Archives for May 2014

Weekend ride w/e 11th May 2014

Saturday

Long Ride

Saturday Long Ride D: 45.98km

Ride leader:- Lex Parker
35km short ride
Ride leader: Alex Bowden

Sunday

HAPPY MOTHERS DAY

Long Ride

Ride Leaders:
Fast group – Alan Haggo
Slower group – Geoff Cooke
All the best for those doing Cycle for Life and if you want to get into 107km race there is opportunity to enter on the day.  All for only $55.

Race Report: Club Nationals Brendan McGrath

Woke in Hamilton to a very still, misty and FREEZING morning.   As we drove out to Cambridge the mist started to clear and the blue sky and sun started to peek thru.

0910 – Race time, all lined up in the starting shoot think thru the 4 months of training to get into race shape and I guess 20years of bike racing before and confirming to myself that its either make a race of it, be off the front or out the back blown to bits but not roll over the finish because I was worried about protecting 10th place!!!

Also realise that when your’e hurting there’s a good chance that others are too… the sooner you realise that, the sooner you start to race from the front and that’s how winning is done.

Off we go,  turn right about 1km neutralized… then the flag drops….  I roll off the front with one other rider.  Theres a gap of about 100m then Peter Murphy (3rd in the TT) comes across the gap and one other.    Turn left onto the circuit… up the first climb.. onto the false flat, gap at 1:06.

Hit the first climb proper,  I tell the other 3 that our goal is to get thru the hills before the others arrive.  The “others” are Aaron Strong and Dave Rowlands.   Its worth noting that these guys are becoming legends in masters racing but also are very competitive at the top of the sport in New Zealand regardless of age.   Rowland 2nd place at the easter tour in front of Joe Cooper is stunning,  finishing in front of established pros like Taylor Gunman,  on top of his 4th place at the World Champs in Italy last year!!!   Aaron Strong, once one of the top 5 in the world for mountain running has gone on to win several Tour of Southland Stages, many tours, many National Titles and just a few weeks ago came in 2nd at Le Race in Canterbury!  It goes without saying these two are the clear favorite in any masters race and in many open races.   Strong a full time cycle coach and Rowlands an associate professor in sports at Vic Uni.

Sure to form at the top of the first proper climb the two favorites  appear.  They had ridden across a 1 min gap on a single climb!    I happen to know that one of these gents last week put out 500watts for 3-4 mins attacking on a climb.. for those interested in the numbers!

picture courtesy of Dynamo Events

So there we are, the three medalists in the TT and the race favorites, myself and one other all in the breakaway!  with some 30 riders behind in a basically hopeless situation as all the real horsepower was gone up the road.    Murphy fell off the pace on the hills,  then there were 4 of us.   Time checks grew from 2,3,4,5 to over 6 mins.    On about lap 2.5 the 4  of us passed the entire M1 bunch that started 10mins in front of us!!   Steve then got in trouble towards the end of lap 4…  then it was just Strong, Rowlands and myself.  It was obvious to me that I would not keep up with them when the attacks started.

Then just before the end of lap 4 of 5 Rowlands rode hard up a climb then Strong attacked over the top.  I had nothing to offer and could only watch as they realised I was in trouble and quickly started working together, riding into the distance.   Given there was only 30km to the finish and still 6mins back to a chasing group I just rode back to the finish.

Strong punctured late in the race but happily it made no difference to the outcome, he got a quick wheelchange and was on his way before I got to him.  Rowlands had attacked and finished solo.

All in all I am chuffed to have been in such an honest battle,  looking at the results its obvious it was a war, a real battle with the field just blowing to bits.    My kind of race, exactly what I was hoping for, rather than face a large bunch on a technical course.   Training starts tomorrow morning for 2015 nationals.   Its not over till you win!

photo courtesy of Brendan McGrath

Hill Climb Series Race 1 – results and photos

 

Weekend Rides w/e 4th May 2013

Saturday

Long Ride

Saturday Long Ride C

Ride Leader: Will be confirmed on the morning. Volunteers welcome.

Ride Leader: Rae Smith
Road Coaching 101 : Hill Climbing.
Beginners road ride coaching.  RSVP essential to attend!  Please email Darrall road@deptofcycling.com

Ride Leaders:
Fast group – Andrew fletcher
Slower group – Paul Taylor
If you would prefer a shorter ride there will be a group doing Rec Ride Course A