Race date: 17/01/16
This is just going to be a brief post, because it was a while ago and I can’t remember it all.
It was at SKCC, and again in D grade, and to be honest I’m lucky to have finished with my life! Probably a bit melodramatic, but seriously, it was a ropey one. I think a lot of the guys racing thought they were pros. For example, after having done their turn on the front, they would swerve hard to one side. Not safe, brah! Not only that, but even mid-pack, they would be swerving all over the shop, trying to maintain the wheel in front. HOLD YOUR LINE DAMNIT! In no sport is an unpredictable line safe.
Overlapping wheels is inevitable in bunch racing, but I think in the lower grades, there needs to be a lot of care. There was a lot of this happening, and the wheels were getting very close... It's D grade, this was always going to end badly, and it did. Just before or after the last 3 laps were called, a guy right in front of me—it always happens right in front of me—overlapped his wheel with the guy in front. With a tiny swerve, the rear derailleur gets caught up in the front wheel’s spokes! Crash, down they went. Thankfully I, and everyone else, managed to dodge it. I probably did swerve here, I had no choice.
The race also featured the only breakaway I have ever seen in D grade at St Kilda. I tried my hardest to sit on the front and pull him back, but no one wanted to work with me. Instead, after I pulled a big turn on the front, some guy tried to attack. Inevitably, he cracked pretty quickly, and after another huge effort, I reeled him back in. I called over to him and mentioned that if we were to catch the guy that broke away, we needed to work together. To his credit he and I tried to work together, however, someone else soon attacked the field, and again failed, then another tried and failed, and so on. So after a while of this, it was game over. The guy in front kept a quick but steady pace and before long he was out of slight. We were constantly surging and going in and out of the red. But huge credit to the guy that broke away because although our pace was erratic, it wasn’t exactly slow.
By the end I was completely knackered, however I still wanted to be in a good position going into the final corner, so I placed myself out in front on the back straight. This way too early, and by the time the final corner came around, the entire bunch, or so it felt, passed me and started sprinting as soon as it straightened up. I had barely anything left, but I tried to sprint. I didn’t even make the top 5. To make things worse, my brother, his girlfriend and her sister were also there watching. It's always nice to perform well in front of your fans...