2019 Road Racing (non pro)

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  • 2019 Road Racing (non pro)
  • I agree I think the standard has went up. Now you need to be really strong to be competitive. I’ve been 260/270watts average in my last two road races and still got my ass kicked. That’s over 4 watts per kg for 1hr 40.

    Another one on tonight hope to improve my performance.


    In both of my races it was more about positioning and riding efficiently than top speed. The difference was that in the 4th cat, i got away with my inexperience and was able to stay in the draft and recover, whereas with the E1234, my over exuberance was punished pretty severely! The ability to recover from the spikes in effort is what i’ll be trying to train for but i think there’s a big mental component to it as well.


    Back at the Olympic Park last night for the Full Gas 4th Cat race. Overcast but dry with a fairly strong headwind in the home straight. Big field of around 50 on the start line. Usual mix of lone riders and three or four teams of three.
    There was a big crash two weeks before in a race I missed so this week I set myself the task of sitting in 3rd or 4th wheel and keeping out of trouble. This meant I spent a fair amount of time chasing the little digs and breaks but most of them were pretty half hearted. One of the features of these races is that there is a reluctance to work as a group. Someone gets on the front, puts in a big turn but there is no one willing to rotate and get up some momentum so instead there are surges and then it calms down when the rider on the front blows up. I had a go myself just to see how much effort it would take to gap the bunch and a well-timed short burst of 500ish watts was enough to give me a 20 metre gap. It was too early in the race to push on but the lack of organisation meant that even when I started soft-pedalling, it took a while for them to get back on.
    This time the bunch was quite strung out with about three laps to go. Two had been just out in front for half a lap and it felt like the gap was growing. I was third or fourth wheel trying to encourage some short turns on the front so we could close it down but I was met with elbow flicks and intransigence. Against my better judgement I jumped onto the front and pulled the group back on. That was a 310W lap and my legs were feeling heavy going into the final stages. In the last two laps I dropped back a bit to catch my breath. There’s a short, sharp hill at the start of the back straight and I can usually make up a few places here with a good line and a short burst. Into the straight in about 15th place I was on the outside coming into the last bend. Managed to carry my speed round the bend and going wide meant I could keep pedalling and made up a few places. The straight on this course is 200m long. It doesn’t sound like much but feels like forever when you are redlining into a headwind. Coming in fast and overtaking was great until I found I had no wheel to follow. The sprint went well and I took a few more places but started dying with about 20metres to go and got beaten over the line by half a wheel by the two people that had been drafting me. Got 6th place in the end, only a bike length or so behind the winner.
    280W np for the race. Disappointed to see that the sprint was only 600W, dropping to 400 at the end. Feels like a lot of room for improvement there. Maybe need to think about gearing cos it felt much harder.
    In the next few races I am hoping to get on a ~ four man break and see if we can stay away. Will be interesting to see how hard we’d have to go to stay in front of a 50 strong group, but it feels like if we got enough of a gap they would forget about us and go back to the stop-start surging.


    Did my third crit of the season today at Milton Keynes Bowl, there was only 12 riders in it, no teams. Seemlingly everyone was thinking they were able to place well and didn’t want to burn any matches as the pace was slow and then surged up the small hill.

    I had one go at getting a break going and rolled of the front after 10 minutes, but with no one with me drifted back to the pack, then me and another rider tried to get away after 15 mins, but were brought back after a lap. After that sat in with everyone else. In the last three laps everyone was fresh, someone tried to take a 2 lap flyer, I was at the front and let this dangle, then another person bridged up so I joint this, came into the last lap with a small 3-4 second gap. Thought about sitting up but committed to it, ended up being pushed to the front on the last lap, the guy I was with wouldnt come through so ended up dragging them to the bottom of the short uphill sprint just as the field caught us. Sprinted and ended up coming 4th, the guy who had sat on my wheel ended up winning.

    Two 4ths should bump me into cat 3 I think, which is a shame as its unlikely I will ever get to see a podium now, cant see myself being competative at cat 3, not enough time to train.

    Av power really low at 214 watts, but NP shows how surgey it was at 307 watts.


    Olympic Park for the Full Gas Masters – scene of my dropping a few weeks ago. Hideous conditions. Couldn’t decide whether to wear glasses or not. Went without and the spray in my face was deeply unpleasant. Still scraping bits of grit out of my eyes this morning.

    I was the only 4th cat in the race so had modest ambitions of finishing in the bunch. The pace was fairly quick ~42kph average. Lots of small attacks and chases. One guy went off three times over the course of the race and got a fairly big lead. On one occasion, someone else jumped and went to chase and I joined him. After a few hundred metres I caught and overtook the chaser and tried to keep the pace going. I’d dragged two guys from the same team along and one took the lead. He pushed on too hard for me – not sure if this was by mistake or a tactic and I struggled to hold on about 10 metres behind. His teammate was behind me and wouldn’t take a turn but called up to get him to slow down. We carried on, strung out like this for a bit longer but by the time I’d caught him I was pretty spent and the group got back on.

    Like Tom’s race, it was pretty surgey. Power file shows I spent nearly 50% of the race above threshold and almost all of that was in zone 6 and 7 (total of 10 mins at 150%). There were enough lulls in between to tuck back into the pack and recover though. In the end it came together with two laps to go and everyone coasted for a bit. Coming up the hill into the back straight there was a big surge and the group strung out fast. Into the home straight, towards the back of the bunch. Closing with about 100m to go and really should have been up and sprinting but had a bit of a mental block and stayed in the saddle trying to grind it out. Sensational lack of explosive power! Lost 3 places at the death and finished 12th.

    Have never done any structured training but have bought a turbo and just signed up to trainer road – figured that was a better investment than a crit-bike or a skinsuit. A few weeks off now. Will try and get over to Hillingdon soon for one of the Saturday races there.

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