This circuit was one of the first race circuits that I have ever cycled. I remember it popped up on boards way back when I was beginning cycling and we decided to cycle it, see what all the rage was about. Little did we know the difference a bit of speed makes. Back then I probably averages 20km/h if even on the run around compared to the race.
So was it all that was expected? Well … no. I only realised where we were cycling during the race and remembered then, something which will hopefully push me to check the course route a little better in future.
The day began with the usual half organised me packing up and heading off. In the car on the way I realised I’d forgotten something, not as bad as the previous week, but still not good. Basically I’d forgotten lunch. While I had some made, I didn’t eat it or bring it with. This resulted in my stopping off at a garage to grab a sandwich. It’d probably have fine if I ate it then, however I didn’t. I left it until after I arrived, and signed. All in all, less than 20 minutes before the start.
Since there is a hill of sorts in this race, I did say I’d do something stupid with the hills and see how it goes. With the hill only half way around the lap and a long descent after, I knew I’d need to get across the top in front, preferably far ahead. On the first lap everything stayed together. Not working too much, but definitely together.
During the second lap, one or two guys started off the front. Knowing about the hill, I tried to get people to work a little on the front and tried to pull it along. For a number of reasons, this resulted in my getting a few metres off the front, something that wasn’t helped by another rider I know following me up. Since he wasn’t in Swords gear, we went for it thinking they’d let us out. At this stage, we were still almost 2km from the base of the hill and on a slight descent. What was I thinking?
Up up and away
We rolled along taking turns to the base of the hill and began up. Knowing from previous days, I decided to pop a gel and latched back on. We continued up but at the first big corner, he said look behind – and there was the group catching us. We let it roll into us but right when they did there was an attach. Something I should have expected but didn’t.
This bit is a slight blur but I know I tried to go with and my legs couldn’t muster. At some point on the hill I partly threw up into my mouth. Lets just say that I’ll not be eating any chicken/stuffing/mayo sandwiches for a while.
This was enough to push me out the back and not wanting to throw up more, I clicked down the big ring and rolled up with the stragglers. Over the top and down the long descent were about 6 of use grouped up. Some of them were left overs from the U16 race but we mostly worked and kept it going to the finish.
While waiting on the finish, some other A4 riders rolled through, so the main group must have splintered on the hill. And people in the lead group also clocked a time of 1h3min so maybe we weren’t as far off as I thought. Overall I was disappointed with my result. However it was Wednesday before my stomach recovered from getting sick.
Live and learn.
Avg Speed: 36.4km/h
Avg Power: 264.1watts
Normalised Power: 324watts