Mario Races Bicycles

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20th Jan 2016 - HCC Crits C Grade

After the christmas holidays and being out for a week with a cold it was good to be back racing again. I was racing with a friend Jarel, it was his first C grade race, he had just won his first crit in D grade and was immediately promoted.

Having only ridden a couple of times in the last month and without any real hard training sessions I knew that I would be slow, the goal for the night was to stay with the bunch as long as possible and then try avoid getting lapped when dropping out the back. It was a little warm and humid, not too crazy but I never do well in warmer temperatures.

After coming out of neutral at the beginning of the race it was immediately obvious I was following a bad wheel. The rider in front was slowing down more than the others coming into the hairpin which meant that I had to push hard up the hill the first couple of laps and I was struggling very early on. I tried to grab a more stable wheel but didn't have much luck, I quickly found myself at the back of the bunch around lap 4 or 5.

I went to move forward as the group was a little slow on the back straight which put me into the first 5 riders coming up the climb. My friend Jarel kicked off the front going up the hill, I grabbed his wheel and held it going over the start/finish line but that little effort cost me big time. As we were going over the line the sprint lap signal was shown. We already had a little gap and I started dropping back into the group leaving Jarel to claim the sprint prize very easily. At the end of the race he told me that he didn't realise that was the sprint lap, he was just very lucky with his timing.

After the effort to move up and to hold onto Jarel’s wheel for a few short seconds I was cooked. I dropped to the back off the bunch and very quickly dropped further back. This was around 11 minutes into the 35 minute race. I started to ride solo in the hops of not being lapped, I lasted a good 15 more minutes, getting lapped a bit before 30 minutes was up. I tried to push hard the last couple of laps and sprinted up the hill on the last lap up the hill.

Tonight was very useful, riding solo at the back gave me some very good cornering practise, I was trying to concentrate on dropping my outside heel which helps to twist the bike to corner sharper. Also it was very hard work so no doubt valuable training. In a few weeks I should hopefully be in a position to finish with the bunch, see how we go

Moving Time: 00:35:23
Distance: 21.21 km
Average Speed: 35.96 km/h
Climbed: 236 metres