Chance Boudreaux is fast becoming a literary giant in the bikecycle journalism bloggering social commentator world. We have been lucky enough to be graced with his unique perspective on the Perth racing experience.
Angus asked me to write up a narrative of the NDCC criterium today. I think Angus’ initial intention was to get a quick audio file on his iphone, but as you can see from the photo’s (taken by “papparazi”), he didn’t manage to get the kind of coherent summary he was after. I think I heard someone describe the “interview” as an indiscernible rant of profanity and jibberish.
As you have probably worked out from the attached, um, gallery? I didn’t win the race and I was upset about this fact. Obviously I needed to calm down after a disappointing performance from other riders who didn’t enable me to win. Therefore, I went home, lit some scented candles, ran a nice hot lavender bath and listened to my Enya/Dido relaxation mix, I mean, hauntingly beautiful, amirite!?
So having calmed down I can now tell you about how the race unfolded. Obvoiusly I was racing B grade, which, about half way through the race, I was really glad of when I spotted the green and gold bands of Luke Durbridge cruising in to register for A grade. The course was Hasler Rd in Osborne Park, which is flat, flowing and usually has a touch of wind on the straights (head one way, tail the other). Being so flat and flowing, it’s the kind of course where the riders have to create the selection and that is exactly what happened today.
Obviously, there was an attack virtually from the gun and about four riders went up the road. Initially I was joking with another rider about how those early attacks never work yet people do them every time. However after about a lap or so it occurred to me that the move had most of the strongest legs in the race and I should try to join it. I was quickly chased down and with that initial breakaway now fairly close the bunch worked to bring the race back together. Soooo, attack attack attack (not by me) and another breakaway settled in. This move again had some strong riders and they straight away started working coherently together. Back in the bunch there were attacks, some riders worked on the front, but none of it was consistent enough to reel in the 3 riders away. So congratulations to those riders who stayed away for the win!
Now I’m sure there were plenty of people after the race saying things like “no-one in the bunch wanted to work” etc… like this is a negative. But in my view, the race was a really good one, tactically as well as physically. Certainly it was a quick race, I don’t know the average speed but riders were attacking the bunch around 50km/hr and I hope you would agree that’s a sign of some good legs. Tactically, the breakaway did a great job, they got a gap, opened it up and worked well together, not looking back at the bunch or each other. On top of their tactics, the break obviously had good legs, which is great from a B grade race, obviously I can’t just rely on riders out the front to get tired and come back to the bunch by themselves (bummer).
In terms of the way the bunch worked, I think it showed that there are some smart riders in B grade who know that they shouldn’t burn up all their energy helping other riders in the bunch and that their best bet for a result was to make it into the break themselves. So well done to them also.
As for my race, I spent time attacking, pulled a couple of turns after the Keady Humble Tognini guys did so much work on the front and eventually, I caved to the heat and trudged the last two laps solo. Que tantrum.
Thanks for reading.