tips and hints
and how I got 3rd in a race I thought I could just make the top 10..
On a pretty cold Saturday morning I made my way down to Albert Park for a race I thought not only I had no chance, but thought if I could make the top 10 would be pretty happy.
Jot to the track around 7:15 in the am with not a breath of wind, but a balmy 6 deg showing on the thermostat. Start by grabbing bike; wheels; bits and bobs ready to go register. Rolling to the start line, no nerves just waiting to go was all I could think at this time (hurry up 8am). Once registered numbers were pinned and transbonder in place (electronic timing YAY) I head out for a few siting laps and warm up. Meet up with a couple of guys I knew and just tootled around looking for places to make moves, or if need be attacks on the field.
From the button the pace was........... well pretty comfortable. No one realy wanted to do anything major, and everyone was watching the others kill themselves on the front. I sat about 6 wheels back waiting for some excitement.................. and none came. After 20min or so of sitting in I decide to hit the front and ramp up the pace. I was wondering if anyone had the guts to come along for a breakaway.
I took the group from 31 k/Hr to 40 in the blink of an eye and charging right up the extreme left of the straight. Looking for riders to help I hit the turn and jumped out again at pace, flick of the elbow and none came through with any help. I moved to the other side of the trac and again flicked the elbow and still not a follower to come through to do a turn. I had to pull to thr right of track and tap the brakes to get back on the end of the field to recover.
It was at that point I decided to sit in, wait, and charge at the end.
I sat on the back until 3 laps to go, and decided to make some spots at every turn to make sure I was near the front when the sprint went. Heading into the last turn I was in 6th wheel and looking good to finish in the top four.
Much to my surprise the the lead out came at a pace I was able to follow. After shooting past 4 riders, and having to shoot left a little because the lead out man pulled into my way, I was in 2nd place and chasing down first but running out of legs quite fast. Hitting the line I saw a Hawthorn jersey just to my right about half a wheel in front, so I managed third place in the first ever open Criterium I have every ridden.
I learnt alot riding this race and there are alot of things I could have done better. But everything I learnt will be place in the next time I roll out with a number on my back and a ich in my leggs.....