What's new

Shuzenji CCC 21-22/08/2010


Maximum Pace
May 25, 2009
What a weekend!

We arrived at the Continental Cycling Centre in Shuzenji on the 21st for Tsukino to participate in the Kids Criterium race, anyone that has kids I highly recommend these races!!!

She was a bit nervous as she didn't really know anyone there but as soon as Haru from Team Beach arrived she cheered up.

She made short work of the race finishing 2nd in a peloton made up of 1st, 2nd and 3rd graders, all of which were boys and finished 2nd overall in the race and taking 1st in her age category.

Day 2 was the JCRC K-Class race and the usual suspects were there minus Yato-kun who had moved up, but she would race Haru again.

She was in 3rd place for the majority of the race until the last corner where one of the boys crashed right in front of her due to his pedal clipping. She was able to avoid hitting him (Bloody impressive bike handling)

But Haru squeezed through and although she was gaining ground on the leaders she ran out of track and finished 5th overall and 2nd in the girls.

Great results for Tsukino!

My S-Class race was at 10:00am and already heat mirages were dancing over the course. Out of the 45 riders that signed up, 5 decided to not race due to the oppressive heat and humidity.

Straight from the gun the pace was fast, this could have something to do with the Peloton having several Domestic and 2 Continental Pro's in its ranks and with no shelter or shade from the sun riders started to full off the back of the Peloton by the 3rd lap.
Lap 5 I was starting to feel the effects of the high pace and slowly but surely on the climbs I was losing ground, only to catch up again at the bottom of the descents this yo-yoed for 2 more laps before I finally lost contact with them.

It's probably the most depressing thing to be dropped by the Peloton and I saw some other riders remove their race numbers ending their race there and then on side of the roads. For me it's over when I'm told by the outriders or I physically can't go on, so gritting my teeth I continued to keep my heart in the 180's and continued to race. Before long I started catching other riders that had been chewed up and spat out the back of the Peloton and it invigorated me to push harder and not let up on the climbs.

All the time I was worried that the leading riders would lap me and thus end my chances of taking the points I so desperately need in the series.

I caught and passed another S-class rider in the Astana team colours and he jumped on my wheel on the back climb, suddenly he launched off the back of me and went for it and before long he was gone. I continued catching and passing other S-class riders only worrying about my pace and keeping at it on the climbs.

Last lap and I was thinking "This is where they will catch me" I put rubber to road and pushed the heart rate higher, reeling in another 2 riders on the climb out of the starting area. Cresting the highest point alone I dropped back down only to spy the Astana guy again, passing him for the second time we battled our own personal race up that long gruelling climb in the heat.

I realised that If I could stop him from passing me I would be able to get a lead on him in the descent (Being heavier has its benefits, especially when gravity is involved) I think he sensed what I had planned and tried to pass, we snaked up that climb with me defending my wheel and I reached the apex of the climb slightly ahead of him and took off down the final descent.

At the bottom I had a 6 meter lead on him and I realised that if I attacked now and put another 5 or 6 meters between us he may just give up on taking me. Putting my last efforts on the climb to the line I took him completely by surprise and opened another 10 meters on him.

Looking under my legs I knew he was done, I crossed the line exhausted not knowing my placement, guessing that I had finished in around 20th. I could hardly stand in the heat and without the flow of air around my body cooling I need to drop my core temp. Fortunately Shuzenji has a trough like drinking water zone and the cold water pouring down my neck and head was bliss.

Finally able to think I sat down in the shade and rehydrated, my only worry being that of finishing within the required time and collecting the 140 points. I was amazed to find out from Kaori that I had not only got my points but that I had finished 8th overall!

With the 156 points for 8th place I'm now the race leader in the JCRC S-class series by 53 points and only 4 more races left!

Complete race report will go up on my blog sometime this week with the photos.
Good on you James. It must've been a tough race for you to be dropped! Well done on getting the points though:D
Cheers Mike.... just looked over the results and the Peloton completely fell apart with 1 minute between first and 2nd place and then everyone else coming in 1 minute after each other.

The course is grueling and designed by someone with a hatred to road riders.

Also todays race marks exactly 1 year of getting back in to racing as it was this Stage last year at Shuzenji CCC that I entered the X-class race for classification!
Well done, James! This course is designed to pull apart peletons and it always happens. I've finished similarly to you in two races there, only in easier classes (E and D).
Cheers Ludwig,

Going to need to bend your ear on the Shiobara Hillclimb, Will send you an email later this week.
in the mood

Cheers Ludwig,

Going to need to bend your ear on the Shiobara Hillclimb, Will send you an email later this week.

James, here's already something to bring you in the mood...:D

Good job at Shuzenji and congratulations on being on top of your class now !

Many, many thanks! Not only do I now know where the location of the race is but have a nice ryokan to book....scoring extra brownie points with the wife with the onsite onsen factor!!

