Overview18193145_10158685775090284_705430989723250079_o

I accomplished what I aimed for, i.e. to finish the 95.4km race course. This was a training session for me, one in the midst of a hard training block & road racing (run). I learnt a lot today and can’t wait to have my first  targeted(tapered) cycling race 🏁 I cannot recall ever having so much takeaways from one training session, guess the unusual occurence is on account of the race duration – 3hrs, 95.5km at avg pace of 31kmp. No podium for me today but coach said in his spanish ascent “But you did good race man”

 

Takeaway

  1. If you cannot clip-in quickly, do not go to the front of the start line.
  2. In the peloton you need to decide if you will take the risk or take the wind.
  3. You cannot have aero bars on your bike during mass starts.
  4. It is not best to voluntarily give up your lead position in the pack before a hill climb.
  5. Choose the right gear, you will go stronger for longer.
  6. After crossing the finish line, continue pedaling to save yourself some muscle issues.

 

Pre-Race

No targeted work was done for this event, it was once of those “Just Do It” race. I competed on tired legs, the Friday before the race I ran my fastest 10km to date, Saturday morning I did my usual brick workout [Bike & Swim] at a controlled effort. Saturday evening I started rowing training for the anuual row for charity event in a few weeks. Sunday morning I braved the mass to finish the race course.

 

Race Start

Place was cool and colourful, all the different cycling kits and expensive bikes. I was not nervous, just had  no clue of how this event will play out.

As we received the starters command and rolled off the line, I saw one guy[my father] fumbling to get clipped-in, all I was saying in my head is “do not fall“, glad he did not. Inherently, within the first 5km there was a fall at the front quarter of the peloton which I narrowly escaped, but quickly swerved and latched onto the brake-away pack.

I remained with the brake away pack [new peloton] until an attack was launched going up a relatively small incline[Tree Houses Park] some 22km into the race. That was soon followed by another attack as we climb the first major incline [Stewart’s Hill]. As a result the peloton was shattered into pieces, with me at the rear. I rode solo for a while before catching up the lead chase pack of 8. 18216562_10158685765645284_174348894743021889_oWe remained as an organized pack, with everyone contributing to the load, during the 58th km of the race I lost contact with the pack as we were about to climb Ben Hill. My novice call lead to my demise i.e. – as we approached the 0.9km hill climb I was at the head of the pack, but pulled out with the hope of taking shelter at the back, but instead I ate dust. By the time I reached the top the guys were out of sight.

I had no choice but to continue in “no-mans-land’ battling the wind, hills and heat alone. After 21km I was caught by a chase pack of 3, then a pack of 2 and within the last 5km another pack of 3 went by.  With all intent, I wanted to tag along on all 3 occasions but my legs were shattered. It was either; I continue at my pace to the end or try to go with them and risk “hitting the wall”, hence unable to finish the race. I had nothing to prove so I opted for the most prudent option “go at my pace”.

I eventually completed the final climb to cross the finish line.

 

Post-Race 18261173_10158687797190284_1048630088_o

My father and I hang around a bit as we shared our race experience. Unfortunate for him, he went down in the peloton crash, got back up but mechanical and marshalling difficulities forced him to do a detour.

We then left for breakfast and continued with our lives.

Action Photos taken by Terrence Lowe

 

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