Article JBCF - 2 Days in Gunma Stage 1

FarEast

Maximum Pace
May 25, 2009
5,528
538
193
Yokohama
#1
JBCF; 2 Days in Gunma - Prologue:

I roll over as slowly as possible and switch off the alarm a minute before it shatters the peace of night, the blazing red digits sear my retinas and leave a glowing 02:00 am where ever I look. I gingerly get up careful not to take the covers away from my sleeping wife and with stealth I leave the sleeping beauty.
Down stairs even my faithful dog is unaware that master is up and about and entering the living room I realize my stealth was for nothing, my wife was there on the sofa bright eyed and awake, ready to make sure nothing was forgotten, and to wave us goodbye and good luck.

I’m amazed at how she does it.

The car was already packed so all it meant was to extract my son who would be joining me this weekend from his bed and into the car without waking him, which was utterly unsuccessful, though I was glad of the company and the silly banter on route to Gunma.

We accidently rendezvoused with the rest of the team at a convenience store just off the expressway, my son spotted the team car 1st, not difficult to say it’s a blazing orange and electric blue vehicle and it goes to show how fatigued driving in the early hours can make you.

Registration was at 6am, you go in hand in your UCI or JBCF license and they draw a line through your name and hand you the RFID chip and race numbers, however it was a long wait until we would mobilize in the neutral zone at 09:15am so we hurried back to the warmth of the cars as the temperatures had plummeted to 5◦c and within minutes of reaching the car it started to snow.

The weather was awful and it was on a cycle of Snow, rain, sun. Fortunately it was on the Sun cycle when we were eventually called to the neutral zone at 9am.

JBCF; 2 Days in Gunma - Stage 1

Now with a peloton of 100+ riders and the roads that make up the Gunma CSC racing circuit being very narrow in some sections I knew that a good starting position at the start would be essential, not only that but maintaining that position during the rolling start would be difficult as riders would jostle for position in the first 4km.

The best place to be is right on the back wheel of the motorcade bike with the marshal that would signal the start of the race, failing that smack bang on the following riders, I managed to secure 3rd wheel and was towed for the roll out. You could hear the shouts from the back as riders tried to push up to the front.

As we started the climb along the back roads all eyes were on the Lollipop sign as the marshal started to wave it up and down and finally flicking it to green “RACE ON!” Straight away there was an explosion of activity at the front as the strongest riders set out to dominate the front of the peloton and prevent others from getting to the front and hopefully causing a break in the peloton.

The pace was relentless and I don’t think in the first lap my heart rate dropped below 170 bpm. I couldn’t see my team mates, so decided to stick in the first 10 wheels and maintain position, if he wanted to find me he knew where I would be.

We cleared the big climb and rocketed through the finishing area, and although the sun was out the roads were still very slick, I was worried about the moss that grows on the side of the roads at Gunma and I think many others were as we were constantly bleeding off speed as we descended through the technical chicanes, I remember at one point smelling the burning cork of my brake pads and thinking “God I love that smell”.

The racing continued to be relentless for the next 20 minutes, with a few riders going off the front, only to be reeled in on the big climb. It would all come down to positioning on the final climb and then who still had the legs to go toe to toe on the final sprint. (For those that have raced JCRC the finishing line in JBCF races is on the opposite side of the tower, straight after the final climb, I actually prefer it as it makes for a much better racing.)

On the final lap the jostling really kicked in, elbows, knees were a plenty at the front as riders used brute force to push forward. It takes nerves of steel to not only do this but to defend and hold your line against others muscling their way forward. Unfortunately 1 rider coming up my left just before the climbing started pushed his luck a little too far, locked handles with another rider just in front of me and down they came taking another rider with them.

I slammed on the brakes and managed by the hair of my teeth to skid the bike around the stricken riders. I literally must have missed them by millimeters. Like wolves for the kill the lead riders took advantage of this and hit the 1st climb hard, it took a lot of my reserves to go after them and I was hanging on to the coat tails of the lead group.


We hit the switch back and the attacks came in hard and fast, it took all my energy and will power to stay with them and as we crested the top of the final climb I was just a little to far off the back to get dragged along in the final sprint for the line, now it would be to maintain my position to try and get as many points as possible.

Head down, lungs busting I tore for the line. I crossed the line in a 1 man group and awarded my own time 7 seconds behind the winner. In that final sprint straight after the climb I hit 63.1km/h not bad to say my legs were jelly.

Not only that but I had secured a further 15 points to the tally - 35 points for the season!

Photo's will follow if can find any!
 

FarEast

Maximum Pace
May 25, 2009
5,528
538
193
Yokohama
#5
jecjec81, yes E2.

I used to be JPT, but I took a year out after the Great Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami to do charity work and then also got my license form in 3 days late casued someone at the JCF office to have a hissy fit so they demoted me to E2 (Champ Sys does not have a JPT team for road so I have to race E1)

It's crazy as I was JCRC S class Champion last year which races longer distances than E1 and is also made up of E1 and JPT riders! Go figure!!!
 

jecjec81

Maximum Pace
Dec 12, 2008
106
28
58
Meguro-ku, Tokyo
#6
jecjec81, yes E2.

I used to be JPT, but I took a year out after the Great Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami to do charity work and then also got my license form in 3 days late casued someone at the JCF office to have a hissy fit so they demoted me to E2 (Champ Sys does not have a JPT team for road so I have to race E1)

It's crazy as I was JCRC S class Champion last year which races longer distances than E1 and is also made up of E1 and JPT riders! Go figure!!!
Hi James,


I believe it was just fine. Last year, you were competing with my team mate Furuya-san for the overall standings in S class JCRC - who finished 2nd place overall after you. Last year Furuya-san is racing in E2 JBCF (got promoted E1 at later stage), who can't even finish in the Top 15 position in races and overall standings in E2!
 

FarEast

Maximum Pace
May 25, 2009
5,528
538
193
Yokohama
#7
I was finishing in top 15 in UCI 2.1 and 2.2 races in 2009 and 2010 ;)

Alot of riders get promoted each year just because they finish each race of the season and end up in the top 60 slots because of it, unless he came in the top 3 in one of the races at the end of the season?

It's what I planned to do at the final race of the season last year until I got taken out.