Thought I would post this here to check out the new ARC website features! Thanks everyone for time on the bike with me training, kind words and support….
Rode a long way. Finished in a 3 up sprint to get second. Thanks Archer and Chips.
Race prep started on Friday night. Hmm should carb load. I’ll have pasta for dinner. If I have pasta for dinner, also need some red wine for the sauce. Bonus, Em’s out, so a little wine for the sauce -=glug=- and a little for me -=glug glug glug=-
So my pre race arrangements complete, having decided that I would not change anything on the bike as it’s all been working well enough up until now, got everything ready to leave in the morning.
Woke up at 5, had my usual breakfast and decided I needed some caffeine. Made a large pot of coffee (which will be an important point later).
Packed everything in the car and headed off to pick up Archer (Glen) and Chips (Geoff).
As we approached the start, saw one of the Scott guys flat out on the road. Had touched wheels or something and was unconscious. Damn tough way to end your Warrni race before it even begins.
Got everything off and out of the car, ready to go. Realised I had left my chamois cream in the garage. Damn. Could potentially derail (or rail?) me. Made sure bike was OK and headed into the complex for a pre-race nervous poop. Unfortunately, there were a great number of nervous poopers waiting on one of the four stalls. At least the seat was warm.
Lined up at the back of the group, got the countdown and was fiddling with my Garmin, thinking I don’t have things ready. False alarm – the guy had fucked up the timing. We got the real countdown and set off onto the road.
Some nervous riding out of the gates, a bit of a speed up to make sure you weren’t dropped in sight of the start line and then BANG. About 20 riders went down straight in front of me. Got around them and kept riding. Riding in the pack this happened again a few more K up the road.
Just a matter from this point of sitting in the pack for a real long group ride where you weren’t expected to do any pulls on the front.
This is except for the pee stops. Saw the first group stopping, and thought, well may as well see what I’ve got. Not much apparently although I managed to avoid dribbling on my shoes. Damn.
OK, back to the race.
Oh, the group didn’t slow down at all? Crap.
A couple of efforts to move back up through the convoy and on the back of some other riders and recovered into the peloton.
Made it through the first feed station fine, successfully grabbing my bag from Archer – he and Chips both had bags ready for me 10 metres apart.
There was another pee stop, but thought I didn’t want to have to sprint on again and avoided it. But now had a seed in my mind. The little urine demon was working his way down my brain stem, through my spine and informing my bladder that it really should think about whether it needed to go or not.
Perhaps I shouldn’t have had all that coffee.
I was mulling over; could you wee in your knicks? I thought it may be mighty uncomfortable, especially with no chamois cream. Perhaps that’s why the pros swear by the stuff? Definitely decided against it with an uncharacteristic brush with empathy, considering the drive home with the guys. I can’t imagine they would be pleased.
I also saw one guy peeing while on the bike and was a little jealous, considered it, and thought better of it. Really something better practiced first through Mentone or somewhere.
Stopped for a second and third time with a bunch of guys. I had noticed one woman in the group, considered asking how the hell the women dealt with this conundrum and thought better of coming across as a creep with a pee fetish. Although I feel with the amount of my race report now focused the scatological, that ship may have already sailed.
Got to the second feed station and saw one of the feeder panic as they spotted their allocated person over the other side of the road. They decided to throw the mussette at him. With two full bottles and food. Sweet, sweet Jebus.
Picked up my second feed fine. This was after having no idea there was a break up the road and “winning” the Lismore sprint. Duh.
The part of the race that I was dreading came up – actual climbing. Two peaks through volcano country. Got over the first (harder) climb about 50 metres off the back of the group. Fine. That’s fine. Can make it up on the downhill. Hit over 80kmh going down and caught back up again.
Same thing on the second climb, but as I was getting back to the group it ended in a left hand intersection, so had to wash off some speed, followed by a steady rise in the road. I was over threshold again and couldn’t hold the effort to bridge the last 50, 100 then 150 metres to the back of the group.
Support cars came around me and I worked my way up through them – they were slowing behind a group that had formed of 6 riders. Worked my way onto them, rested for a little then started rolling turns. The main peloton was not slow though – so we weren’t going to catch them.
We then went through to some sedate turns – I was the only C grader in the group. Had a commissar’s car come up alongside and let us know that they though we were the front of the C grade race with another group 30 seconds behind. We had that confirmed a few minutes later and I asked the guys in the group if we could try pushing harder to stay in front of the follower.
No dice though – with a carrot to follow and a larger group the guys behind caught us within 20 or 30 minutes, bringing with them two more C grade riders.
It was then a matter of the three of us trying to do as little work as possible to get to the finish with “fresh” legs.
Third and final feed went well and we picked up another few NRS guys that drifted off the main bunch. As we were rolling through the outskirts of Warrnambool, one of these guys was getting to the outside of the group, boxing me in. I let him know that it was a three up sprint for C grade and he “OK I’ll lead you out”. Great I thought – stuck to his wheel and then he went to the front of the group as we were still 500m out. This is not how you lead someone out!
200m to go, I saw the two C graders fly past my right hand side at speed, so jumped. Managed to pull back one of the guys and beat him by half a wheel on the line, but the other guy managed to win by a couple of lengths.
Overall, very happy with the race, my leadup to it and the overall experience.
Massive thanks to Glen and Geoff for their support and for giving up their Saturday for me. I shared my winnings with them as well (I bought them both an iced coffee at one of the servos).