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7th Oct 2015 - HCC Crits C Grade - 3rd Place

First race of the summer season after the winter break. I had been training hard for the last month or so but had to take the last two weeks off due to some knee issues. This was also my first race in C grade. The weather was very cool as well so I thought I could pay less attention to drinking during the race.

Due to having 2 weeks off my goal was just to hang onto the until the end and hope for a bunch finish, avoid following any breaks and hang on as long as possible. I would have been happy being dropped after 10 laps so long as I pushed hard.

Start of the race was a bit shaky as I got into things, took a couple of laps before I was really paying good attention to my lines. Also the speed into the hairpin corner each lap seemed slow compared to what I was used to, could just be my bad memory as I don't think my cornering has really improved a huge amount.

The pace was steady and not too quick. I was pretty comfortable for the first 10 minutes in terms of effort. I was struggling to hold position though in the bunch, frequently being pushed off wheels which caused me to work much harder than I should. I found myself gaining lots of places up the climb and then slowly giving them back as I cruised into the hairpin corner.

After 15 minutes I was struggling pretty bad, I didn't feel like my legs were holing me back though but noticed my mouth was very dry, I hadn't drank anything the whole race and I've had issues in past races where I cracked due to hydration problems. After taking in some fluids I was good again after a lap or two.

20 minutes into the race and I was feeling good, the pack was condensed for periods which made it easier to hang out the back as I wasn't yoyo-ing too much.

When the call for 3 laps to go was out I was still feeling good, I held onto the bunch the 3rd last lap just holding position. Second last lap still feeling good I was overtaking both up the hill and on the back straight to set myself up for the last lap.

During the last lap the A grade race came around which meant that we were neutralised. Riders were yelling at A-Grade to hurry up and move out of the way as we were matching their pace. We continued until the last corners where I dipped up the inside, admittedly coming from a little way back. I turned to sprint up the hill and crossed the finish line ahead of the bunch. With all the A-Grade riders around I had no idea where I had placed, later I found out that two riders has broken off the front and the pack was unable to chase because of neutralisation due to A-Grade.

It was nice to finish third but I really wish we didn't have such bad luck wth A-Grade coming around when they did. I felt fresh coming into the last lap and I think I could have done well in the final sprint but I have no idea now how I compare to the others. Oh well, better luck next week!

Moving Time: 00:33:04
Distance: 20.54 km
Average Speed: 37.27 km/h
Climbed: 255 metres