Motegi Grand Prix Raceway 100km Jan-4 2008

Jan 14, 2007
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japanichiban.com
#1
I've done this race twice but can't do it this January.

http://homepage2.nifty.com/randi/race/2008motegi/2008motegi_race.htm

It's a good test to see how fast you can ride 100km. Stay in the pack with the pros and experts and you'll do it in about 2.5 hours.
If you're like me it will take you about 3 hours 15 minutes.

Perfect race to kick start your New Year's resolution....
 
Jan 14, 2007
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japanichiban.com
#3
It's a great race because it's a big course and you find a group that is riding at 'your' comfortable fast pace and hang on for as long as possible...

From memory the track is 4.8km X 21 laps...
There are the typical S bends on a grand prix track... 2 Bridgestone or Dunlop bridges... a gradual climb and then a steep descent with a 90 degree right hand turn under a bridge throgh some S bends again and then past the start line...

You'lll want to have drinks at the pit wall that you can grab every hour or so...
I lost time last year with a toilet stop. Also my magnet hit the speed sensor on my 1st lap and it exploded to smitherenes...and therefore lost track of my laps... tried to finish with one lap to go and was annoyed I had gone slower than the year before....
 

Philip

Speeding Up
Feb 15, 2007
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Setagaya
#4
Entry Deadline?

Hi Edogawakikkoman & Phil,

Can you help me. I cannot read kanji :eek:

  • When is the deadline for entry and what is the entry fee?
  • Can you travel to the race and home on the same day or do you need to stay overnight?
  • This would be my first bike race - can anyone apply or do you need to be registered or have previous experience?

Cheers,

Philip

PS - how many syllables in 'Edogawakikkoman' :p
 

Phil

Maximum Pace
#5
Hi Philip,

Edogawakikkoman is the racing sempai with all the info, but here are the quick answers:

1. Fee is 7000 yen. deadline for entry is December 14th.
2. Registration is 6:30 to 7:50. The circuit is about 3 to 4 hours(?) from Tokyo, so it would be an early start in the morning. The race begins at 8:30 though, so getting home before dinner should be no problem. I'm staying over the night before, driving home afterwards.
3. No entry restrictions except you must be in, quote, "good health".
 
Jan 14, 2007
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japanichiban.com
#6
I can leave from Noda or Matsudo at 5 a.m and easliy make it there by 6:30. a.m. You want to get to the gate early as the cars start lining up around 6.a.m.

A guy in our club once rode there the night before and set up a tent and sleeping bag somewhere. He also took a spare wheel.
We thought he was nuts but out of the 800 or so entrants he came 9th.

Course map.

proxy.php?image=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.toj.co.jp%2Ftoj4%2Fimages%2Fcourse%2Fmotegi.gif&hash=eb626edcc81aec8eca6d2496d56bb870


Unless you have car navigation GPS system it's easy to get lost...
The Mtio Interchange is where I think I usually get off the expressway.
Once my navi took me down a short cut... one lane country road through hills and valleys and lots of snow.... :eek:

There was snow on the course so the start was delayed while they drove around the course with a jet engine to blow dry all the ice off...

proxy.php?image=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.daimei.jp%2Fbranch%2Fimages%2Fmap_motegi.gif&hash=e2f08fa6794770bac4cbb6a195b40ca2


:warau:

Just found a camp ground....

proxy.php?image=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.mobilityland.co.jp%2Fenglish%2Fevents%2Findyjapan%2Fimg%2F07indy%2Fstay_map.gif&hash=e28bc8fed1b7fb783f46eaf18b9e0756
 

Philip

Speeding Up
Feb 15, 2007
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Setagaya
#7
Thank you Phil & Edokawakikkoman . . .

I will be in Europe for Christmas and need to finalize the date I arrive back in Japan before I can commit to participation.

"A guy in our club once rode there the night before and set up a tent and sleeping bag somewhere. He also took a spare wheel. We thought he was nuts but out of the 800 or so entrants he came 9th."​

His name wasn't Thomas was it??? :D

Cheers,

Philip
 
Jan 14, 2007
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japanichiban.com
#8
Good luck Phil.

