National Road Race 2015
It’s never a good feeling getting dropped. No matter what anybody says. We went into the race backing Jack Bobridge as our best chance to win the race and were all committed to doing what we could to try and make that happen. So, after getting into the early break with Bobridge on lap 4 it was my responsibility to pull turns riding the front helping to both establish and maintain the time gap back to the peloton.
Unfortunately, we got caught by the peloton on lap 12 after a fairly slow lap and not much cooperation in the break. I had spent about 8 laps riding with the break, and still had 6 laps to go till the finish. My legs felt alright, but it was the following climb up the KOM when I realised just how much damage riding in the break had done to my legs. The pace started to lift on the climb once again and although I was able to stay in contact I spent the rest of the race sniveling towards the back of the peloton. I was dropped during lap 17 out of 18.
Interestingly, after looking at my data after the ride, my max HR during that lap 17 climb was only 182 (which is well below my threshold HR). In contrast, my max HR for the race was 203bpm which happened over the top of the KOM on lap 5, but it had also hit over 200 on the previous lap getting into the break, and again on lap 7 and 9 when I covered Luke Durbridge’s attack. At least I guess that’s some sort of way to quantify my excitement and level of effort during my time in the break.
Bobridge ended up finishing in the winning group of 6 riders for the bunch kick. I ended up finishing the race in 50th place from 149 starters after deciding to finish the final lap. There’s no way I was going to pull out of the race with only one lap to go! You learn lots about what you’re capable of in these sort of races and like always I’ll take away lessons for next time.
Being on the very front of the race I was able to smile to a few familiar faces or at least I tried to give some sort facial recognition to acknowledge that I’d seen them and appreciated their cheering! Thanks to everyone who gave me support out there on the road, or who followed my progress through social media. I’m already looking forward to racing nationals again in 2016.
Overall Budget Forklifts had a great Nationals Campaign including bronze in the criterium from Scott Sunderland and also a bronze in the time trial by Jack Bobridge. Coming up in the next couple of weeks are some good races in the schedule including Cadels Road Race, Herald Sun Tour and the New Zealand Cycle Classic. (I won’t be doing all of these, but will most likely do at least one)
Thanks for reading,