Started back at crits last week, and snagged a 2nd in B Grade, but it was only a field of 6 and one guy had soloed off the front and stayed away for the win. Two others got dropped, and I attacked the remaining two half a lap out to get clear 2nd (heart rate hit 200 coz it was 35 degrees. Haven’t seen it that high since the glory days at the Teardrop).
This week they were gonna put me in A Grade, but the field there was absolutely stacked - Lappers, Shooter, Banger, Stolz etc (you won’t know who most of those guys are, but trust me when I say they’re quick! Lappers was obviously National Road Champ in 2007, and Shooter is a regular in the Bendigo Madison). Thankfully they left me in B Grade.
8 in the race, which was just enough to make it a little bit tactical. I got some pre-race tips that Rick had been showing some strong form lately and to follow any moves he made. After 10 minutes he was 30m off the front so I bridged across, but they chased us down a lap or two later. After that I sat in and conserved energy. My mental state was fluctuating between “this is shit, I’m gonna die, why am I doing this”, to “fkn hell this is so much fun”.
Last lap, I was in last wheel, and leaning towards the “this is shit, I’ll just roll in at the back” mentality. There’s a small climb about 500m from home, then a 90 degree left hander, a short 120m section along the top, then another 90 degree left hander and a 300m downhill run to the finish. I tried to come around them on the right side up the climb, but it was into a strong head-cross wind and I was getting nowhere, so I slunk to the back left side to get some shelter. Guys were drilling it up there, but I was getting a good sit. Took the inside on the corner and attacked across the top as they all tried to recover from the hill. Coming up the inside I slotted into third wheel around the final corner, with Rick in 2nd wheel.
I let a small gap go through the corner, accelerated into it and then out to the right of the two guys in front, where I got perfect shelter from the cross-tail wind. Stayed seated, spun at 125 cadence like a madman, and was surprised when I rounded em up fairly easily and won going clear. Just had the perfect sit from the wind - made sure I stayed right so anyone coming home late had to come past me in the wind.
A Grade next week is gonna be shiiiiiiiiiiiiit!