C grade due to the Cervelo race in the afternoon. I rode down to the race and felt fresh, so when James said let's go from the start I was in. We went out hard from the first corner, head down doing short turns, I didn't even look to see if we had a gap but after half a lap we were joined in the turns by another rider, after a couple of laps it clear we had split the bunch with just 7 of the 13 starters with us. We kept up the pace with no-one really trying to break. The sprint was fairly tidy and I managed to get second - my first placing in C grade.
So, maybe West Head next month.
Where's your next race? cabici.net lists bike races in Sydney
Has nobody else raced in the last couple of weeks? Or were the results worse than mine?
PDCC Doghill D grade 21 July 2012
when a plan does not come together
Recovering from a cold, I had not intention of racing, but I still rode down to the DogHill race course on my race bike, either intending to help out marshalling or ride with the juniors. On the way down, I managed to put the front derailleur out of alignment.
Some how after 15km and a quick repair later, I was lining up to race. I had a simple plan, hang on for the first three laps, put in a short attack on the 4th lap to show I was serious, then on the final lap, about 1.5km from home, put in a dig on the short incline, lighting the fuse for others to counter, drop back to mid pack, wait till 400m from home and launch the limited sprint I had.
Well other than an excessively noisy drive train due to a rubbing front derailleur and an out of tune rear derailleur, everything worked. I survived the first three laps, down the back straight on the 4th lap I put in a little attack (a glance at my speedo said 47kmh) heading into the corner. Mainly because, riding at the back, I had to work hard after corners, due to lack of cornering speed from myself and other riders. So this time, I went in hard, got out with a gap and was getting my breath when I was joined by two other riders, it was a little disorganised, by the time I was able to work with them we had been closed down. So I spent most of the next lap close to the front, getting my strength back and waiting.
One the final lap about 4km from home Mark put in a good attack, I attempted to follow, got into the 2nd group of 3, then it was a group of 6, then the bunch was together with about 2km to go. I had not fully recovered, still I attacked where I planned, but just did not have the legs, still nobody countered, I was trying to get off the front with legs that would not work and the pack sitting in my wheel. After a few hundred metres they put me out of my misery and I was mid pack until the 400m mark, when the sprint started in earnest and I was spat out the back to finish 3rd last.
Still learnt a lot about how my body reacts to racing and effort, as well as D grade racing tactics, will need a few different plans for racing at Wandi this Saturday
Nic, no I haven't raced the last couple of weeks. Missed last Sat because I thought the track would be too wet, and for a couple of weeks prior, rain caused cancellations.
But, this morning, our club HPRW had its Championship ITT. about 33km with some hills. see pic.
First time for me. I hadn't intended doing it as I think the road is far too busy with dangerous feral drivers. As it was a driver tried to overtake a bunch of non ITT riders in front of me, on a crest, and had to slam his brakes on as cars approached the crest from the other side, on the wrong side of the road, as they overtook cyclists going opposite to me. The driver in front of me skidded for about 20 meters, and if he'd fishtailed he'd have cleaned up the group of 5 in front of me. So, I think that confirmed this traditional route should be left in the archives of time, and surrendered to the ignorant and willfully reckless.
As for my ride, I had about 5 hours of sleep, felt cr@p from a few months of rain and putting on weight, there was a 20-30kph wind blowing that was swinging around but mainly from the SW.
Anyway, managed to do 62 minutes = 32kph. Had been hoping to do sub 60, but suppose the hills really got me.
Most of the guys I ride with did 56-59, so something for me to aim for next year, if I do it.
Should be achievable when 12 kg lighter.
I had intended doing it with aerobars, but decided against it due to strongish wind and higher traffic. Maybe I should have left them on, but safety first for me.
Well, I am uneasily smashed. There's no hiding in an ITT.
What amazed me was the speed some of the hotter younger guys were doing. 42 minutes was about the fastest from what I heard, about a 47kph pace.
Afterwards we had coffee our base, and I caught up with a mate who just got back from 6 weeks in France. The aggressive traffic and the overweight population hit him in the face.
PDCC D grade Wandi 28 July 2012
Race data on Strava
Have not been able to shift this cold all week, but seeing I raced last week and Wandi is my favourite course, I was going to race. Even if I felt a lot worse than last week by the time I rode out there.
