Mario Races Bicycles

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21st Oct 2015 - HCC Crits C Grade

The weather was very cool and windy for the race tonight. During my scouting laps I wasn't getting blown around too much which was good but there was a strong headwind in parts of the lap so sheltering would be important during the race.

After the neutral lap and a bit the race started out very slowly. I was hanging off the back off the bunch and not wasting any energy at all, it took a while for the pace to pick up. When it picked up I put a little effort into moving up. I found it very difficult to hold the same wheel, riders were constantly coming around me and I found myself at the back of the pack.

Getting shelter on the back stretch proved difficult as the wind was coming from the south, meaning you had to stay in the inside of the track to gain some cover. This was problematic as everyone wanted to be on the inside line and it was very cramped when cornering. I frequently found myself on the outside getting hit in the face with the oncoming wind.

We had a sprint lap during the race, I decided to not go for it when it was announced, I was too far out the back anyways so it would have taken a huge effort just to hit the front during that lap.

Mid way through the race the bunch had split a bit, there were around 10 riders up the front by themselves. I sat at the rear waiting for the second big group to catch up but it seemed we were getting further and further away. I had to push hard for a lap to catch the front group. Once I had caught up I rested and eventually the second group of riders caught up anyways, so it was a wasted effort.

With the call for 3 laps to go I was at the very back of the bunch, the first of the last laps I pushed hard and was sitting around 10-15th wheel and tucked into the group. I rested for the remainder of the lap. With 2 laps to go I pushed over the hill and found myself with a small gap on the bunch. I didn't kick hard enough to break away so I was in limbo dangling off the front.

Up the back stretch another rider came around, I managed to hold his wheel coming up the climb when they announced we had 1 lap to go. I held his wheel for a short while; when coming around the descent on the back stretch he peeled off a bit and I found myself out the front again. When the back stretch flattened out a group of riders came fast around the outside; by the time we got to the final hairpin I was down around 10-12th place. One of the riders shot up quickly down the inside overtaking maybe 5-10 other riders. He came in fast and at a sharp angle, locked up his rear wheel slid a little bit but somehow made the corner. This upset a few riders in the bunch and put me off a little coming into the final climb. I felt good and pushed hard up the final climb but I was way too far back. I was overtaking a few riders but many others were going quickly too. A rider in front of me started to slow down which didn't give me much room to go, I had to slow down and let another rider through before going around, this slowed me down a fair bit. I ended up rolling over the line maybe 8-10th or so.

I felt fresh during the end, my fitness didn't let me down tonight but rather my race craft. I did a really poor job of sheltering from the wind, I was constantly up the back and didn't conserve enough energy. Also I pushed for around 2 laps towards the end in the front by myself which wasn't necessary, I went too early and not hard enough. I did have a lot of fun still though, but I really need to work on my race craft.

Moving Time: 00:32:40
Distance: 19.43 km
Average Speed: 35.69 km/h
Climbed: 246 metres