2018 Road Racing

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  • 2018 Road Racing
  • crosshair
    Member

    Awesome @steve_b77 !

    At last! Everything came together. Despite the wind, I got in a two up break at Thruxton with 5 laps to go almost exactly as I’d wished for. Only I dropped him!! As I sat up and waited for the bunch, a guy countered hard so I threw in all my chips and sprinted onto his wheel.

    I yelled at him that I would work as soon as I recovered but it was >400w up the hill in his draft! Anyway, I honoured my pull and we started working okay together.

    It was then a blur and as my HR crept up, I told him I didn’t want to win but could he please not drop me as I only needed 4 points! He was great and once he realised I wasn’t bluffing, was really supportive. I still did my work though and took all my turns.

    At the final climb, I encouraged him on and sat at threshold to the line. Even then, he looked back and yelled at me to keep pushing.

    I thought there was another guy solo but it seems not so second place! And 8 points and Cat3!

    (Edit- or 3rd, not actually sure now looking at Strava. Perhaps another guy did stay away!!)

    At long last 🙂 But even better- in that long odds breakaway that has so excited me all this time!

    Sadly the saying is true- everyone wants to be in the break until they get in the break 😉

    Premier Icon weeksy
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    Brilliant mate. Having seen your efforts, pace and power in the last few weeks, I’m not shocked by this. You can be proud with how far you’ve come.

    curto80
    Member

    Crosshair I have absolutely no idea what was going on tonight. All just a blur. All I know is I stayed in the bunch, got in a great position, pedalled as hard as I could and managed to finish top 5 of the bunch. Maybe I’ve sneaked my first point, who knows. What matters though is that was absolutely amazing fun.

    curto80
    Member

    Ps: looking at some of those cat 2/3s breakaways that lapped the cat 4 peloton, very best of luck with that!!

    crosshair
    Member

    Fingers crossed for you Curto 🤞🏻🤞🏻

    Glad you enjoyed it! The wind certainly made it an exciting evening 😀

    There were around 7 off of the front I reckon so it may be very close 😱

    crosshair
    Member

    Ps: looking at some of those cat 2/3s breakaways that lapped the cat 4 peloton, very best of luck with that!!

    Yeah, I think I’m going to play with the Cat 3’s at Hillingdon on Tuesdays instead 🤣

    TiRed
    Member

    Hooray!!!!!  Congratulations CH. so well deserved. Now time for the E123 race at the don.

    Rode tonight’s E123 anti-clockwise. Fast start, strung out, but held on and sat in  I did my turns on the front into the wind, stayed top half for most of the race  come three laps to go, the bunch accelerated and I’m still there with a little more to give  well 850 W of slow twitch isn’t going to trouble the 11T, nor the sprinters, but I’m top 20 and pass a few riders  pleased with an NP of 300W, which I worked hard for. The FTP is climbing and TT tomorrow

    CH come on down. Race the thirds a few times, then move up to the E123 and see if you can hold on. It’s all about racecraft.

    delighted for you

    crosshair
    Member

    Thanks TiRed! Yep, have paid my registration so will be back next week.

    I got stuck on the M25 last week and ended up arriving at 18:28! Only had time to ride the Cat 4 in my polo shirt and normal shorts 🤣 It was a pretty brutal and short race!!

    nathb
    Member

    Well done @crosshair thoroughly deserved!

    When I work out logistics and hopefully win my battle with southeastern trains I’m hoping to join you on Tuesday nights 3s.

    Leigh2612
    Member

    Cueto I was 6 or 7th in that bunch…what were you riding? The STW road crew is growing…!

    nathb
    Member

    @paton this isn’t a thread on professional racing 😆

    I hear @Tired has some good news!?!

    TiRed
    Member

    Rode the Tuesday E123 last night and blew up! Was on the nice Defy. Pleasure to see CH ride his first 3rd cat race. Which allowed a few of us to provide back of the pack banter

    Tonight was vets over 50s and a big field of 40 riders. Windy again. Attacked on lap 2, recovered and went again on lap 4. Got the gap with a 330 watt lap. Opened it up to 30 seconds and pressed on

    Race was stopped due to coming together with the youngsters. Then off again with my time gap.

