RR: Kew Crits - C Grade



That's right.....C-Grade. No more sandbagging for me since Dutchy got
involved in taking the regos a couple of weeks ago. Started off with a
strategy of "sit on a wheel, be in the front 5 for the last couple of laps".
Spoke to Ess briefly before the race and he mentioned something about going
off the front with a couple of laps to go........mmmmm....that has some
possibilities. Also saw Dutchy and DaveB who both rode D grade.

First 10 min, I sat on Ess's wheel - you really need to put on some weight
Ess so that you give a decent tow to a big bloke!!!! This was good as I
have ridden on his wheel before and know that he is unlikely to make any
erratic manoeuvres but we ended up moving towards the back of the field and
I started hurting a bit after each catch-up that we had to do up the hill
due to the "accordian effect". I did a bit of an effort over the top of the
hill at around this stage, went past Ess, and jumped on a wheel at about 6th
or 7th (guy on a yellow GT).

I basically maintained my position until three laps to go was signalled and
things started getting a bit quicker. Ess was next to me going up the hill
so I made room, called him in front of me, and grabbed onto his wheel
(wasn't giving that sucker up for nobody!!!). One guy went off the front a
bit with a couple to go and soon after Ess picked up the pace and moved to
the front of the pack. I considered trying to hold up the pack for him but
I didn't think it would work so I hung onto his wheel. This lasted for
about a lap and a half and as we went down the stretch to the hairpin on the
final lap, it seemed that he was running out of steam and we were still 15m
or so short of the breakaway guy. He had put some major hurt into the pack
though cos when I looked over my shoulder about 100m out from the hairpin,
there was about a 5 metre gap to the next rider behind me. I decided that I
might have a chance of bridging across without any drafters and so I got out
of the saddle and went around Ess. I was within about 5m of the leader
coming into the corner and I thought I might have a bit of a shot.

I was pretty well hiking at this stage and went into the corner a bit hot.
Halfway through the corner I realised that I was carrying way too much speed
and I had to grab a big handfull of brake to avoid going into the gutter.
This obviously lost a lot of momentum and I was stuck on the outside of the
track in way too big a gear for the speed I was now travelling. In the
first 20m or so out of the corner, 3 riders went past me as I tried to get
the gear up and spinning. I was too scared to change down under load in
case I managed to snap a chain. I finally got some speed going but it was
all too late and I came through in 5th, about 10m or so behind the first
four but well clear of 6th place.

Lessons for next time.......sort out my last corner and what gear to be
in......yell at Ess to sacrifice his race even more to get me across to the
breakaway without having to do any work in the wind!!!!

Thanks for the tow Ess......sorry I didn't come up with the goods.....always
next week!!

Ride On,

Awesome Gags, oxygen deprivation hit me in a major way, and I wasn't exactly sure of much on that last lap. I'm glad you hung on to my wheel, didn't actually realise you were behind me for the first 10. When I saw you go past I tried to jump back on, but had to fight some other guy for the next few laps. Ok next week its on, let me know how you want it run, and I'll give you the lead out of all lead outs.

Also I hate the inside line with a passion, so you would have noticed I always stay on the outside, also one of the reasons why I drifted across going around the sweeper, and to stop a couple of people coming through on the outside.

Oh yeah and make sure you do give me a yell to kick. That way I know your there, and it will be afterburner time. I can prob hold it from the start of the hairpin on the bell lap to just before the hairpin before I blow a gasket.
Also I'm prob not the best rider to follow around mid race, as I'm a little bit erratic, so stay up near the frontish, and I'll ride up to you and squeeze in like tonight :)

Good thing no C-graders (of the Kew variety) use this forum hehe