Sunday had to be the hardest race I've done, not only with the heat but also the competition being very very good.

I could never imagine that this time last year I was watching those S and SS class riders with Ludwig and MOB thinking, bloody hell they are good. Now not only am I one of the SS riders, I'm leading the series! :confused:
Thanks Pete,

Although I would like to point out that Tsukino made the podium twice this weekend while I missed out by two places :eek:uch:
James, they keep cutting the Shiobara race shorter every year! Two years ago, there was a prologue the day before, just racing up the steep section with the potential to get winning points but no participation points. Last year, the prologue was abolished and only the main race took place. This year, the main race is down to the steep section of the race, i.e. the first part through the valley, on an only half-closed road is gone. I guess they figured out that facing on-coming traffic on the opposite lane was a bit too dangerous, and couldn't get the full kokudo blocked. So this year it is just a simple hill-climb. The climb is quite steady, except for the first bit where there is a slightly steeper part. I can't think of any special tactics. If you can keep up with the fastest climbers, and even pass them eventually, great, but chances are that some of the university club riders will outdo you. So it's really just power as hard as you can, and in something like 20 minutes the pain should be over. I would minimize all weight on the bike, which also means carrying no bottles/holders.
Ludwig, Many thanks.

Hopefully the new bike will be here just in time for the race and its light......very light :D Although the Pinarello is down to the UCI minimum :D

I've actually been doing a lot of hillclimb training which has really paid off so hopefully I will be competitive for the race. I just need to scout it out so I know where to attack.

Also for the TFC (Tsukino Fan Club) the first race report is up!

Scouting out is always good, but for this race you could rely on your cycling computer how far away you are from the finish. The information the JCRC gives about the length of the climb is very accurate. And the incline doesn't change much.
Ludwig and Tom....what of our usual climbs would you say best replicates the Shiobara Race????
I would say Matsuhime from Kosuge, only that the road surface in Shiobara is better.
Ludwig and Tom....what of our usual climbs would you say best replicates the Shiobara Race????

I concur with Ludwig - Matshime from the Kosuge side bears the closest resemblance.

Another climb closely resembling Shiobara in my opinion (especially in terms of road surface quality) would be Shigasaka-toge on 299 from where the climbing begins riding out of Chichibu.

Another one a bit more nearby (but also a bit shorter) is the Saitama Yamabushi-toge.

Well done at Shuzenji. I've never done that one CW. I wonder which way is harder?

As for the hillclimb, I don't know it but looking at how Ludwig describes it, it would seem you need to go your hardest for 20 minutes. Do you know what you can hold for 20 mins in terms of HR or power? For me I would aim at 185 HR for the distance.

A good warm up is also essential and you should look to touch your target HR or power a couple of times.

Obviously it's good to follow wheels but if it's slightly steeper at the start, you don't want to try to follow the pure climbers and risk blowing up. I would aim for a constant effort (in terms of HR / power and cadence) for the duration. Finding your rhythm is all important.

Anyway, good luck and looking forward to the Shuzenji report on the blog


I would say Shuzenji is harder clockwise, and certainly more dangerous because of the many curves when descending - some people are just bad at keeping pace lines or have their over-pumped tyres blow up in curves...

I agree it is much harder, even though pro's say that the CW course is a bitch. :D

Andy I can hold 185 bp/m for 20 minutes no problem with a cadence of around 110. I have the gearing to do this as well especailly if the climb is like Matsuhime.

As for warm up, I always take my rollers for this exact reason and I think without them on Sunday I would be amongst the DNF's.

I'm surprised you can warm up on rollers in this heat! I think I'd die. I used to warm up on rollers but recently I use the road. Inclines are the best and if you can use the course all the better.

In the perfect situation, I try to warm up on the slope above the start line. If you time it right you can finish your warm up with a couple of minutes to spare, roll down to the start line and get the best starting spot (just look like you're in a rush!)

Here's my heart rate data for Tsugaike in June:

http://www.jyonnobitime.com/time/tsugaike 2010 hill climb and time trial HR data.doc

The three peaks are the warm up before the race. I push it closer and closer to the HR I want to go at. For this race I did 180 at 80 cadence as I wanted to save something for the TT in the afternoon.

110 cadence sounds high to me. I have friends who go at that kind of cadence but they tend to be small guys. Of course everyone's different but for me turning a slightly heavier gear and staying in the saddle seems to work best. Anyway, I'm sure you know best! Good luck!


Andy..... rollers in this weather are perfect.... find a nice shaded area with a cooling breeze and away you go. The stands over looking the race course at Shuzenji were very cool. The road was blisteringly hot so the last place I want to warm up on.

As for getting the sweet spots, the riders make room for me along the front or second line, at Gunma they laughed when I was hiding at the back and told me to get to the front. :D

As for the tactics in climbing..... no idea :D I'll just go all out for the 7km climb keeping an eye on the HR and the Cadence and pray the weight loss and training pays off.
Top Bottom