Ha! Yeah have to watch that. Never was too good at the poker face...
Oh well. Race in the weekend went well. At race pack pick up read the startlist and was quite surprised at the level of riders starting. Of course all of them were in my AG as it was from 20-39 . They didn't have a separate elite field this yr so a few of the elite riders were making out they wouldn't be there. Prob just trying to increase their own chances of a win the crafty buggers
Day we arrived in Greymouth it was raining,cool and wet in contrast to the warm dry weather on the East. Was meant to clear overnight but the morning arrived with heavy cloud and drizzle and quite cool so took my jacket. Of course after we started the sun came out so could have done without it.
I snuck onto the back of the elite and club riders at the start which was the right place for me in terms of ability. I had no allusions about sticking with the elite guys, but could hang with the 2nd rater's. Was a furious start and we were flying along in the 1st 5kms as the elite guys put the pressure on from the gun and I was struggling to keep up on the back of a particular paceline. The elite guys had already got a bit of a gap so I was already in the 2nd bunch. All of a sudden heard the sickening crash of metal and carbon as riders up ahead went down in a heap. Bikes flying everywhere, all over the road and on the grass. Luckily I was back far enough, I could ease off and was able to thread my way through b/t bikes on the grass without falling off. Heard at the end one of the elite women had forgotten to secure her front wheel so it came off at ~ 45kph( not sure exactly as my speedo flaked out in the am so didn't bring it). So she ended up in hospital
Unfortunately this meant I'd completely lost my bunch as all the guys ahead of the carnage were long gone. Should have just sat up but wasn't sure who if any were behind me. Knew the next bunch would be a couple of mins behind starting later and wasn't sure of their level so kept on plodding along. Picked up a hard grafter up ahead(know him from a lot of other races and he's never afraid of a bit of work), and another guy and soon there was about 6. However only half of them were doing work. Was quite a relief 30km later that we got picked up by the big bunch behind(50 odd?) as we'd hit a few rollers, and it'd been a HW for sometime and our average speed increased heaps. It was a bit disorganised as at least half never went up the front. So I probably did a lot more of my share along with the same guys. Just before the halfway mark the course heads back the otherway so it was a nice TW. People were flying off the front to catch a bunch of 15 or so up ahead so the pressure went on. A few hills etc and people were trying to break up the bunch. A small bunch would stick and we'd be chasing back on. Once it was all back together people would relax a bit so allow the strugglers to get back on. Unfortunately most of them were getting a tow and the same players were up the front. I was starting to tire(no not tyre! See there is a reason for the different spelling
), after about 100k after all the work I'd been doing, so was happy to relax a bit too after everyone got back together. Otherwise would ruin my chance of perhaps hanging on at the finish. So let other people do the work for awhile so drifted to the back of the bunch. Pressure started going on again in the last 15k's so found myself back at the the front. Trouble was after getting near the front it was difficult not to stay there as lots just weren't coming through. In last few k's drifted to the back of the bunch again and got a good position on the right hand side. Basically on the last rise made my move and flew around to the front of the bunch for the sprint. Just as I got there one guy jumped followed strongly by another just before the last little rise, I tried to get on the back of them but my legs just died!
Told them to shut up but they weren't listening so failed
. Got off my seat and tried to accelerate but could hardly support myself off the saddle as my legs were screaming so a few people started going past. So coming down the last hill just before the finishing straight were some train tracks covered with boards so again there was hesistation as they weren't well secured so people slowed down ahead so I couldn't keep any momentum so had to brake and then re-accelerate on my shit legs. Suffice to say my sprint was non existant so lost a few places. Was quite demoralising when this huge Maori guy(6ft3 and full of muscles) from way back went flying past at twice my speed and nearly took out the bunch sprint. So probably lost a good 10-15 places in the sprint.
Was cool riding with most of the top women too( a couple escaped in a bunch 2mins up the road) as they were all keeping tabs on each other and weren't afraid of a bit of work until the last 20k's. Must have been about 7or 8 in our bunch) Pretty damn strong on a few of the power climbs too. And 2 killed me in the sprint as well.
130km 3hrs29:53 37.16 kphAv
No idea how the top guys do it but a few somehow flew off the front of the front bunch and finished in 3hrs6.
But until about 3hr20 most finished in 1's and 2's so sounds like they smashed each other to bits