QRTS Race 1 - Stage 2 Review

Gatton Road Race| Locked Wheels & Mixed Drinks

Six hours of sleep and an exciting ice bath later I arrive at Gatton. A perfect day and only a little wind but if this blows up it will get interesting. 

My legs are ok mainly from the ice bath last night and plenty of carbs helped too. The Short turned around from stage 1 to stage 2 was not something I have done in a long time and this could take its toll later today.
After a very short warm up we are all at the start line, we all receive a very warm hello from the chief com and a very big lecture on going over the white lines, 200 guys on narrow roads it bound to happen. The race heads out on a long flat straight road and its nice and easy pace I’m very surprised its not on from then gun. I have to wait only a few minutes before 3 guys hit out and now it’s on. They are gone and we settle a bit and leave them out there.

The rolling peloton is moving along on the flat at around 45 to 50kph and it’s actually quite nice. We turn left and I feel a cross wind. Crap it’s time to get to the front as a small echelon forms and I’m just on the tail end before the white line. I’m thinking the race will now break apart but as we go up the road, the wind actually swings into a head wind and everything slows down. So now the only problem will be the short but very steep climb in 10 klms and I sit in and start to feel comfortable.

When we get to the KOM it is a very easy pace and I climb the first time seated and get a great feeling that the full course won’t be too hard. We go over the climb and I have slack climbed half way back through the field roller over the next hill and the speed is back on all the way to the feed station. Another lap goes by and the climb looks like an attack may happen. I’m right up the front so not to get slowed down by the rubber band effect of hitting the climb at speed. Its much quicker this time but I still feel the boys are holding back with the break still away.

Power Slide

Third lap and I get push to the back on the hill before the KOM and try to get down the outside and the peloton widens just as I move down. I have to break hard and the rear wheel locks! WOW! Power slide for two meters and I’m closing my eyes and hoping that the tyre does not blow… I’m good. The smell of burning carbon is always very unique as I ride up the climb.

The climb is now on and some other riders hit it hard I’m very much out of position and look down to see the power meter off the chart, this is not good I’m only half way up. Control the breathing and keep going up and over hit the decent hard and drive up the other side and my extra weight is now an advantage I’m flying past the peloton and back to the front.

Feed station is just around the corner so I stay at the front of the group up the last climb, I can now get a drink easily. That does not happen, I climb easy and I’m passed by 30 guys in a 100 meter climb. So I roll into the feed station mid pack. Jamie from MBCC has my bottle and he said he will be at the start of the feed station I see him at the end after I have ridden by on the next lap I’m sorted then I think to myself. I’m testing some new liquid carb drink that has 300 calories in each serving can’t wait.

Mixed Drinks

Forth lap on the flat section, a break of four goes and I see them as they turn left. The peloton now has increased the pace they are chasing them hard. On climb, more pressure is applied, we catch the break but one… he has gone solo. We get around to the feed station where I await my bottle gel and liquid carbs. I find Jamie and get a … bottle of water with a coffee flavoured gel! WTF (later I find out another rider took my bottle)! Hope this lack of calories does not affect me later.

Next lap, the 5th the climb is hard and my legs are feeling it. I really think it’s going to explode. The pace stays constant and the peloton has thinned significantly. It’s now down to the last lap and we hit the climb hard and it spits to pieces. I’m over the top and off the back of the main group. Over the top of the climb I go and then I’m racing to get onto the back of the group, all ok. It’s time to move forward and fast straight around the outside and to the front. I’m now 20 wheels back from the lead and sitting in. Legs are still there we will see how this finish goes, I’m now 10 wheels back sitting behind Jessy Kerission and we go with 350 meters to run. I’m great, right on his wheel, up and out of the saddle on the hill and bang I cramp. Sit back down and roll through in 20 something place. Disappointed not to sprint but happy to be at the pointy end of my first QRTS raid race this season.

Race 2 look out here I come…