Saturday, August 10, 2013

Race Day # 2 from The World Master Games in Italy

Hello everyone,

I hope everyone enjoys the read!

Here is the next update from Italy.  As the previous blog was about the MTN bike race held on August 4th, this will be about the Criterium on August 5th.  The race started at 9:00 am so the weather was decent, 31 celsius at the start line.  The course was a 3 Km circuit race with a 400 Meter hill at 3.5% gradient (up and down), a hair pin turn and a traffic circle.   We were to race 8 laps which made the race very short.  The pavement was good but had lots of man hole covers which were slippery due to the humidity.

The race started fast and hard with about 5 attacks in the first 2 laps.  On the 3rd lap a break with 2 guys managed to get away.  I stayed with the group as the race was aggressive and would bring them back.  The attacks kept coming with many trying to bridge the gap to the 2 up front.  These were serious all out attacks, 3-4 per lap.  That short 3.5% hill is very hard when your nearing 50 km/h every time you go up.  I stuck my nose out front a couple of times to either bridge the gap myself or bring someone back to the group.  I tell you, I had no friends!!  Each time I played at the front I payed dearly with counter attacks AND no one letting me in, or having to completely stop pedalling to encourage some other animal to attack, which was even worse as I was slowing as he was accelerating.  It is mean over here.  I really started to fatigue on the 6th lap.  Legs were tired from racing the previous day, it was hot and the racing was hard.  One the final lap I was sitting 5th place at the 700 meter mark thinking I had this in the bag.  I think I brought the wrong bag!  The pace really picked up and at the 400 meter mark the guy who had been at the front started to sprint and won the pack sprint!!!  WHAT?  The guy behind him got second and the guy behind him got 3rd in the group and so on.  

Who rides at the front of a peloton, for the first half of the final kilometer, then sprints to win?!  The Pro's do!!  Remember those 2 guys who got away on lap 2, yeah, they stayed away on they're own and placed 1st and 2nd.  The group sprinted for third.  With how aggressive the race was, I was perplexed as to how they stayed out front on their own for two thirds of the race.  As it turns out there were 2 professionals (team mates) and several guys who longer professionals that still race, that came out to play.  The Italian pro's are fast and tactical, i'll give them that.  As for me, my legs did not have enough punch to move me up in the final sprint (that I had in the bag).  Fortunately neither did anyone else as I held my position and crossed the line in 7th.



Darcy G said...

Great work, Harley! Looks like you are getting some great results over in Italy. We`re all proud of you.

ECosman said...

Great report. Congrats!

Harley Borlee said...

thanks everyone for the kind and motivating words.

Lawrence Zalasky said...

Thanks for the updates Harley! Sounds like you're alternating between having a great time and burying yourself, and I would expect nothing less. Congrats on the great results!

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