    Shouted a lot to keep the under 50s to one side, kept a steady FTP pace and finished 50 seconds ahead of the pack, 24 laps out front. Win!

    Premier Icon weeksy
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    Fantastic. Congratulations !

    crosshair
    Member

    Well done TiRed! Persistence pays off 👍🏻 Well that and aero gear 🤣

    crosshair
    Member

    The Cat 3 race was fun! Lots of attacks which meant I was a kid in a sweet shop wondering which ones to follow. Never really got away until two to go when I went all in to bridge across to two others.

    Anything to get away from the comedians yelling funny comments from the back of our pack 🤣

    This was it! The move was set, a few hard pulls each and we’d have the podium stitched up. However, instead of dedication to the cause, I was met with suspicion and two guys more interested in ensuring the other two of us didn’t win than that we all got 1,2,3 between us 🤦🏻‍♂️🤷🏻‍♂️

    Of course the bunch pace ramped up on the last lap too and we couldn’t hold on. 700w for 30 seconds to bridge had drained me out so I cruised over 200m behind the bunch.

    I think I’m going to try the 2/3 race at Thruxton next Tuesday and then back to Hillingdon for Cat 3 only on Saturday.

    crosshair
    Member

    First 2/3 race at Thruxton tonight 😱

    Watching the carnage unfold from the snug comfort of the Cat 4 bunch in the previous races I’ve done there makes me very nervous indeed! They are often 28mph average for the race and every trip up the ‘hill’ is a smashfest as they try and force a split.

    With a bit of focus and all the bunch skills I can muster- I should be able to hang but that’s as far as my aspirations go.

    Big Events Cat3 coming up on Saturday so either way it should be a good taper workout.

    crosshair
    Member

    Well that was tough! The toughest yet most thrilling race I’ve done. It wasn’t so much the speed or the intensity but the way it played out. We’d almost stop into the wind as everyone stared at each other and then BOOM! Attack after attack after attack.

    Every time we changed direction relative to the wind, the bunch would veer savagely across the circuit at almost 90degrees to rob the followers of the draft. Once or twice I got stuck on the windy side and couldn’t cross back into shelter until the entire pack had passed!! It was worth it to save 80w though!

    After 6 laps, another attack began which resulted in 380w np for well over 3 minutes. Powerful guys were sprinting whilst in the draft to keep contact.

    Sadly I was tailgunning just when a couple of guys decided to hand in the towel.  I’d trusted them to close the gap and I was stranded. Perhaps I should have gone deeper to try and catch but my hunch is that I’d have blown up hard and dropped off anyway. Instead, I TT’d for another 3 laps.

    99TSS for a 1h01 race! 323np.

    I was initially depressed but on the drive home, came to the conclusion that I’d actually done okay for the most part. I’m now curiously considering going back next Tuesday!!

    Super well done to Leigh for getting his Cat 3 too- and yet another successful break. Thruxton Cat 4 has shown some quality racing so far this year, the wind seems to bring it to life.

    TiRed
    Member

    Well done CH. welcome to the step up. Faster, smoother and normally safer. I raced the E123 at Hillingdon tonight on the old Propel without the aero kit or big wheels. Thought it might rain and didn’t fancy washing the best race bike. Well GP4 Seasons are not Corsa Speeds tubeless.

    Race gets off to a fast pace. I’m going to sit in. Let the kids do the work (I’m the oldest rider). Sit in, sit in.  Attacks come, pack chases. All good. Then a break and I’m off chasing. Not a chance. So join the passing throng and as you were. Another group clip off the front to bridge. Still recovering. But nch accelerations keep me working hard. But they and the points are all up the road.

    Catch the thirds with with two laps to go, which mutes our finish, so I roll in mid pack. Pleased as I worked hard, sometimes too hard. Another NP of 299 Watts for the hour, with the odd 330 watt lap for good measure. Thats my FTP test right there 4.4 W/kg. Nice to be racing with the bigger London teams.

    crosshair
    Member

    Big Events Cat 3 today in the lovely weather. Started off with an optimistic break attempt on lap two and then settled in to a pretty negative bunch. Nothing was given an inch.

