“Don’t attack – Don’t attack – Don’t attack”, Said the Angel
“Ahh but it will be fun!!” Said the devil
“And then you’ll blow up and be left in a…
That’s about the time I dropped the angel on the slopes of Mt Buninyong and started giving it some beans after Richie Porte and some other fancy roadies!
With a fairly quite January on the mountain bike front, I thought it would be good to have a go at the Elite Men’s Road National Champs this past weekend. Something to aim towards is always good and with the endurance focus of this time period it would make for a suitable goal.
Training since the last National round at Mt Stromlo had gone well, with a lot of road rides and just enough efforts to hopefully get me through (not get dropped on the first lap) but not cook myself before my main focus races on the mountain bike later on. Apart from trying to photo bomb the favourites, my only real tactic was to sit in and see how the race panned out. Not having much (any*) experience racing at this level I wasn’t sure how I would perform, but was still keen to get amongst it and have some fun.
After the early break went on the first lap the pace dropped considerably and I knew if I were finding it easy it would be like a recovery ride for the big guys. Heading out on lap three I was getting a little bored with just floating around the bunch following wheels. So when Richie Porte had a dig up the climb I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to get out and stretch the legs.
Porte had a little gap and when an Orica rider came past me I jumped on his wheel and caught a lift up. Mr BMC seemed to be having fun and continued with some small surges and was probably just adding some on/off efforts to his training ride but I didn’t mind and it was good to at least be out of the bunch for while in the fresh air. The ‘breakaway’ didn’t really get any ground and by the top of the climb everything was back together.
Once the fun was over it was more of the same for another couple of laps until the big teams decided to juice things up on the climb and started turning the screws. This is when things got a little much for me and I lost contact with the bunch. I tried to chase back on down the descent and was joined by some helpful others, and some passengers. Coming around for the next lap I hit the climb and went backwards, fast. My day was done, and it was over a lot earlier then I’d thought. But seeing only 15 finish the race makes me feel a little better.
But, enough of this roadie stuff for now. From now on it’s full gas from the gun XCO racing with jumps, drifting and no passengers!