Looks like about 6 guys in our club are going.
One super fast guy who will probably be in the top ten. (18yo).
Make sure you count the 21 laps as there is no way of knowing when you are finished unless you keep track of the kms and laps by yourself. Find a group of guys travelling a bit faster than you think you'd like and just sit on the back of them for about 3 hours and you should be fine....

I'll be dodging trees in Hakuba... (I'd actually rather be riding though).
 

Phil

Maximum Pace
#9
Thanks Pete! I'm actually just starting to panic a bit as I realized today I've never gone 100 km without stopping for 2 cans of coffee, a combini onigiri, a yakitori or two, umpteen traffic lights and at least three general enjoying-the-scenery breathers...

Appreciate the advice as always. I was wondering about the lap count thing as my computer's been on the blink recently; may have to consider a backup of some kind... In any case, I will be wheel sucking like a madman and hopefully hang on for semi-decent result.

Have fun skiing/snowboarding, and good luck to your teammates!

(Philip, guess you're not going to make it either?)
 
Jan 14, 2007
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#10
The pit stop wall will be a place to leave some drinks...grab them as you go by or better yet bring somebody with you to hand you food and drinks... There is a toilet on the back stretch but I just pulled off onto the grass and tried to be discreet...women & children will be racing too.....if you do a warm up lap you may want to plant some drinks on the top of the hill somewhere...(back stretch).

A back pocket full of calorie mates or whatever should be enough food...
 

Phil

Maximum Pace
#11
Here's my report on the Motegi race...

MotegiOval.JPG


It was a beautiful day for cycling, cool, dry, clear blue skies, and not a hint of snow. Motegi is a multi-use racing circuit built among the hills near the town, featuring an oval and a 4.8 km road course on which our race was held.

The course for this year:

http://homepage2.nifty.com/randi/race/2008motegi/motegi_RoadCourse.pdf

We were able to park right in the paddock area itself, and all the pit garages were open so we could set up our own little pit stops, from the minimalist solitary backpack to full team setups with rollers, picnic tables and mechanics stations. Because the circuit was built to host major motor racing events, there was lots of space to park, set up, and generally prepare for the race.

MotegiPitGarage.JPG


We had a chance to ride a lap or two before the race. The first part of the course was mostly flattish, but about half way along two shallow slopes led up to a hairpin at the highest point of the course (30 meter vertical climb). This was followed by a steepish downhill into an elbow turn, through an underpass, and up to the grandstand straightaway/pit area. We were to do 21 laps, which we had to count ourselves. I was a bit worried about this, as my computer had been switching off randomly the last little while, but I figured I could count the laps in my head as well for insurance.

According to the booklet they handed out at registration, there were 696 riders, split among five age classes, as well as the Expert Class (47), Ladies (43), and a men's MTB category (21). There was a good range of riders, from experienced racers who would be treating this as a long crit race and going for a podium finish, to newcomers for whom this would be the first attempt at 100 km. I was one of those in the middle, looking to set a personal best at the distance and hoping to rank well, but with no expectation of a podium finish.

We started lining up on the main straightaway at 8:15 or so. A quick explanation or the race followed, the pro invitees were introduced, and then we waited for the countdown to the 8:30 start. There was a big clock on the start/finish line gate and everything happened according to that. The first lap was a slow roll behind a pace car, with the usual braking and weaving and jockeying for position. Once we crossed the line the second time, the car drove off the course and we were left to ride at our own pace.

My goal was to finish within three hours, but as that would entail riding much faster than I'd ever managed solo on roads, I had no idea if it was realistic. The plan was to follow Edogawakikkoman's advice and find a group that was going a little over my target speed (somewhere around 35-40 km/h) and hang on.

For the first third of the race, everything went to plan. About 20 of us came together and formed a group. At first I wasn't sure if I could stay at the pace, and during the third lap especially I was huffing and puffing a bit. But then suddenly the legs found another gear, the riding became almost easy, and I was even able to take the occasional turn at the front.

Around lap 8 or 9-ish, the tete de la course of experts and racers--actually split now into two groups--lapped us, and right afterwards there was a crash in the bunch ahead. Only two riders went down, and they seemed okay, but in the confusion our little band was split up. I tried to find jerseys I recognized, such as Gerolsteiner, Man in Black, Retro Bianchi, Big Guy in Pink, and Little Quick Guy, and eventually some of us did manage to hook up again, but the smooth dynamic we had earlier was lost.