    Then we got stuck behind the 2/3 race who lapped us and then sat up. Sooo annoying!!!

    This shut things down for a few laps until (apparently, not sure if it’s right) the comms actually utilised the cut-through for once to spread things out again

    There were a few wheels to avoid and I got leant on a couple of times. Sometimes being a bigger rider has its advantages!!

    It was interesting that nobody was paying the slightest bit of notice to the wind. The 2/3 guys from Thruxton would have had everyone strung out in the gutter with the 10mph Easterly making a difference on the start straight and down the hill. But people would happily leave the whole lee side of the circuit exposed today meaning moving up was pretty straight forward.

    Having not really tested my fresh(ish) legs all race, I decided that I would go the first chance possible after the lap boards appeared. It was with 4 to go that I got away with an 800w 20odd second burst that got me to 34mph and opened up a nice gap.

    Sadly that kind of effort meant my hr was 190+ and I could only hold that for a couple of laps. The bunch then hung me out for a further lap to make sure I was properly wasted I think.

    Getting back on with nearly 2 to go, I recovered quite quickly and was able to shadow the bunch relatively easily. I moved up a little but never even tried to defend my position.

    Like a vulture, I was waiting for blood now- should a big crash occur I had space and time to try and salvage a place. But beyond that, I wasn’t trying to contest anything.

    As the bunch crossed the line at close to 40mph- the sickening sound of carbon appeared and a London Dynamo guy and one other both annihilated themselves. They do have an incredibly high crash rate on that team- it’s beyond a joke really!! I picture their club meets as being like the bad guys dojo from Karate Kid 🤣🤣🤣

    Anyway, pleased with my attack but honestly- I don’t have the wattage for that length attack now. A little later and who knows….

    At least it helps focus the training again 👳🏻‍♂️👳🏻‍♂️

    crosshair
    Member

    The Thruxton organisers are bemoaning a lack of entries again this week. It’s such a shame as the racing has been awesome this season with breaks winning in every Cat 4 race and most of the others too. They’re really well run with a great atmosphere.

    They save the money up for series prizes- which are quite generous if the races are well subscribed. I got £70 for 12th overall in Cat 4 last year.

    Perhaps nightly prizes would be better??

    Anyway, I hope it picks up as it would be a shame to lose it.

    crosshair
    Member

    Back to Thruxton for the 2/3 race this evening with the goal of not getting dropped.

    That was the biggest mistake right there!!

    The first lap was insanely fast and a couple of guys got dropped straight away. We did 35mph for over a mile!!

    Once again, the race was making the full use of the circuit and after getting a free pass to the leeward side on lap one, everyone was on it by lap two and you had to fight to hold your wheel or drop back.

    Two or three times a lap, a break attempt was happening but I just ignored them and concentrated on my original aim. Which meant letting others do the work.

    It was the first time I’ve really been aware of team tactics (despite thinking I’d seen them in Cat 4, they weren’t really worthy of the name) and the composition of the break each time dictated who did the chasing. The Morvello boys were very noticeable in their distinctive kit and if none of them were in the break, they would chase it down instantly.

    Anyway, soon, 13 guys got away! I was nowhere near- in fact my negative strategy of just not getting dropped this week, meant I was little more than a passenger for these fun and games.

    Depite an attempt to shut it down from the teams with riders in the fledgling break, some other guys managed  to start pulling and we held the bakers dozen at a few seconds. We came ripping through the top chicane in a strung out line but I was once again in the still air on the downwind side and managed to move up well in the half-draft.

    Into the fast crest after the chicane and I actually accelerated relative to the bunch and was approaching the front of the grouo with momentum. As I hit the full wind, I stopped myself from doing what I really really wanted to- which was to try and Bridge to the break. I’m still kicking myself about it as even if I’d died and got dropped, the end result would have been no different.

    A little while later, with the break gaining ground, I was sitting comfortably in the bunch when I was sure my rear spokes had exploded!! What made the noise I don’t know but I could feel something twanging between my frame and derailleur as the bunch starburst in fear for their lives at the din!

    Looking down, I coasted and made my way carefully to one side but everything was fine. It was the guy just to one side!! Luckily he was able to hold on to it and not crash but I was off the back. I chased for half a lap but not with any conviction.

