Thursday Race report 21st November

At the bottom of this report there are some important notes to be aware of before you next race!!

Wow!  What a great night for it.  Looking out of the shop today I could see rain and it concerned me for about a second until I applied rule #9.  Luckily it cleared up to be a fine night with a hint of a an easterly breeze.
I made it up there just after the briefing in time to see the first group leave (after Harvey’s head start obviously) before heading out on a short, fast warm up. It was great to see so many people out on the warm up circuit, some chatting as they rode side by side and others waving as they rode past each other.  It struck me how friendly this race really is!
Oldest Harvey and Youngest Benjamin.

Oldest Harvey and Youngest Benjamin.

I was in break today which had been set according to my time on the individual TT last week and we were second to last to leave, 21 minutes after the first group to go.  As we gathered at the start line I noticed a few new faces in the group and my nerves started to show themselves.
Catherine and Rochelle, our starters, kept everyone in order until it was time to start and when we we’re let off the and the pace was on instantly.  I thought to myself that if this kept up I would be off the back before we even hit the first hill;-( luckily thought he pace settled a little and we got into our work.  It was great to have someone in our group who took charge.  It started out there were 3 people giving instruction (including me) but soon it was clear Alistair (I think that was his name) had the loudest voice and seemed to have more control of the situation so we left it to him.  Great job by the way, thank you.
Over the first climb we all stuck together with one dropping off the group just before the last lip to the “Postance Corner” (corner Tawa and Hanham) and the work carried on well all the way down the back straight.   We rounded the corner back onto access which was a little tight but something we will all need to get used to this season as they have  added a path on the left.  Safely negotiated we passed the start finish ending our first lap Ina time of 17minutes.  Wowzer, no wonder the legs were hurting.
Starting the second long incline one rider (dedicated Cyclist) jumped off the front.  This seems a bit early to me to take a punt and the others seemed to agree as the call came from the back (Alistair again) “let him go” which was a blessing to hear as I couldn’t have jumped the gap, even if I tried.
It wasn’t long after this at the start of the second incline, after Pomona, that my body (and mind) decided they had enough and I let the bunch go.   I felt terrible for letting them go but tried to enjoy the rest of the ride.  “UP” I heard from behind which was the familiar call of Morgan Smith coming through and letting me know to jump on his wheel for a tow, which I did until the legs couldn’t even handle that.  (Really, I think my mind had given up)
Dragging my butt up the hill I rounded Postance corner for the last time with relief knowing the rest was down hill.  I tried to think about my breathing and stuck my head down to keep out of the wind while I kept my legs pumping, passing a few riders and greeting (grunting) as I went past.  It was half way down the back straight that the first part of scratch caught me.  Steve Furminger, an absolute machine on the bike, tapped my back as he went past but I don’t think he realised how slow I was actually moving because I got a bit of a boost from the push.
3/4 down the back, the next part of scratch caught me along with Andrew Fletcher, one of my fellow droppees from break and this looked like a speed I might be able to hold on to so I jumped on the back of the three riders.  Another 300m and I saw second wheel looking around.  I glanced back and gave the “pull the throttle” sign and we jumped.  Round the last corner, I could see Benjamin, Jeff and one other rider ahead.   “ON YOUR RIGHT” I shouted as I pounced on the pedals to pass the riders and push for the finish line.
I finished about 45 seconds behind the rest of break which I wasn’t displeased about considering how bad I felt on the last climb.  A small loop warm down off the main road was awesome as we got to see so many riders from other groups and have a. Quick yarn and tell tail of the ride we had just done.

Jim Denton Crossing the line in first place


Top ten will be posted soon.
Later, a beer and chippies at The Fireplace and more tails added to the whole experience .
All in all a great ride, all be it not my best, an awesome night and the best bunch of people out on the road.  Thank you to the team of volunteers and the Thursday race sub committee for making it all happen.
Looking forward to next week and hopefully able to hang on to the bunch for a little longer;-)

Some things to point out as part of my official capacity as race director.

1- safety is foremost priority of the Thursday race crew and we were informed of a potentially unsafe helmet in the race tonight.  In this race you are responsible for your own equipment and making sure it is safe and road worthy.
The plastic covering on the outside of the helmet is there to allow the helmet to slide on the Tarmac if, god forbid, you fall off and hit your head.  If it were bare polystyrene the rough chip would grip the helmet and cause neck injury along with any other injuries that may be sustained.  Please check your equipment and don’t be upset if you are pulled aside and asked to make your equipment safe before you race.
2- before the race started a concern was brought forward about the location of the start finish line and it’s proximity to the last corner.  The concern was that too many people may try to get good position at the corner and forget about safety as the finish was so close.
This was monitored tonight by Marshall’s and bystanders and feedback will be taken.  We did mention that this would be trialled for 2 races and then a decision will be made about the location from there.
Thank you everyone for your feedback and we are happy to hear any other comments you may have.  You are more than welcome to email me at deptofcycling@gmail.com
3- Warm down area.  Once finished traffic was directed into a side street.  You are asked to make your way round the the warm down loop then u-turn before you reach access again.  Make your way back round the loop to where you entered then you can carry on on access opposite race finish traffic.  See diagram below.
Warm down map
4- Race Groups.  Race officials put the groups together on average speed of the riders.  This is worked on a few pieces of information but mainly from the individual TT.
It is a race and you will be placed in a group to make the group work well together to get to the finish first.   If you would prefer to be in another group the next race there are forms you can fill out and hand in to officials to deliberate for the next week. Your race group will not be adjusted on the night unless there are extreme circumstances.    This does not include the fact that you are using the race as a light training ride and would prefer and easier group.
An example of asking to be changed through filling out the form would be  “I was dropped from break on the first hill and spent most of the rest of the race by myself so would prefer a slower start.”  or   “I felt I was dropping the bunch and putting it under pressure for the ride and would like to try the faster bunch”
Your bunch may be changed by officials because they notice you would work better in a different bunch.
The officials are there as volunteers to make it an enjoyable ride so lets make it as enjoyable as possible for them please.

Comments

  1. bv.dgriend says:

    Please please move the finish line further up the road. I foresee a major accident going to occur on the last corner either with each other or a car passing by or riders knocking over the cones. Most riders know that you have to be in the first 5 at the corner to win or beat the others in your group. Everyone will fight to be in the first 5 and so it can easily bunch up at the corner and riders are forced to take evasive action by going around the cones and taking it wide. I foresee riders hitting the cones also. if the finish was where u had it last year the pressure for riders will be off and be more cautious around that last corner.

  2. Thank you for the feed back.
    The trial period for moving the finish line ends this week, so a decision will be made after the race this Thursday.
    All feedback is welcome and will be taken into consideration.

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