I didn't have much of a warm up tonight as I was in a bit of a rush to arrive, the weather was quite warm, around 30 degrees and quite humid. The first warm race of the season. The announcer said that we would have 30 minutes + 3 laps which was longer than the last couple of races I had done; being later in the year there was enough sunlight now to not cut the race short.
The last crit here I felt strong but my tactics during the race let me down. I wanted to focus on my positioning in the bunch and shielding myself from the wind. When the race started I found a rider in front that was smooth and followed his wheel for a couple of laps, I remember him wearing a "Wiggins" jersey. The stable wheel meant that I could take in what was happening during the race rather than focusing all my concentration on ensuring riders nearby don't crash into me. Although the wheel was good we were towards the rear of the bunch and a few laps in were starting to yo-yo around the hairpin corner. Nick, who is a friend of a friend came past, I knew it was a good wheel so I grabbed it and held on. Very early into the race my mouth was getting dry and my stomach started to get sore. I had the same things happen last year at the first hot race. I made sure I started drinking water immediately although it was too late.
Around 10 minutes into the race the pain in my stomach was simply too much, I sat up to compose myself and lost touch with the bunch. I drank a few mouthfuls of water at this point and after a very short rest, only 20 seconds or so I felt good again instantly. Just as I started to pick up the pace again the A grade race came around me, I let them come around me and create a gap; then I pushed to catch the bunch in our race; they were less fortunate and had to sit up as the faster riders came through at the hairpin corner costing them a lot of time. The race was over for me now, I didn't think it was fair that I was able to catch the bunch only because they were held up a lot more than I was when the faster riders came through. I held onto the back of the bunch just resting, I felt pretty good but I didn't want to contend the race. At the 18 minute mark I thought i'd go off the front knowing that I wouldn't be able to hold it long anyway, I kicked down the back straight and held good speed through the corner, I lead the race for about a lap before being consumed by the bunch.
Once the bunch came past I dropped off the back of the race, for the last 12 minutes I was a few seconds behind the bunch, lapping solo by myself. Every couple of laps one of the riders would be ejected out the back of the bunch and I would pass them. I pushed hard but could never catch our bunch again, although they didn't manage to lap me so i'm calling it a win.
Although I came into the race wanting to focus on my tactics I didn't really get much time to do so; although solo-ing by myself gave me plenty of time to practise my cornering around the hairpin so I got something out of the race at least :) It was still a lot of fun.
|Average Speed:||37.74 km/h|