S class: We placed 2nd.
A class: 1st.
B class: We didn't do so well.
C class: No entrants.
D class: 2 of us: (incuding me)....
E class: No entrants.
F class: No entrants.
X class: 10th.
Kids 2nd (S class' son) Like father like son. Two 2nds....
I was well prepared and in good shape. Decided to sit back and draft till the last lap (which I did to almost perfection). There were sprint points after every lap so the pace picked up a lot every 5kms to over 50kph. The wind was strong on the other side and we were doing about 37 there.
Lap 1: I thought it was too fast but was sitting pretty behind the pack: Spent the whole lap trying to get my heart rate monitor working after it was tested and working before the race:
Lap 2: Slowed down a little and I settled in, sometimes moving up the right hand side when somebody was making a break to go up near the front. Forgot about my HRM and concentrated on my cadence. 100rpm.
Lap 3: Felt it was going ok but still not sure how I would fair, so just drafted a lot. There was some near crashes on this lap a few times (with yelling) and then one guy went down; and the guy tumbling down was in front of me. Those to my left and right parted but I had to keep going straight. Somehow I managed to go between him to the left and his cartwheeling bike to the right. (with my brakes on hoping nobody was on my wheel). Everybody was really angry about the crash and we all slowed down to about 30kph (sensibly) and we all got our lines back in order before a majority said... OK let's go. Partly to wait for those like me who were slowed down a bit. (first time in a race that that has happened with me).
That adrenalin rush made me move up to the front for a while.
Lap 4: Didn't like the wind so went back to the back again.
Lap 5: Realised that I couldn't stay at the back all day so made a move with somebody else to the front but nobody would let us in and we had a lot of wind so we drifted back again.
Lap 6: Decided again to get up near the front. Was sitting pretty about 10 back till there was about 2km to go. Felt really good in fact and stupidly decided to go hard up to the front as I could see a few little half hearted breakways at the top and wanted to be on the back of any breakaways. Found myself in the lead and then didn't want to be there so pulled out and tried to get back in about 10 back. No gaps and nobody would let me in. Still feeling fine I went hard to the front again and was sitting 2nd. The two of us opened up a 20 m or so gap but the wind was still in our faces. I wanted at least 6 to be with us here not just me. The guy in front then pulled out and I had to lead again. Out in front by myself and still about 1km to go...Too late now. I had to give it 90% and hope. Nobody wanted to come up and take over as we were still out in front a bit too far and my legs were running out of gas. ( not exactly 100% sure of what was going on behind me as I only glanced back a few times) I pulled out to the side with the peleton still about 30 m back. My only chance was to hope I could sit in again and make a late recovery sprint. Then 2 guys tried to breakaway and I jumped on the back of them.... I knew my legs were gone and I basically gave up, let the peleton pass me and I finished about 20 seconds behind 1st place in 51st place.
Average speed for me was 41:28, 41:70 or so for the winner.....
gaman dekinakatta...should've waited till the last 300m
There were plenty of crashes all day and they ran out of ambulances to cater for the worst injuries. The afternoon races were set back an hour as a result...
Great write-up - really exciting. I was on the edge of my seat! I thought you were going to win. Next time you will be first!!! Fantastic - if you had not mentioned all the ambulances I would entered the next race with you
30km at 41:28kph - that is really fast. When do you train with your team - Sunday mornings? What do you do at an average club training session?
Sorry for writing like I was going to win....have to make my pitiful attempt look good somehow.
There are only about one or two races a year that suit me and that was one of them. I feel really foolish about the way I handled the race today. Overconfident and not strong enough. All I had to do was wait till the very end as the whole group stayed togther at the end. A few stragglers came in behind me. I'm a strong sprint finisher but not much good at anything else. All I had to do was rest and not panic.
1st time on that course and the finish line was in the center of the course in my mind but looking at the map now I can see it was at the end of the straight. A long straight. Completely misjudged the last 3kms....
We train Sunday mornings but it's not adequate. 2 years ago I was doing some serious group training under race conditions with S and A class riders and I was a much better racer then than I am now. It's hard to find spots to train at high speeds in groups.
We basically just do team time trial like sprints for 12kms a stretch on the Edo river at about 40kph but the track is narrow so we have to ride in single file.
Today's race had a very tight feel with us all on the left side of a 2 lane road all riding into gaps that weren't there trying to stop people passing. (and keep out of the wind) Some wheels rubbing. Was very scary. Especially since I haven't raced much this year....
...And a great report!
The only thing I've ever done similar to that, was at last year's "Tokyo Enduro".
But nowhere near those speeds!
Mis-judging where the finishing line was must have really sucked.
But just doing that race... Congratulations!
Probably the most important part is; You didn't CRASH!!!
Anyway, WELL DONE!
You are too modest . . . I was highly impressed. Yesterday I was reading about a leading Australian track cyclist who was taking part in Keirin races in Japan this year. In his race diary he decribes one of his early races and how he made mistakes in his race strategy and found himself at the front of pack entering the back straight - "I was a sitting duck" The pack passed him in the final 100 meters and he failed to make the final.
The point I am making is you were good enough to be at the front. Many others were merely 'also-rans'. Next time you can get your timing right! Whilst I understand your disappointment - you should be very proud - you were one of a handful of people who COULD have won the race.