    Karma for not trying to bridge 🤣

    The break looked really exciting from the pit wall with a couple of guys attacking lots who ultimately got away on the last lap for first and second. Then there was a chase group of three around 1 minute back and then finally the bunch a good 30-40 seconds behind that. Proper road race dynamics again thanks to the strong wind- a genuinely interesting race.

    A two man break won the 4ths race again- proving that the wind definitely improves things. Sadly 10-13 4th Cat guys went down in a crash, including my friend Chris.

    mooman
    Member

    How long are the races?

    Crit races down this way are less than 30 mins … some less than 20 mins. Was fancying doing a couple crits again this year – but not sure a 20-30 min race would feel like a race.

    Premier Icon weeksy
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    How long are the races?

    Crit races down this way are less than 30 mins … some less than 20 mins. Was fancying doing a couple crits again this year – but not sure a 20-30 min race would feel like a race.

    About an hour.

    crosshair
    Member

    Yeah 1h05 and 28miles. Was such a cracking race- I  want to keep doing them as I think there’s a LOT to learn just by watching the tactics play out and a lot of good training too.

    No Thruxton next week so off to Hillingdon- perhaps with Nath??

    mooman
    Member

    An hour sounds perfect.

    Premier Icon weeksy
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    An hour sounds perfect.

    57 minutes too long IME 🙂

    crosshair
    Member

    Were you there Curto? Did you avoid the crash?

    TiRed
    Member

    Circuit races can be no longer than an hour, typically shorter for lower categories. But 20 minutes is nowhere near long enough (unless you are a junior – U16’s are 30 minutes normally). Well done CH, sounds fast and fun, and a few seconds is barely a break, but 13 should be able to stay clear.

    Saved myself last night from the Hillingdon E12, but racing later in the vets. Debating tactics in the absence of wind Did a PB 25 TT on Sunday, so we shall see…

    mooman
    Member

    <div class=”bbp-reply-author”>TiRed
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    <div class=””>Member</div>
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    Circuit races can be no longer than an hour, typically shorter for lower categories. But 20 minutes is nowhere near long enough (unless you are a junior – U16’s are 30 minutes normally).

    From what I have seen not even the E123s’ get no longer than 25-30 minutes. Simply not worth the petrol money or entry fee for that.

    crosshair
    Member

    Thanks TiRed! It was great. The break had 90seconds by the end of the race with a chase group of three stuck half way.

    The remaining bunch had given up long ago so there would have been no pride with managing to hold on to them. Should have bridged…..

    Chance for redemption tomorrow with MrBlobby @ anther new venue- Castle Combe 🤞🏻🤞🏻

    TiRed
    Member

    Interesting race. Let a group of two get away. Bridged fine and was caught. Attacked with two 300 watt laps but dragged back. Then a mate got away and I left him to gain time. Bridged again and off we go opening the gap. Sadly the 40-50 race came by slowed, and generally spoiled it. Comm calls that I am DQ’d despite my beat shouting to keep right. So a lap out and a reinstatement into the bunch.

    Attacked hard with two to go, but I’m marked down. Sat in the bunch for the sprint, I pick a good wheel and come in fifth. So 60% of the way to retaining second cat.

    Saturday sees a V50 run on its own. Can’t wait! Attack time!

    crosshair
    Member

    Well done sounds fun! I think they definitely need to use the cut-through more to keep the various races apart. I’m assuming that’s why it was built that way?

    crosshair
    Member

    A fun race with Mr Blobby at Castle Combe this evening even if it was a bit of a baptism of fire! Its a tough circuit with the two chicanes and some incredibly fast sections.
    It sounds like a cop out I’m sure, but I wanted to make it as tough as possible- a training race for future Thruxton rounds.

    We saw 30mph+ on the speedo an awful lot and the average speed was 27mph.

    Early on I followed a couple of moves and was really pleased when I went with one which fizzled out, then maintained tempo on the front before launching again onto the counter attack. That type of scenario is exactly what I need to practice. Sadly, they were fresh and I wasn’t so I couldn’t then sustain the move- I need to think carefully about how to address that.

