A great start to the month of August training-wise saw me having racked up over 300km in the first 9 days. After having Friday off the bike (as I had to cart a lot of work stuff home for a trip to Sydney at the start of next week), I decided it was time to bust out the brand new club jersey and hit the Saturday morning crits.
After a solid week and a half of steady base-building style riding, I knew I had no 'speed' - but I was hoping my overall fitness would get me through. The aim was to basically get through the race with the pack, giving me a solid effort at a higher intensity than normal in order to give the legs a bit of a 'change up' as part of my August 'build'.
The hardest part of the day was getting out of bed! It was a cold morning, with some very fresh (ie. freezing!) south-westerly winds whipping around. I dragged out my wind-vest for the first time in 3 years, and also had an under-shirt under my jersey, and arm-warmers...
The race had a good-size peloton - around 35 people toed the line for C-Grade. After a quick race briefing we were racing 40min + 3 laps), we were away. We settled into a steady pace, with two main teams (QSM and Kangaroo Point Cycling Club) looking to control the race.
All went well in the first half of the race, I was able to maintain a midfield position without killing myself. I was feeling god, and was happy with how I felt.
Everything changed just after the mid-way prime sprint though. I had a really tough time from about the 25min mark to about 40min. It was 15min of total pain for me. I really struggled, and had to focus hard and put in some big efforts to hold on to the back of the pack. Not really sure why - if it was the pace, or just a shock to the legs being at that intensity for so long - but it was very hard work.
The pace then dipped, as the two main teams eased up waiting for the 3 laps to go sign to come out. It didn't arrive until the 45min mark, so I got two easy laps to 'recover'.
This was surprising for me - I recovered very quickly. After those two laps, I felt terrific and ready to get going again! I guess this was the benefit of my consistent base riding over the last week and a half...
The final three laps went quickly. I was in a great position on the last lap, and came into the final corner in the front third of the field. Unfortunately, I had no sprint to unleash (but that will come!) - so I did what I could, and rolled over the line in about 15th place.
All up, a terrific morning of racing. A great confidence build, and told me a lot about how well my training is going - it's certainly encouraged me to keep up my consistency!
Final stats for the race - 50min at 39km/h average.