After feeling really annoyed with myself, and thoroughly disheartened with riding like a total Barbie, I gave myself a good talking to overnight, and determined to be more proactive in my 2 scratch races on Sunday. Race 1, 2 laps in, the girls were just rolling looking for a shady spot to have a picnic. This kind of racing annoys the crap out of me, because it’s so negative, and the stop-go hurts my legs. I found myself rolling around the bunch during their go-slow.As I neared the front, I thought bugger it, I’m going! A couple of calls came from the bunch as I rolled past (I felt like a hawk spotting pigeons), but reaction was very minimal, and I put some distance into them for a lap. The bunch did catch me, so I rolled up off the front to let them come through. I settled in down the back to recover, jumping from wheel to wheel to keep myself out of trouble, recover quickly, and stay out of any box I may get shoved in to. About 2 laps later, the pace eased off again, but this time as I found myself rolling towards the front again, I put a bit more heart into it and jumped again. I didn’t get as far this time, with the girls more observant and reactive., and the first attack sucking more power out of me than I realised. Again I slotted down the back, finding myself hanging around Nicole Holt. I had the potential to box her in the final 2 laps, but wasn’t prepared to take one of her hooks, so when it was time for her to go, opened up a door for her. At this point, an astute, thinking rider would have then latched onto her wheel and been towed to the front, but I’d fried the brain by that time with the attacks and was happy to roll around for the finish and a big grin on my face.
The second scratch race saw a similar performance. 2 Laps in, I was in 4th wheel on someone’s hip, and I realised Nicole Holt was coming up to take her turn at the front, I knew she wouldn’t come with me when I attacked, because she knows me too well!, As the wind hit her face, I hit the front out of the saddle and going for it. Nicole came out of her saddle to go with the attack, saw it was me and sat down. I ripped about 60 m into the bunch pretty quickly, then was left to dry out the front for a lap and a bit. I slowed up when I saw there was no reaction at all. The track is too big to gain a lap, and I am not fit enough to pull 5 laps on my own, even if I got half a lap on them. So I eased the pace and let the bunch roll up to me. I stayed on the front for a lap to try and keep the pace low key so I could recover, but the faster girls started to get impatient 3 laps out and started to come over the top of me. I tried to hang on but was spent with too much time out the front in the heat (35 degrees yesterday!) and rolled home off the back, getting a nod and wink from one of the comissaires as I came through the front straight.
During that final lap, I had a very strong image of Wile E Coyote running off into the distance, over hill and down dale, until finally a small cloud of coyote puffs up on the horizon, as the Coyote blows himself up on yet another Acme product.