Wandi is my favourite course, because there are 5 short climbs, though many would call then undulations, in the first 6 kilometres of the 8.5km circuit. The longest and steepest, gains 20m over 800m. I only wish the finish line was on top of one of these climbs rather than after a 2.5km gradual descent.
Feeling a little worse for wear, I settled at the back as the ticket collector. Only moving up, as I found it easier to climb that most my competitors. I would drop back during on the short descent or next corner.
Did not want to sit back and only step out to partake the final sprint. So I needed a plan, the best I could come up with, was to head towards the front with about 1km to go, launch an attack about 800m out, which would consist of me sprinting for about 400m, then using that momentum and whatever legs I had to carry me the last 400m. I was hoping that an attack from that distance, would surprise everybody, give me a decent break and disrupt everybody else's plans, so they could not catch me.
I survived on the back as we dropped a few riders and I moved up with about 1400m to go, the the bunch suddenly slowed so at the time I had no choice but to launch my attack. Unfortunately it only lasted less than 300m, my legs died underneath me. I knew I was not successful in getting a break as I saw the shadow on another rider behind me. It was Elliot who had spent a lot of time on the front of the bunch, as he went past me, I gave it a good dig to get on his wheel. Unfortunately Elliot's legs were worse than mine, he pulled to the left and tried to wave me through. I was carrying more momentum than Elliot but the bunch was very close behind and carrying a lot more. My options were: swing off my line to try and pass Elliot and not take out the front wheel of the front of the bunch, brake heavily, hope I stayed on my line and the bunch was paying attention and did not collect me. In the end, I sat up, braked gently, overlapped wheels with Elliot hoping he did not move off his line and copped abuse from the bunch who were not paying attention.
I had enough momentum and energy to get on the back of the bunch as they passed and stay there, but when sprinting started from 300m mark, I took no part of it and finished at the back of the pack.
Lessons learnt from today, I am out of condition and need to improve my fitness for sprints and attacks. If I plan to attack from 800m out attack from 800m or less out, not 1400m. If you overtake somebody and have not got the legs, just pedal for a bit, don't sit up and it you are closing other riders, watch them don't assume the will keep fighting. Also I need a new plans for the next three Wandi adventures in the next couple of months, even if one is a handicap and another is a points race.
5 or 6 weeks since my last race ... And possibly my last road race of the year ( holidays and tt time coming up ). Wasn't hoping for too much as the last month looking after clients at the TDF left me a bit " formless" !. But hopefully enough to help a team mate.
So I was a bit disappointed when only one team mate signed on in cat 2!... He has only just come up from 3 but does have a good sprint so if he makes it to the end I have someone to lead out.
Anyway was a super circuit with long straight roads, a couple of draggy climbs, lots of wind, 80kmph descents and big wide finishing straight!. It is a shame the insurance problems are creeping in over here and they had to limit this race to 200 over the 4 grades.
My legs?... Well I wasn't expecting much ( especially as it was the 4th hard day in a row I had ridden ) ... But they worked OK, but certainly didn't feel like going off the front of the 55 strong pack. People started to hurt on the 3rd lap and my team mate went off the back by about 100m after the last climb into the wind... So I dropped back and helped him back up. After that he stayed glued to my wheel as we sat fairly near the front. Only really exciting moment for me was about 3 km's to go when my chain jumped onto the little ring for no apparent reason and my left hand wouldn't work too well as I had been in the drops for nearly 2 hours... Luckily someone ( who I forgot to thank ) put a hand on my back till I could get it to shift up again!. Coming into the final corners was a bit chaotic but my team mate was still there just before the penultimate turn... There were 3 just off the front, but when we came into the finishing straight with 750 to go I powered up while staying seated and easily moved to the front, just before reeling in the 3 front runners I looked over my shoulder and was rather disappointed my team mate was no where in sight!. Race over for me... Shame as I still had another 150 meters in my legs and that would have easily delivered him to the line in a great position.
Oh well next year I will be calling in lots of favours . A grade is calling... But it might be nice to target a few of the stage races next year while still in B .
No idea ... if you aren't holding your line you are more likely to get a hand on the hip... or just sworn at.
On the doing a turn... the numbers in the races are usually pretty good so there is always someone from one team off the front and someone from another team willing to chase. Although as it is much more team orientated if a break goes up the road with all the big teams represented then there isn't much chance of drumming up help. You can try but you will just get someone sitting on your wheel who won't come through. Really hard to win a race if you are flying solo.
