My Blog

The latest in my neck of the woods!

16 July 2008

Since having Liz stay for a few days, it was hard getting back to normal and I must say I lost interest in working or answering emails or turning on my computer.  Everything felt like hard work and I was pretty keen to have maybe 2 weeks holidays.

It took all my energy to get ready for Saturdays ventures.

1. Road race with Geelong Cycling Club at Maude
...and
2. A private MTB skills session with a group of very fit guys at the YOU YANGS

Somehow in my planning, I prepared for EVERYTHING else bar how to get to Maude via Forrest.  There is a short cut via Lethbridge but I did not know and sent Norm further than we needed and low and behold made it to the race start with about 30 seconds to spare on start line.  Thank goodness it was a handicap and I was not off limit.

Sebastian, Phil myself and one other person were 2nd scratch and in my rush had no idea how long after we left that Scratch left.  The race around here is full of hills, shorty punchy ones, and long leg sappers with some long gradual inclines that almost appear to be flat.  But to compliment these, there is of course some amazingly fast gradually downhill flat sections and a few top speed descents that get your heart rate back into normality if only for a minute.

On the first lap, about the 2nd or 3rd climb in, I found that my legs were spinning way too easy and  dropped it down a couple of gears.  I had no idea that no one had gone with me.  So blindly I am powering along, feeling good, feeling smooth and sure enough, I had dropped the rest of the bunch with about 150 mts between us. 
Quick decision, stay out front and let them catch me, work hard, put some time into the  Scratch bunch that is hunting us down and also  get closer to the bunches in front.  Yep, thats what i will do, freshly enthused by watching too much TDF, I was the worker for the day, ensuring that even if I blew up, our team would get over the line first.

Six kilometers later, I was finally caught and one the biggest uphills of them all.  Our group still had Mr.Unknown rider in it and he wasnt very communicative, or cooperative.  Thankfully in the last few km's of the first lap, he decided to put in the hard yards and went out on a ITT effort.  Not sure what for, but none of us followed and we let him go.  We were confident that he would not last and  we all must have agreed he wasnt worth chasing down at this stage.  

Well, within the next kilometer he was no where to be seen.  He must have blown off the back and pulled out.  So it was just 3 lone MTB'ers working together to beat scratch.  We had caught one of the limit riders already and were gaining on some more.  

At this stage I took the ownership of being 'team leader' and discussed that we should all look after each other in the next 10kms and make sure we share the load and if someone is suffering, cover for them a little longer.  This worked well and when we approached our last bunch to pass to put us in 1st 2nd and 3rd place, our team work showed through. 
We agreed to hang back a little and not pass the bunch in front yet, just sit back around 30 mts back, gradually creep up, and when we were 10 mts out, jump them like a freight train and go wide so there was no chance of finding a wheel.

Well it worked and here we were, only 5 kms to go and we were home.  Once we hit the final downhill, the boys left me as I think I must have spent myself on the initial 6km solo effort.  Still I worked hard and wanted 3rd spot and did not want scratch to catch me.

Seb 1st, Phil 2nd, Me 3rd 100mts back, and 30 seconds later Peter from Scratch came over the line.  NICE!  Was a fun race.

 

Part 2 of Saturday.  3 fit guys needing some tuition in riding their MTB's smoother and better at the You Yangs.  A totally fun day with some great rides on the most fun downhills for XC riders at the You Yangs.  But the hardest I have worked for a long time!  Thanks for a great day.