Monday, September 8, 2008

Master's RR Race Report

Four SpeedTheorists showed up to contest the race just north of Airdrie in Crossfield. Sandra, Andy, Stephen K, and Trev. We were placed in Masters Womens B, Mens B, Mens C, and Mens A respectively. With race distances of 55km, 107km, 80km, and 107km respectively.

The course had changed from the last two years to a much easier rolling terrain. The wind was very minimal as well. The combination of these two factors made for a race that was extremely hard to form a breakaway.

Andy's race was really long for a Cat5 rider, but he stuck it out for half of it until a pothole signalled the end of his race. Sandra was an instigator in her pack and eventually finished 3rd in her Category. Stephen Kenny pulled the pack a lot and couldn't form a breakaway on the new course and eventually got swarmed at the finish line and ended 5th.

Trev's Race Report.

I entered this race with my form slowly coming around, but not with the same confidence as last year. I knew Gideon from H&R wanted this title really badly and he would have teammates. He is also in much better shape than me at the moment so I knew I had to try some serious tactics if I was going to have a shot at the podium. Right now I lack any explosive power (breakaway) power that I would use to get away from a pack and then settle into a hard pace. Instead, I would slowly ramp up my pace to 'hard' and look around and I would be leading everyone along nicely. So that was very frustrating (for me, great for everyone else).

Also, the race was dictated by the fact that whatever I did, it was covered immediately. The pack was content to do nothing until I did something all day. Throughout the four laps, I tried everything to whittle down the pack to no avail, however my fitness and the terrain dictated I couldn't get away. Jesse James helped me out quite a few times, trying to tire some dudes out, but I just couldn't capitalize on it, which was frustrating. Gideon and Brendan tried a few times to attack me after I had pulled hard, but again, the terrain didn't act in their favour either, and I was able to reel them in.

The only successful attempt at whittling the pack came from a Pedalhead rider on the last lap. He dodged a pothole by suddenly moving about 3 meters to the left. The move took down two riders unfortunately. One of the riders was Heather Kay, who was one of the stronger riders in the pack. I was really disappointed for her and it made me mad there was a crash in a Master's Race. Hopefully she can recover and be back 'in the mix' soon. She deserved to be racing Master Men's A yesterday, and she wasn't hanging at the back either. Which is another reason she was unlucky for the crash. Usually, if you 'hang at the back', you are accepting you may get caught up in a crash, however, in this case, she was in the correct place, but was super unlucky.

The pack rolled along at a silly pace with the inevitable sprint coming up. All of a sudden I noticed a Synergy guy in the mix helping to mark my futile moves at getting away. I had not seen him all day. In such a small pack, this guy must be very good at not doing anything what-so-ever. He had not been in the top 12 riders for 90km.

While this type of riding is a 'tactic', and wins sprinters races, it is not a tactic I really like (probably because I can't do it), so I was really hoping he wouldn't win. However, with not doing anything all day, if he hadn't won, it would have been embarrassing for him.

So the sprint came and went with nothing exceptional. I was really happy that Jesse James got 2nd, and I was really hoping he would get 1st, he deserved the win.

So congratulations Jesse, it was great racing with you.

Full Results here.


Andy H said...

I had to drop out due to bike problems. Near the end of the first lap several of us hit a pot hole. I was able to remain on my bike however the impact was hard enough to derail the chain. After this I was not able to shift to my lower four gears. Dropped out after 50KM. Had fun and still learning.

Dan Sigouin said...


I echo your concerns and look back to the road race at Devon with similar thoughts. I find it really frustrating to see guys wheel sucking for the entire time, and then try and sort it out in a bunch sprint. I like to have the mindset that a race is a race. It must be a lesson in tactics, if HR Block had the bodies there and intention to win the race, isn't it up to them to dictate what happens in the race, not just counter every move you try to make?


Anonymous said...

H&R Block had just two riders in the race - so the only tactics that took place were when one rider was up in an early race break - the other rider isn't supposed to help the peleton chase him down. H&R riders did their fair share of trying to attack the race and create a successful break, as well as spend time at the front. However, like Trev said, certain riders were "marked" - and it was a small group to begin with. Trev certainly did the lion's share towards the end of the race to animate things, and certainly made it hard for everyone. Due to the terrain, nobody was able to get away, and it came down to the inevitable sprint at the end. The problem with flat courses is it creates races like the one we saw, which tend to unfold quite differently then say, the provincial RR. It was held on a far more challenging course which made for a far more interesting race.


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