Metros Road Race Review

Road Race | Remember Your Water!

I’m here at the Metropolitan Road Championship at Kalbar. What a day… the sun is out and its about 17 degrees or so they tell me.  This should be a great day for the race 94km’s.  Three laps of a very hilly course. We all roll out easy and ride not 1km to the first hill and there is an attack.  It’s going to be hard today.
King of the Mountain
The KOM (King of the Mountain), usually the hardest climb on the day, is only two hills over and already the day has started hard.  I think I'll sit in and just try to stay out of trouble. As we go up the climb I feel good and work my way to the front of the peloton and we surge over the top.  I'm the first down the other side and now off the front.  Turning left into a lovely head wind I think this is not what I just discussed with myself about 5 mins ago, so I sit up and wait for the peloton to catch me and slack climb the next hill.
There are a few surges but by and by everyone is well behaved I think this has something to do with the strong head wind.  No I'm wrong! Luke for Cobra9 and one of the new Mainline Cycling Team guys go and they have a nice break within a short amount of time. No body is rushing to catch them but turns are being taken so as no not let them get too far away. Mainline is all over the front with a lot of guys into today's race. I think to myself, they will be the ones to watch later.
Cross Winds & Headwinds
We turn left again onto the highway, heading back to the start finish line, it’s a head cross wind and then head wind so its slow going.  After about 5kms, the break of two is caught.  I think they are glad as it would have been hard out there by themselves. Past the start finish we are all together and I feel ok, I have had heaps to drink today and the electrolytes are probably not needed as the temperature is still very cool.
I Need a Drink!
Up the lower climbs I now notice a small group roll off the front, none of the main players are there and I sit back down and let them go. We go over the main climb and I notice that I have only electrolytes in both my bottles to drink, I have no water.  Hmm I can feel stomach cramps coming on I need to fixed this before it gets worse. Clinton Bain, a club mate is close by he will have water surely. As I ride beside him I notice is has been hard at work modifying the Cervelo S5 I sold him only two days before.  He has taken the second water bottle cage off the bike and has only one bottle!
I ask myself first,  why Baino?  Then shaking my head, I continue moving through the peloton looking for water.  I ask Craig from QSM, “sure Matt”, he hands me a bottle I take a drink more electrolytes  inside hey Craig I need water, “sorry” .... then I spot  Dave Brown respected rider and top elite duathlete.  “Hey Dave do you have just water in those bottles?” Sure he says, “can I swap you for an electrolyte drink I have stomach cramps.” “Sure” he says. Dave is a very clam guy.  Today he is riding with both gear cables snapped, still there not worried, what an athlete.  I down half the bottle hope to feel better soon I think. The whole time Tineli has missed the break and they do a lot of work on the front trying to bring it back.  We have a rider, Geoff Cree, so I'm not doing anything to help.
During this time the race has continued and we are almost half way around the course to the start finish.  I'm right at the back of the field and I look up.  A large group of riders have moved clear, crap I have to get over there the peloton is covering the road. I go down the left on the grass. Mounting biking is not really something you should do on race wheels but its gets me to the front just as a QSM rider jumps across and Rathlin is on my wheel. We reach the front group with a lot of effort and then sit in the group moving toward the start finish but before we get there the chief comm pulls out the red flag the Race is now neutral.... What the.... I ask... none of the guys know why (later I find out a car had actually split the field and they wanted it back as this was an outside influence) Wish I saw that happening so that I did not waste all the time and energy getting across.
The Final Climb
Up the climb for the final time the small group still away and Ben Manson hits it up and climb and is gone. Just before the main KOM Rathilin jumps clear I'm on Mark Laspina wheel and feel he will go as well he does not so I sit in.  Rathlin has a hard time to get to the break but I see Ben Manson has moved clear of the break and is out the front by himself. We have now turned left into that head wind I sit in and the stomach had finally come good. I take a gel to put something into the body and drink more water as I have not really eaten of drunk for a whole lap for fear the cramps would get worse.
Half way along this section there are a few soft moves I think it's time for me to go. I have a manline rider marking me so it hit the gas he follows I slow down he slows. I hit it again and again he sprints and slow and I turn and smile and then hit it again really hard this time over the hill he and the peloton sit down and let me ride away.
I settled into the pace and look down the road to two guys that have fallen away from the break and I look for move to them.  Then Pickles moves behind me and says lets go Matty!  I have help we swap out. I see Mark Laspina and another mainline rider Sean move onto the back of us as well he has ridden across they sit on. We catch the two guys one of them MBCC rider Geoff and the other a mainline rider the six of us start to work Mark needs a little coaxing but gets the idea. We start to chase down the break of three. We are now moving fast and the peloton is getting further behind. We turn left onto the highway and its now time to go even harder.
We loose Geoff and the Mainline rider who to their credit were both in the early break… we are now down to 4 guys, then Sean pulls hard turn and says good luck he has done everything he can for Pickles and its a 3 on 3 race to the line. Our race is now to catch them before the get to the final decent.  450 meters lead turns into only 50 meters at one point but to little to late. They are on the final decent and we have no chance.  I ride down the hill as hard as I can and Pickles and I sprint for the line, 4th for me and 5th for him. Another hard race in the legs before battle next weekend.

See you all there.