    Anyway, each time I would plummet to the back and not then get much of a recovery as the bunch was so very surgey through the chicane back there. You’d be forced to brake and then I’d be doing 900w just to re-join the bunch.

    Mr B settled in nicely after a couple of laps and was always right there in a great position, following a few moves too.

    On one lap, I came up the leeward side of the bunch with momentum and spotted a gap in front of him, so dive bombing the chicane, I slotted into the gap and was able to make the turn and smoothly power through for once. Carrying the momentum and MrB with me, the bunch went left and one guy went right- solo, so I rode the wave and followed him- with MrB being veritably sucked along in my wake! We got a gap and then it turned into a new move but again, looking on TR, I had had to work so hard to move up that I was already into my 3rd minute at 400w and I couldn’t sustain it much longer. Mr B held on a bit more but the bunch were hot on their heels and I plummeted to the back once more.

    Soon, I was drifting along at the back, wondering how long we’d been going when up ahead, riders collided mid bunch and bikes and people went all ways! A lot went down and I had to go hard left on to the grass to avoid bouncing bikes. Whilst I don’t know the culprit- it reaffirms my belief that 3/4 races are wrong. They are too fast for Cat4’s…

    Anyway, the bunch was up the road and my heart sunk. If it had been the 2/3’s I’d have bailed but if I can break, I should be able to catch right? So 1200w and 10 seconds at 900 got me up to speed and I made myself sustain until I was safely back on. But I was fair cooked!

    I didn’t really get very far after that- I was on red alert for more crashes and although I got into the top ten and followed a train trying to lift the pace, I was soon drifting back again.

    Then the bell went! 8 miles earlier than advertised! Doh! Ah well, try and move up as best I can. Again, it was good training, doing 35mph at 700w trying to move up for a few seconds and then negotiating the bunch through the chicanes. Up ahead, MrB was perfectly located between 3rd and 5th wheel.

    Onto the final straight and I was way back. I kept pushing on the pedals and like many a Thruxton race, passed loads of wheels. But all I could see ahead were the bouncing bikes and falling people from earlier and once I realised I wasn’t going to make the front group, I steadily eased off.

    Sadly, MrB’s tester power curve was lacking a little top end and he slowly dropped back in the sprint- but he seemed to ride a great race- perfectly positioned and poised to follow any meaningful breaks.

    I’m fat, so take power numbers with a pinch of salt but I did 329np for 57minutes which is pretty crazy! Must retest my FTP when I get a chance.

    Decision time now….. I love racing, but my heart tells me 4 weeks of focused training instead could work wonders??

    Premier Icon weeksy
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    Decision time now….. I love racing, but my heart tells me 4 weeks of focused training instead could work wonders??

    It’s a tough one that’s for sure, but your training in the last 18 months has been proven to work really well, you’ve come on massively from the bloke who got dumped out the back in the first races. At that stage i honestly doubted you’d get anywhere near the results you have now.

    I guess it all comes down to what you want from this now ? Would it make more sense if at all possible to dump 5kg of weight ? Would that give even more benefits ? You can’t be far off the most powerful person out there already in your races ? There has to be a limit to what’s realistically possible in a power context at your age and training hours available ? Would a bike fitting specificially for improving aero give any benefits ? Clearly, dropping weight and mass would not only give you more w/kg and a smaller physical profile, but of course potentially at the expense of a drop in power.

    crosshair
    Member

    With regards to weight- I kind of am what I am. I’ll soon be lifted tons at work again and even if I switch a bit of fat to muscle, I doubt I’d get much lower than last year.

    And it’s also not a limiter. A weakness perhaps compared to the 70-75kg bracket most cyclists seem to fall into but in circuit racing- it does even out. I can freewheel past skinnies having to doing 250w downhill.

    Interestingly, I spotted a guy at Thruxton who looked an absolute monster- around 6’2 and broader than me. Yet in the next race, he not only made the break but was attacking them and got 4th!!