But, the legs were feeling fine and the pace was still there, so we continued to move around the course. Around lap 13 or 14, a rider in our group went up to take the front, and I jumped on his wheel. He pushed the pace up a notch, but that was fine by me, and I followed behind happily, until I looked back 1/2 a lap later and saw we'd ridden 100 meters off the front of our gang! I didn't really want to be in a two-man "breakaway", but the pace was good so I took a turn at pulling and hoped that our group would catch us again. Eventually, Quick Little Guy joined us, and then for a lap or so, we were three.

But soon after that our group became two, and then one, and I was stranded. The two lead groups lapped me again at this point, and in desperation I jumped on the second bunch. I stuck with them for two laps before falling off the back on the hill, and now I was well and truly stuck in limbo on my own, not enough in me to ride with the fast guys, but wanting to go faster than any of the other groups I was now passing. Still, there wasn't much wind and I was having fun, so it was easy enough to settle down and pedal solo for the final three laps.

The Last Lap...

Okay, so I get to the last go-around. I'd sort of lost count of the laps in my head, but the computer told me I still had 4+ kms to go, so this was it. Just as I was passing under the clock, the minutes clicked over to 11:21, which meant I had 9 minutes to do the last lap if I wanted to break the 3-hour mark! Could I do it? I tried to work it out in my head, but the synapses were no longer firing. It SEEMED do-able, if a little tight. There was no point holding back or saving the legs now, I just had to go flat out for 4-point-whatever kilometers. I have never ridden so hard in my adult life, but the legs kept moving around and around, and when I came on to the home stretch I looked down at the distant clock and saw it was at 11:29! I could do it! But was that 11:29:01, or 11:29:59??? No matter, go go go! Argh, that home stretch was loooooooong, but down it I sprinted, staring at the clock, willing it not to tick over before I crossed the line... And when I did, it hadn't. I'd coughed up a lung, but I'd made it in 3 hours!

Which was great and all, and makes for a good story, except...when I went to check my results, it turned out that I had finished in 2:51+ minutes, one lap before my near-fatal efforts. Which should have pleased me, I suppose, but instead I felt like a git for making such a fuss of what was a meaningless 22nd lap...

Still, a great day of cycling. As always, it was fun to be part of an event and join other cyclists in a (somewhat) competitive environment. I love having the opportunity to ride in groups like this, because of the sense of camaraderie that develops among the riders that come together. Plus, the course was wide and varied, about as good as you can hope for in a circuit course, and the venue was interesting and well-suited to the event. I believe there's going to be a big cycling event there in April (enduro, TT, etc)--maybe something for the TCC to get involved in?
 

Deej

Maximum Pace
Oct 13, 2007
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#12
Bravo!

Excellent report, Phil! Thanks for sharing that. You really pushed yourself hard -- well done. The enduro I participated in last month -- my first race -- gave me a taste of how fun, and utterly exhausting, racing can be, and I look forward to doing more in 2008. As you mentioned, perhaps TCC can get a crew together for some upcoming events.

Deej
 
Jan 14, 2007
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japanichiban.com
#13
Excellent time...I think my best was the first time I went in it. 3:15. The last lap is always a mystery....mucked it up on my 2nd attempt...had to do an extra one.

Our guys did well.
One guy came 12th overall and possibly could have won except there was a crash in the bunch sprint which splintered them up.
Another guy came 13th in his division....

Did you have somebody to hand you drinks etc? (vital for a good time).

Any toilet breaks?
 

Phil

Maximum Pace
#14
Nice results for your team, Pete--wow, 12th is way up there; must have averaged 40 km for the distance...

For drinks I just had the two 500ml bottles of water in my cages. Only drank about 2/3rds of one, so I didn't even need that much. No toilet breaks, or stops of any kind. Before the ride, I was pretty set on staying on the bike for the whole time in order to have a chance to get home in the 3 hr limit... Though if nature does call, you don't have much choice...

One thing that helped was having a few munchies in the back pockets. I didn't see any other riders eat during the ride, but I fuelled up quite a bit. I think that's at least partly the reason I still felt fresh toward the end when some of the others I'd been with fell off the pace. If you start to run out of calories, then you're just dead in the water...

And Deej, I hear you... As Pete warned at the Seo Festival, the racing thing can get addictive!