Monday, 25 January 2010

I've been Wanged! Critorama

Mr Flowerpants left at 2am for his sub 10hrs of torture. How he did it on 2hrs sleep beats me. I got in 6.5hrs of sleep, breakfasted, suited up, and rode out to the crit course, 5 min by bianchi down the road. Not used to having to actually ride on the road to warm up, I cut laps of the course for 10km until the baby juniors started racing, then cut laps on the next block down. A few jump sprints with the backpack on is interesting!

Nine of us lined up to face the 600 odd metre rectangle, with some rather interesting corners. Corner two was at the top of a small rise, with a spoon drain and walkway pavers, requiring a careful line up each lap. Corner 3 at the end of the back straight narrows with the kerbing extending onto the roadway, and a sharp corner onto mid-road barriers to stop the supercrit-ters hanging their arses out on the wrong side of the road to become bonnet ornaments. Corner 4 was a fast roundabout with a heavily roughed up surface from heavy road traffic. It was going to be interesting.

Even more interesting was my complete inability to click my right foot in when we started. I went through the first corner unclipped and off the back. Once reconnected with the bike, I tried to make up ground over the next few laps without success, so I backed off to let my soon to be partner in arms catch up. Wendy and I worked together for the next 35 min, slowly being lapped, a few times, by the younger field. We worked well, swapping turns each lap, encouraging and supporting each other, and politely hurting each other as well.

Coming into the final lap, with a ladylike agreement in place (coff coff), we were confronted with the red flag at the end of the back straight. Four of the five girls on the front were either tangled in the barrier or with each other, bikes and bodies strewn across the road. OUCH!! "Keep going!!" I called to Wendy, it might be enough to change some places (feelings of concern were for later, post race).  We swung through the corner, with Wendy slightly ahead of me, as I had sat back to get past the carnage before the corner. Instead of wacking the chain up onto the big ring, I took it down the rear stack, and got out of the saddle. As I did, the chain skipped, and I lost a vital second or two of momentum, and in the end, just couldn't make up the lost ground. Gearing error and tired legs gave me second in the race for first masters over the line, and a  good win to Wendy returning to the road after a nasty fall a few months ago.

Wrap up on the carnage: Jo Hogan in the back of the ambulance with a suspected broken collar bone, Kate Riley also in the back of the ambulance; Sue McCarthy banged up, nasty gravel rash/road burn, two flat tyres and bent brifters; one other with nasty road burns.

A year ago I would have told you I am not a crit rider, and don't enjoy them. The last year I have made a liar of myself, and I just don't like Glenvale Crit :-) The Wang circuit is fantastic. Tight, fast, needing good lines, commitment, no fear at all. And more women to race it.

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