    I love the racing so much that it’s tempting to just pile it in all the time but I feel like I need a shot of fitness to leapfrog a few guys. Looking at my power curve from last night, whilst it all felt brutal, at any given point- I was nowhere near any of my pb’s. So my 1 min power wasn’t being stressed, my 5 min power wasn’t being stressed etc etc. It’s why racing isn’t training- unless you literally did intervals on the circuit whilst the race kept lapping you 🤣

    Power wise- I think you’d be amazed. A 350w ftp is pretty common in Cat 3 for anyone a little bigger and the lighter guys are well up beyond 4w/kg if not 4.5. Looking at power across Thruxton 2/3 races I’ve even seen someone finish with 420w NP!!

    So no- plenty of work to do there.

    I’m happy with my bike fit- it’s comfy and powerful and I don’t get any aches or saddle sores even on longer rides. And position takes time- I’m slowly bringing down the gap in power between upright on the Turbo and bent elbows 🤣

    Photo proof that they do sometimes get bent these days 🤔🤣

    Again, it’s more of a weakness than a limiter- jostling in the bunch at these higher speeds needs control rather than full on aero.

    nathb
    Member

    Not very active on here at the moment but been keeping an eye on this thread.

    If we were talking about road racing with hills I’d say losing weight would help, but in a crit I really don’t think it matters. It’s all about sub 5 min power and recovery rates for me, particularly at Hillingdon.

    It’s been a logistical nightmare but Ive just signed up for Tuesday nights race in the 3s, hoping that the extra effort to get there (stupidly early train to work and then cycle from central to Hillingdon) will encourage me to do more work in the race.

    Ultimately my goals remain the same as always;

    – don’t cause a crash

    – don’t crash

    – don’t just be another number in the bunch

    – don’t nath (get stuck in and not sit on the edge)

    see how that goes 😆

    crosshair
    Member

    Cool! Hope you have fun. I’d love to join you but it wouldn’t be a good start to my month of not racing 🤣

    I may yet get tempted….

    Odds are on it being a bunch finish on those Tuesday night races. So if it’s points you want, I’d do little different than you did last time- you were just a few grams of carbs from pulling off a great move 🤣🤣

    If you want training then just stalk the top ten and try and follow moves- there’s usually loads of attempts. The biggest problem is organisation as the bunch will start chasing straight away so you need consistent hard pulls with someone for at least two laps.

    You can even goad other people into making breaks by getting to the front and then soft pedalling to slow things down- that usually prompts a move which you can then sprint onto with a bigger chance for an actual gap. Trouble is, the people that have made the initial attack don’t seem to appreciate that you’ve created the opportunity and get cross that you’ve jumped on their wheel- then it fizzles out anyway 🤣

    All this strategising is making want to race even more 🤦🏻‍♂️

    TiRed
    Member

    Weekend spring crits #3, again at Hillingdon. Band 4 points fest, so 15 for a win down to tenth . Weather is rubbish. Cold and starting to rain. Warm up on my rollers under cover. Gilet on and a couple of fast spins to the start.

    About 30 riders on the line and just the one race so no chance of a break being DQd by interferences.  No wind but now raining harder

    Cruise around a couple of laps. Let two get away including the DQd rider from Wednesday. Three go to bridge and a team member blocks for them. Another lap and bang! Time to go. Sprint away and two 300 plus watt laps mean I catch the three and then the two. Break on. Two fall off quite quickly and the four of us settle in.

    A puncture takes us down to three including a sprinter who takes the primes. But we hold a gap of 15 seconds for about fifteen laps.   The gap comes down to 8 seconds with five to go, so time to up the efforts. Some 330 watt TT efforts down the straight keeps us clear. Last lap the three of us line up. I lead out my mate who just pips the sprinter on the line. The bunch finish about 20 seconds down. 289 Watts NP.

    I only needs third for the 10 points and second cat license retained. Delighted.

    I also won our club TT championship fourteen hours later by three seconds, with a rather measured effort and power well down at 256 Watts.

    as for weight, I think if you are heavier, flat courses like Hillingdon give an advantage. It’s a sprinters course and power not power per kilo is king here. I’m the lightest of those I race against. Hills are always a pain, but even these tend to be fairly short and reward brief harder efforts. And anything slightly downwards sees me works g harder or getting dropped. Seriously. And be been dropped by the bunch on a roller course going downhill!

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