I would prefer the races a bit longer though personally... people only really start fading around the 90 minute mark so can usually hold on for the two hours... if our races were 3 hour long more often it would be much more fun . I am tempted to get a higher level license to race FFC races which would be around 130 km in length but if I actually placed in one of those I would lose the right to ride in my Federation. But as there are big numbers in those ( peloton is usually 120 for a standard race ) and many are overseas amateurs riding for big clubs so the pace is pretty hard... would be bloody good training for me though ... if I can survive very long that is.
I'm racing a Crit today. Been several months and several kg's since the last race so I'm expecting nothing. Hoping to get a C grade birth, but we will see. Apparently there is a hill. No good for fat blokes.
I ride several bicycles, but not at once.
First race in about a year and a half.
Vets Tonelli Handicap - 43kms undulating near Lake George, Canberra.
Started in A1 with a big gap to chase. Dropped 5 of 9 A1 riders in the first 20kms travelling at over 40kmh. 2 out and back laps about 5kms each made it easy to see where the leaders were. Big efforts into the wind on the out laps. A couple of the guys put in some big efforts up the hills and broke out about 6 bike lengths, but I pulled them back in by the top.
Final lap coming back, one of the A1's launched an attack I couldn't hold onto and they got away about 20 lengths. About 4kms from the finish, they sat up and played tactics so I got back on. Somehow ended up on the front and had to lead them home. 200m out I had to go, despite not being a sprinter. They all came around me and I finished 4th. Happy enough on a flattish course and a good return to racing. Looking forward to some hills in a couple of weeks time. 38.2kmh av.
First official road race done. What a blast
At my current level of fitness my only plan was to suffer with the C grade bunch, do my turn and try and hang on. The course was a 42km out and backer starting at Woodbridge, a small blip on the map, roughly 40km from the Hobart CBD. It contained a few small punchy climbs ranging from 100m to 800m in length, grades anywhere from 3 to 12% so basically up and down. The race format was Graded Scratch.
We rolled out of the local school at Woodbridge and formed a somewhat disorganised rolling pace line, right from the get go it was plain to see who was going to work and who wasn't. I can understand the willingness not to work given it was a graded scratch. That aside, my plan to simply try and hang on shifted to, when on the front GO HARD.
With the first ramp approaching at the 6km mark, approximately 800m at 7% I knew I would end up on the front going up it at some point because my "turn" was coming up, sure enough I found myself on the front, driving hard (well hard for me anyway) crested the top and to my surprise no one was on the wheel. Started the descent and took it easy being 7km in I thought this was the smart thing to do.
Once regrouped the lack of organisation continued, so I had another go 2km from the turnaround, this time 2 others came with me but I said to them maybe we should sit up in case we get held up at the turn around and lose the small advantage we had, both agreed.
2km or so after the turn around one of the two guys who came with me previously, attacked, managed to jump on his wheel and the other guy also involved in the earlier attempt jumped on my wheel. The 3 of us put in some pretty good turns, one started to falter and dropped back, the other guy with me was a junior and was running his junior gearing. We put in a good 3-4 minutes of effort, but it wasn't good enough and were reeled back in. Pretty cooked by this stage and I am guessing the chase hurt the bunch as well because we were expecting a counter but it never came.
The pace really dropped for the next 5 or so kms, which was fine by me, I needed to recover as there were two final "climbs" to come. First of the two topped out at 12% but averaged 8% for 500m. One guy drops his chain just as I was about to come around him and put in an acceleration, that little incident put the brakes on that move (wasn't sure what to do but it felt right not to go). Chain back on and the junior comes around everyone and attacks, I jump on his wheel and sit there glued, determined not to let it go, he is a much better climber than I so this hurt a lot. The top couldn't have come sooner and we had put a really good gap on the remainder of the field, with one guy in the middle. With his junior gearing he couldn't really get up much speed on the descents, this was evident as the man in the middle caught us. Had a look back and still couldn't see the rest of the field. Got on the front and hammered myself to maintain/extend the gap. Needing a quick breather I politely asked if they were going to do a turn, one did but it was too late I'd gone into the red for too long and popped up the next ramp, 400m (AT) 7%. They both dropped me and the junior dropped the other guy and ended up on the back of a couple of B's and stayed there (graded scratch????). Was able to recover a little and ended up making up a little ground in the closing 3 kms but not enough and crossed the line in 3rd place.
