Bike clean? no.
Bag packed? no.
Trained enough? no.
I'm going to ride to the course from around 5 a.m. about 25km from here to Tsukuba circuit. Should be a mild early warm up providing it's not raining too hard.
Our A team although not fully equipped with all our best riders looks set to try and dominate with a pro keirin rider to help burst away a few times. They will also be fitted out with mikes and transmitters like the pros to remove the guess work of whether they need to come in or go hard for another lap...we'll keep our eyes on the lead groups.
Our B team should fair well also.
C team? (mine) well we don't want our D team to beat us so that will be my goal...keep my eye on them and our first rider must stay out on the course longer than their rider and put many seconds and meters between them. I may even try lend a hand to our B & A teams if I can break wind for them.... (the good kind).
DEFGH teams will try and upset as well and some of those teams have some ring ins and usually finish in different orders to how we've ranked them.
After the 8 hours I may ride home...then I'm going up to Nagano for 3 days to recuperate....mountain riding. This race 2 years ago was the scene of my last crash....2 years crash free (not counting MTBs).
Just got home and already had my bath...Woke up at 3a.m by the heavy rain and then hit the sack again till 4a.m. Left home around 4:30 with a heavy back pack with lots of dry clothes...The roads were saturated but it stopped raining for my 28km journey to get there.
Took it slow and had to buy a new CATEYE computer battery at 7/11 on the way.
Didn't get lost and arrived right at 6 a.m for when the gates opened. A slight mist on my glasses...no rain.
After setting up tents and taking team photos and a few laps the race began at 10.am.... About 320 teams. We had 5 in our team and I was the 4th rider so didn't get onto the track till around 11:30-12:00....
All our teams were at the back of the start as our team numbers were in the 260s 270s so it was hard to get to the front and the first stage in these races is where you win... A, B D & H teams managed to get in the lead peloton but our team was stuck in the 2nd group right from the start...no fault of our rider...was just too hard to get there. Getting in the lead group and lasting it out till there are just a few riders left ensures a podium place... You may have to stay out there for an hour if you're strong enough....Our A team rider lasted about that long...
To cut the long 8 hour story short...
I had 3 hits of 30 minutes each, 2 in the rain and one in perfect cycling conditions. Twice in the rain I was blinded by salty sweat and rain in my eyes and couldn't see for about 500m as I was in the middle of the pack. Scary stuff. Both those times I just slowed up held a straiight line and let the peleton drop me. My legs were fine it was just like I'd been sprayed in the eyes with lemon juice. On my 2nd leg and last lap I was just about to pull off the track when the lead peleton came up on my left and I saw our A-team sitting in 3rd...thought I'd burst in front of the group and try and help him for a lap...was my glory lap leading the pack for a lap...but as soon as I pulled into the main staright's head wind I quickly lost all the speed necesary to keep these guys happy and they passed me by.
I don't know the exact placings yet as I left as soon as the winner crossed the line..(I rode back home) 130km on the clock most of it at high speed.
Will edit the exact placings later..Out of 320 odd teams.
A: 9th or 11th?
H 31st... (the team I rode with last year) They got a few fast ring ins at the last minute as 2 people pulled out.
Out of the 5 times I've done this race the weather made this the most difficult for me ... I don't mind racing in rain but the wind kills me. The eye problems too were bad...
On my last leg I got on a fast pack but due to exhaustion I almost took out the front wheel of the guy who was in front of me but got dropped..and I tried to pass him with a burst to catch the group again..
My cadence was too low all day which means I haven't been training properly...
There were less ambulance calls than usual...there seemed to be very very fast riders or not so fast riders and I was somewhere in between... Too old and slow to stick with the fast guys and too fast for the rest...I couldn't find any groups to travel at a speed I liked so was alone or leap frogging slow bunches....
Just going to pack the car now and off to Hakuba.... uch:
(I'll have to re-edit & re-do the whole post here...too tired to make it coherrent..)
Laps were about 2.1km.
Our lead out guy was in the 2nd peleton which was not fast enough.
It is vital to be in the lead group for at leat 12 laps at the start.....more if you can hang on.
Our 5th rider usually abandons races if it rains and he is coming back from a broken wrist due to a crash so unfortunately his heart wasn't in it.
I came in from my last hit and the next rider was not ready so we lost a lot of time in a change over.
The teams that change over the least get higher ranks. Every time you have a pit stop you lose 40 to 50 seconds then the next lap is usually slower as well while you warm up or find a group to latch on to.
The rainy stretches were very dangerous. My times were worse than previous years but 1, 2 or 3kph less than normal due to the rain is ok by me.
Last year I did a 2 minute 59 lap but this year I couldn't.
I usually did 9 laps or more per hit but this year it looks like I only did 8.
I was the 4th rider, 9th rider & 13th rider on the C team list. Even though the conditions were perfect for my last hit I didn't ride very fast.... was just too tired...the rain drained all my energy....
At least we beat the team I was in last year by about 3 or 4 teams... I thought they beat us.....
None of our guys have typed up reports on Sado....
Hope they had a good safe time....will see them this Sunday. I think a lot of them went for the beer on the train up and back.
I'd love to do this ride....may even go over there in the summer....while I'm in Nagano.