On the road

Posted by Jan

As writing each race report takes me couple hours and then it takes couple hours for other people to correct it, I am writing one report for all my spring road races together without corrections so enjoy my Czenglish:

Spring series 1 – April 10th

To get first kilometers after the winter I was biking to the race but forgot my helmet which I realized in the middle of my way there. I rushed 10km home then hammered 30km to the start as not much time was left. I came 2 minutes after official start and joined peloton in the full speed. Being warmed up well I launched first attack and than just faded away and got dropped in the second last lap. With way to the race and home and back to the race and home after the race I got first spring 140 km.

What I learned: Don’t forget your helmet.

Spring series 2 –  May 1st

My first race ever when I didn’t try some silly attacks and break-aways (sorry Stefan). Before the last corner I went into a wild sprint, passed everybody and after the last corner everybody passed me.

What I learned: Don’t sprint too soon.

Spring series 3 – May 8th

Josh joined my category and I was happy to race with such biker in one pack and to have the chance to learn from somebody I know. This time I couldn’t help myself and again went in some silly break away with some girl but even after this I was able to race to the last moments. In the finish I waited till somebody started to sprint and followed him and then started my own sprint. I finished somewhere in the top ten what I considered as a success when riders like Josh were present.

What I learned: Some people are smoking fast

Velocity Stage race – Time trial – May 15th

Wind 70km/hr. No idea how to fight it. My time was worse than last year even on 800m shorter course. 20th place. Stefan was complaining about running out of gears (I think he has 60 in front) which resulted in the 5th place. Joe was pretending failure of a front shifter so that he didn’t have to use the big ring and could relax.

Joe pushing against the 70kph wind

Joe pushing against the 70kph wind

Velocity – Criterium – May 15th

Wind still strong but in good direction and covered by buildings. I really enjoyed this race fighting in the front and controlling the pack with confidence. Big step forward from the last year when I freaked out from high speed, big crowd and sharp corners. Also Stefan advised me that I should work on bigger gears so I could carry on my speed after corners which worked great this year even with my compact. 11th place. Joe pretended forgetting his shoes so that he didn’t have to race but he had time to go back for them so he pretended being lapped and relaxed.

Velocity – Road race – May 16th

Wind 70km per hour everywhere. Only thing I remember is a tire of the rider in front of me. No ambitions to go with attacks or attack myself. Somehow I kept up with the front group of ten riders and while they were sprinting in the finish I was thinking about dismount and push the bike over the line against the wind. Joe pretended having a flat tire before the race so that he didn’t have to race but he had time to fix it so he pretended having a flat after the start but he got the spare wheel from a wheel car. So he pretended having another flat later and relaxed while Stefan was making hell for others in cat. 3 but the wind blew some guys on him and got him out of the road, race and the general classification. After that Fiera Team left the race as beaten dogs immediately after finish and I was just thinking about giving up the road racing and meaningless fight for upgrading from category 5. But later in the evening I was shocked when Aaron and Emily brought me check for fifth place in GC (which I considered as a joke after 20th, 11th and 10th places). It showed up that lot of guys from the front group after helping me made a solid gap were DQed for being blown behind the central line. And so I took 6th place in the road race and first upgrade points and started again thinking about doing little road racing.

What I learned: Joe is not praying enough to God of cycling while my prayers are fully answered

 Pigeon Lake – June 29th

An ideal day for biking – little wind, neither too hot nor too cold. My main bike and accessories supplier Dave upgraded my bike with standard road crank set instead old compact and I was looking forward to use it. Unfortunately all 50 riders of cat. 5 were looking forward to use their gears and 60km in relatively flat terrain wasn’t enough to spread the peloton. Also our race was neutralized couple kilometers before the finish because of passing the cat. 4 pack so we had basically 2km race. I was trying to use my experience from spring series but it was incomparable. First two laps I was keeping in the front then at certain point I just moved into second position, then two guys came each from one side and that was literately the end of my race. Next 20km I couldn’t move an inch in the pack. It was getting sketchy as everybody wanted to move and in the last 500m (where Simmon brutally crashed last year) I was just praying for my life in the sound of rubbing tires. When I finally got to the sprint over the dead bodies and broken frames the fast guys were in the finish already. 15th place. Stefan worked hard in the cat.3 but even there was impossible to get away so the race was decided in the slight uphill finish and he took 8th place.

What I learned: It is long way out of the cat. 5

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