How about my boy Stuey winning Paris-Roubaix? The man is a deadset legend.
It’s less than a week… since my last post. Hooray for me. I’ve found some spare time.
I just did my equivalent of a training camp over the Easter long weekend – 130 miles over the 4 days, then 3 days off with an arm problem (a plasma donation that wouldn’t clot/heal). Then a lazy 30 miles on Saturday followed by a club criterium Sunday.
It was my first hotdog criterium since 1986, 750 metre (375 up 375 back) course with a dead stop, safety cone turn at each end. Fortunately I’ve been put into C grade which is around cat 4 level… enough to drop me on anything hilly but within my capacity if it’s flat. 30 minutes plus 2 laps and it poured rain for 10 minutes only a couple of laps from the start. That scared off a few guys. An old bloke (don’t say 70 year olds aren’t tough) was hitting us out of every turn around and after 20 minutes he had broken the group apart so completely that there were only 4 of us left with him. Then he had a rest for about 3 laps before hitting us again with about 5 minutes to go. Then with 90 seconds left he took another rest and I hit them in the headwind straight at about 28mph and kept going for the next tail wind run, then let them crawl back up as we got the 2 to go call. The old guy attacked again as they caught up to me. The rain had stopped but the road was still throwing up a lot of spray. At the bell with 2 turns to go the old guy had one more hit at us but then slowed halfway along the straight. I hit them about 80 metres before the last turn and had about a 20 metre gap as I turned. It was then a 300m standing start drag race to the finish line which I won by about 50 metres.
That puts my 2007 palmares at 2nd, 1st, DNF (puncture), DNF (puncture), 1st. I love how I got a puncture on both of the hilly courses (and I don’t like to discuss the fact that I was already dropped in both races when my tyre went down). Sadly, that’s all just club racing. But not for long…
It’s less than a week… until I race my first open race since 1990. Next Saturday and Sunday there’s 3 races in 2 days. I wasn’t sure about entering this little outing. Lots of prize money, but also lots of potential for pain and embarrassment. I’m just a bit anxious about spending $75 entry fee on a guessing game. It’s at the same venue as the topic of the next paragraph…
It’s less than a week… after that race until my next open race. Wednesday April 25th is a public holiday in Australia. They call this race a criterium, but it’s a race around Lakeside International Raceway. A 2.41km (1.5mi) purpose built race track with a 150 metre climb at 7% every lap. The finish line is 300m after you get to the bottom of the climb and it’s normal to hit that 300m mark already doing 60kph (37mph). In the ‘80s this is the only race finish I ever contested where I didn’t have a big enough gear for the sprint – pedalling a 52×13 I ended up 3rd behind a 52×11 and a 54×12. I’ve got a 53×12 on these day so everything should be alright, plus the fact I’m racing a couple of grades lower so the speed should be down a bit.
It’s less than a week… after that race until my next open race. Sunday April 29th is the real test where I race my club’s open criterium on the same course I won at on Sunday.
Last night I was talking with my frame builder and race mentor, Dave, who is the “Da” in Daromi (in case you didn’t know, it’s my frame brand – I’m the “mi” and Robbie Anderson is the “ro”). I mentioned that I had entered the races on the 25th and 29th but wasn’t sure about the 2 day race – not because it’s a 2 day race but because it’s $75 to enter and that’s a lot of money just to test my skills. His response, "you’ve won there before and it’s the right kind of course for you to win on again." I’ll take that as a thumbs up.