Sunday, April 25, 2010

Race Report: Gallipoli cup

As promised, one report for each of the club road racing or other race in my training road to Budapest. Today is New Zealand's day of remembrance for all the army corps sent to the big wars. Gallipoli is where they first went to action against the Turks almost 100 years ago.
So, the race was a handicap race and it was my first one of the kind so I didn't have a lot of expectations. The bunch we were was among the first 5 groups, 7 minutes behind the scratch. It was 14 of us so it looked alright, I knew some of the riders and it did look like a good race. The course is a 20km loop with a 1.5km hill in the middle (5 to 7 degrees gradient) , there was some moderate winds that for some reason appeared to be always headwinds.
Out we went on the rolling scenic rough chip roads of the countryside of south Auckland. The pace was ok at about 37/38 km/h, and we got the relay going after the first 2km, I've done it before, but not for such a long time, so I thought to myself, this is gonna be a piece of cake as long as we all play by the rules. And the rule said, we'll be a unit working together and no killing each other up the hill and let the best man win on the last 3km of the race. The top of the hill is a bit before halfway and we all got there together.
And that's where trouble started.... at the bottom of the hill we were three men down, and the pace was starting to go up at intervals. I hung on to it as I thought it's good to get rid of some guys that may be a danger to the bunch when tired later in the race.
We all rode happily for the next lap and by the second time a top of the hill we were less than 5min from scratch, that was good news. Another two guys down at the bottom of the hill and I started to worry because the shifts at the front were getting too frequent and recovery was compromised. (bad planning note: I decided to slack it on Sat and didn't go to the shops to buy some gels and bars. So I just had one muesli bar, a red bull and one bottle of water) I had a few sips of water, half the muesli bar and kept going for the third lap.
On the third hilltop I prayed no one was dropping any time soon, we were 4minutes down. But obviously I was wrong, six of us carried on for the last lap, I was tired by then, but it was only one lap and I HAD to finish. Been the last lap the pace was on and the roadies tacticts of wearing each other out started to play. And then it happened, I didn't see it coming but a big big wall appeared on the road and I hit it hard, we were riding through a village and I dropped from the bunch, stopped on a shop, bought a coke and carried on with no company (the pit stop was only 2 minutes) for the next 15km, a couple of bunches went past me and I recognized some of the guys that had dropped from our, but my legs had had enough.
Towards the end I recover full sense and finished on a good pace.

I't the first time I blow up big time and overall it's a good experience to know where the red line is. I was not using HR monitor or speedo on the bike, so it's all burned somewhere in the brain and it'll ring a bell whenever it's happens again...  I hope. More outcomes on the next post.

Date: 25 Apr
Sport: Cycling
Time: 152min
Dist: 82km
Comment: I'm so proud I finished!... pity I had no chance.

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