SL Sharpethorne 3rd Cat

Another SL 3rd Cat race, this time hosted by Crawley Wheelers on the Sharpethorne circuit.

I’m still yet to lock down any sort of race preparation regime prior to road races on Sunday. My usual in the past has been a day of Friday, followed by an easy spin in the park Saturday to keep the legs turning.

This week I went out for a fairly hard ride Friday, very easy ride Saturday, which its safe to say didn’t work too well. The legs were still aching a touch on Sunday morning, and getting out of bed at 6:20am was difficult to say the least.

I shared a lift with Sam to the circuit, and we arrived early enough to get a bit of a recce of the course, a new one for both of us. Stupidly though, after looking at the map in the HQ we made a wrong turn and ended up recce’ing some completley wrong road, albiet a nice one. I had seen that the course had a lot of climbing, but hadn’t anticipated the worst, and after having done ok at Cutmill (another fairly hilly circuit) I was feeling ok about staying with the bunch.

We headed rolled out behind the lead car towards the circuit, even the neutralised zone was tough with a couple of sharp digs. With a lap 12.5 miles long, there would only be 4 laps. Onto the circuit and things seemed ok, after a few descents into sharper rises. The pace was fairly quick once the flag dropped and a couple of riders seemed fairly keen on getting up the road.

After about half a lap a strong looking bunch of 3 had decent looking gap, and the pace was seemingly being controlled at the front by team moore, the best represented team entered with 7 or so. At this point I could only see a Twickenham rider and a Maison du Velo up the road. I assumed the other was a Team Moore, and hence the reason for the pace being controlled by the rest of the team. In my mind this seemed like a good move.

1174w for 10s later (pb) I was working my way up the road toward the 3 riders. After  354w for two and a half minutes I’d bridged across just prior to the hairpin at the bottom of the course, hoping I could at least sit in for a bit to recover. No such luck, as in my haste I’d chosen quite possibly the worst place to bridge. As I’d gotten over it was straight into the hilly section of the lap. With three tough short climbs approaching followed by a longer drag I was really in the red. After another couple of minutes hanging onto the back of the breakaway riders I’d had it. Sat up going up one of the climbs and was quickly passed by the main bunch, looking a lot smaller than when it set out with just about 30 or so riders remaining. My race was up.

I pootled round for another lap before resigning myself to the HQ to wait for Sam to get back, as I did so the rain began, so I was glad to be in the dry, but overall pretty dissapointed in myself. My weight has crept up the last few weeks to 83kg, which doesn’t help, but even so, the legs just couldn’t recover from the hill efforts fast enough to be any use. Added to which the pointless attack, and my race all came tumbling down. Looking back I think been annoyed at myself for not trying to go with the break at Alfold, I tried to overcompensate here to make sure I made the selection if there was going to be one. With hindsight, on a course which doesn’t suit me I should have just tried to hang on for the finish regardless.

Strava: https://www.strava.com/activities/375713656
Avg Power: 230w
NP Power: 308w
Avg Speed: 20.2mph

Originally I had the Seale race for next weekend, but I’ve withdrawn as my motivation is waning, looking forward to Cutmill in September. In the mean time looking forward to some more track time .

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