Last Saturday, 29 March, I rode my first official ‘race‘ of 2014.
Now a member of the Sorèze Velo Club, I wore their jersey although covered during the race by my vest as it was still little too cold.
About 120 riders showed and there were 5 categories, a combined cat 1 & 2 (<30yr) and then the 30+, 40+ and 50+, each made up if about 30 riders and starting in age order with about 2 minutes between group starts. The race was a three lapper of a 20km loop, with a fair amount of flat terrain and a few little bumps... supposedly perfect for me. [caption id="attachment_3998" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Race faces!?[/caption]
A couple of guys lit up the race from the gun, but as it was 60km race the bunch settled in a comfortable pace and we slowly reeled them back within the first 10km. Several more attacks in the first lap were neutralised by myself and a few others who didn’t want to miss the sticking break.
Of course shortly after the start of lap 2, I head to the back of the bunch to have a rest, they allow a small group of 5(?) to get a gap off the front and before I realise they have 200+ meters.
Damn! Speed of the bunch drops to 35km/h and I try to take action, jumping on the front as it flattens out and upping the pace to 40km/h, only three guys try to help on the front, but as soon as they get themselves in front of me the speed would drop again to 35km/h… It was like they were working for team mates in the break 🙂
I managed to keep the pace up for all of the flat sections in both the 2nd and 3rd lap to try and neutralise the break, but with only myself being able to keep the speed up, we only got to 100 meters somewhere in the 3rd lap.
There was no way we would be able to catch them without more riders pushing the speed at the front. I did manage to dwindle our group from 20 down to 10 or so.
The last couple of KMs of each lap were the gradual climb to the finish and that’s were I decided, on the last lap, that finishing 20th or 10th wasn’t going to make that much difference to me… plus I had blown my legs trying to close the gaps.
Ok, finished 13th out of 30… just need to NOT miss the break next time 🙂
Hope the others in my finishing group enjoyed the free ride!