One of our coached riders had his first experience of road racing on a closed road circuit. We wanted to share his account of the experience and learning new skills under pressure such as when to attack, pacing and how to ride in a peleton which ultimately led to a category win!
1). Loved it!
2). The race started off slowly and we were a bit all over the road until an old hand got us into a rolling formation. Holy s**t it was amazing. Once the group got into the swing of things we really started to roll at a decent pace. It was more noticeable along the back straight where we were riding into a head wind. I just learnt to work in the group and recover amongst the peleton.
3). I looked down at my intensity and saw it was well up in the high 4s, and early 5s. Wondered how long I could keep that up. Decided to roll with it, almost ignore it and go with how my body was operating. My legs were feeling ok and I did a body check in the first and second laps – it was hurting but okay!
4). Last lap I looked around and could see some breaking down of the main formation so I hung on to the most experienced guy’s wheel and worked with him until I noticing he wasn’t doing much work and was allowing me to do more than normal. I played his game and kept rolling around him matching his time at the front albeit short.
5). Second to last straight was a slight uphill with a wee pinch at the top. I knew I had the climbing legs after the last couple of hill interval rides you had me do, so I started a break away half way along the straight and really mashed the pedals on the pinch and around the corner then used the wee downhill incline to really keep the momentum going. Then let rip! Head down, hands on drops. The home straight looked bloody long and I wasn’t sure how far back the group were. I just kept piling on everything I had. 50 m from the line my lungs were bursting. I crossed the line in first place by a country mile. I looked back and couldn’t even see the next rider! I was in massive oxygen debt, lungs literally howling to get as much air in as possible, totally scrreaming for air.
6). Physically my legs felt ok, not wobbly, and I think I recovered pretty quickly.
7). Turns out our Cat pace “eclipsed” the category above it! Something tells me they won’t let me enter that Category next week.. LOL, bugger.
8). It just goes to show what can be achieved!
We hope you enjoyed reading about his experience! If you are considering training for your next event please get in touch to see how we can help you reach your goals this season and beyond!