The rest of the bunch come in a minute or 2 later. Hindsight is a wonderful thing but in the end its just another woulda, coulda, shoulda. Really enjoyed myself and cannot wait to race again. Hopefully ill be 5 kilos lighter and regained some fitness, the numbers tell me I am still a fair bit off.
Hell's bells... did a Nundah Dome crit yesterday morning, after a harder week at work, and a late Friday night that included too much home made pizza, and wine.
Went to bed feeling crap and woke up the same, but still dragged myself down to the Dome. The start was muffed by the Comms, lots of confusion....anyway, I took off with a bunch on my 1.9kg training wheels, and the pace quickly moved up to 45kph. I had to catch up after the confusion, then fell off the back again during one of the many surges. After 5 laps, I couldn't hold on and was feeling horrible, so pulled out.
A team mate who turned up late, and I went in the D grade race later. and got a bit of exercise.
First time I've fallen off the back this year. But it confirmed we're all getting older, and you have your good and bad days.
Sunday morning , and I didn't feel like getting up at 530a for a 6am group ride. As I'm trying to cut some fat again, I decided to do LSD, so did solo 45km, had coffee with lads, then rode on for an explore....Had heard there was reasonable bicycle infrastructure all the way to Ipswich, and eventually got there, after an 8 km wrong turn to Collingwood Park.
Really nice easy flat ride...lowish traffic and mostly heaps of shoulder.
Ipswich City Council continue to do things well. The only criticism is there's ~4km of Brisbane Rd into Ipswich that has no shoulder.....oh, and the burbs are on the tawdry side....though many nice people out there.
It was 3.30pm by the time I got to Ipswich Central, didn't have lights, so caught the train back to the northern burbs and rode the last 5km home....back before dark. Will definitely include this route in a group ride in the near future.
Recently popped my racing cherry, jumped into C-grade with about 20-25 riders and was planning to sit back for my first race and see how things played out with a view of having a real crack on the next race.
Pace was reasonably high and consistent throughout, a mate slipped away for the prime without really being chased, not much happened thereafter, a break went and got pulled in just before the 3lap bell, found myself up near the front around this time but wasn't really hurting and didn't want to be swamped in the last 2 corners so lingered at the front.
The last lap, and just before the last corner 3 guys surged and hit the last corner hard to get a gap into the home straight which was to big for me to close, started my sprint but was in the wrong gear and spinning too much, didn't want to change as it would have meant backing off a touch and losing speed as someone was moving past me on my right, managed to wind it out and catch one of the 3 early jumpers while spinning crazily by about half a wheel to take 4th.
(Forgot to segregate the actual race stats on my Garmin from my trip to the race, but avg speed was about 38km/h)
-Go a bit earlier at the end.
-Be in the top 5 within last 3 laps, but not the front where you're blind from attacks.
-Work on my sprint technique and gearing for it.
Raced at Leongatha's Bena Crit circuit. I haven't raced for 2 months or so and stacked on some serious weight. Coming in at around 105kg now. 6 blokes from our club came over, and they had a few missing. So they had 2 grades, 12 or so in A and 8 in B. This is the lumpiest crit I've ridden. The course had 2 short rises and one longer less steep one. There was also a patch of gravel about 120m from the finish. This disn't turn out to cause any problems.
I was in B grade, thank goodness. We rolled away and settled in fairly quickly. There were a couple who rolled off the front, one local and one of my teamates. I stayed close to the front, but didn't push it. I was struggling, but not in trouble. After my teamate came back to the group for the second time there was a counter attack. This was from one of the stronger local guys so my other teamate (the one who didn't attack) and me jumped with the counter attack. The three of us established a break that did not get caught. We work well together and the pace was strongish and manageable. With a two to go we did a couple of turns and then it became apparent that we were no longer sharing the load. My teamate didn't like this too much and set a solid pace at the front for the remainder. I was on his wheel with the local on mine. With about 400m to go up the final incline the local rider went for it. I called to my mate so he knew, but he had little left. I then went myself. The local rider had about 5-10m on me. I managed to catch and go past, but was still 200m out. I figured that we were all hurting equally and thought that if I get a gap it would be unlikely he could go again. I was right and managed the win. It was a hard but good race, just what I needed. Just out of interest the three....um.....biggest riders formed the break. The three of us had a combined weight of just under 320kg.
I ride several bicycles, but not at once.
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