Sunday, 1 April 2007

Australian 'Old Fuckers' National Road Race

I felt like I turned myself inside out, but others were stronger.
I was down for the Crit, but I had to be at work changing over a computer system. So just the RR it was.
I got out there in good time & warmed up on the rollers for a change. This felt heaps better than rolling around streets.
Within the 1st 15mins a break of what looked like 6-8 had gone up the rd. I found myself working with about 8-10 riders in a really disorganised roll up the front trying to bring them back, but it did happen. 1st of the pinches and I’m trying to keep up the front. A down hill some flattish rollers then we come to the 1st of the U-turns. This is where it turned pear shaped for me. After the U-turn the field gets strung out and I find myself out the back. I catch a bucket of riders as the rd turns up, but by the time I top out the front of the race is too far gone. I dig in on the down, then along the flat I find I have company from behind. Cool! We can work and get back on. But the group of 8 has only about 4 willing to dig and it gets really unorganised & the frustration sets in. “Come on, are we racing of what here?!” I yell at one point. Not much of a response. We go around a corner and one of the guys jump and thankfully I see it coming and grab his wheel. He’s in the TT posi so I think “Great! Someone wants back in like me” We roll and drive hard and get a gap on the free loaders. After a few K’s we find that the free loaders have removed their fingers and catch back on. OK, great, they are now wanting back in… No! they stop working again?! THIS IS NOT THE FRONT OF THE RACE! FFS! The 4 that are willing to work do and we eventually loose the free loaders one by one. Around the U-turn again and the Peloton is not that far up the rd. More digging, but it ain’t going as fast as I’d like it. One of the guys sums it up to me as he comes past for his turn. “Feel like you’ve caught the wrong train to day?”
I don’t understand it. These guys look as, if not fitter than me. They would have put as much time into training as me. Even there bikes are Uber Bling! But they don’t seem to want to hurt like I do to try and get back in the race with 50kms to go?! With 10kms to go we start gathering up others causing more confusing to the rolling turns as they try to latch on. I’m finding myself out the front more and more. _ucked if I’m going to drag these slackers to the line. I think they sit up but I keep on driving on the rivot & finish solo a blubbering 'also ran' mess.At least it was a good hit out!

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Old man, new tricks

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia