Race: 15 March 2014

Race Information
Rider (4th)
Race pageElsewhere
Classification
Band
Age
Categories allowed
Distance35km

This is my first race. The outcome goal is therefore very conservative and there are more process goals than usual: nothing is habitual yet, so everything that ought to be habitual has to be listed.

Outcome Goal

  • Finish the race.

Process Goals

Weeks before the race

  • Ensure dry- and wet-weather bikes are mechanically prepared by March 3, 2014
  • Ensure dry- and wet-weather bikes have been road-tested by March 10, 2014. After testing each bike it should be washed and inspected

Race day, pre-race, at home

  • Eat breakfast at 05.00
  • Stay hydrated
  • Select dry- or wet-weather bike after inspecting the ground conditions
  • Ensure one filled water bottle is on bike
  • Ensure race licence is in race bag
  • Ensure you are dressed for the conditions
  • Ensure alternative jerseys are in race bag
  • Ensure one energy gel is in jersey pocket
  • Ensure you leave the house in time with bike, jersey, race bag

Race day, pre-race, at venue

  • Ensure you sign-on in good time
  • Ensure race number is pinned securely in the right place
  • Stay warm and dry

Race day, during the race

  • Drink every 5 laps
  • Eat energy gel on lap 25
  • Stay in the draft

Race day, after the race

  • Cooperate with doping control if required
  • Wash and inspect bike

Report

Format of the race was a mass-start, followed by 45 minutes of racing, followed by 5 laps of racing with a sprint finish.

Before the race the weather was cloudy and the temperature 9 Celsius. I chose to wear a light jersey over a full-sleeve base layer and mild-winter gloves.

At the start I lined up towards the back of the group so as not to cause problems for anyone else. I was held up momentarily when the chap in front of me had trouble clipping in to his pedals: I was not certain that there was adequate space to go around so I stayed behind rather than swerving into a space that might not be there.

After 100 metres I was off the back of the pack; never to get back on. I settled into riding a time-trial rather than a road race. I had trained for a race speed of 35 km/h, which should have allowed a rider who can ride 32 km/h solo to hang on to the bunch. I averaged over 38 km/h on the first two laps and over 36 km/h for the distance I rode; unfortunately the bunch were averaging over 42 km/h: clearly my information on the likely speed of the race was more than a little deficient.

Unfortunately my power meter recording software malfunctioned and I therefore do not have directly measured power data from the race. I have only myself to blame seeing as I wrote it. Strava estimates my average power for the distance at 178W, and my average power for my best lap at 242W, both of which are in the range I would expect from training.

It was not a true time trial level effort because I needed to keep checking my shoulder in case the pack were about to lap me. After the first two times I was lapped I resorted to leaving the circuit until the bulk of the pack had gone by; I did not enjoy being on the edge of the bunch as we approached a pinch point at racing speeds.

Around 20 minutes into the race the sun came out and the wind-speed reduced; this resulted in me overheating. I removed my gloves, zipped-down my jersey and rolled the sleeves of my base-layer to my elbows but it was too little too late. I withdrew from the race after 33 minutes, 4 laps down on the bunch.

Revisions to Process

Omit energy gels. More practice in eating them at race-approximate effort levels is required before they can be used effectively in a race situation.

Revise what it is to be dressed appropriately. Inadequate allowance was made for the heat generated in racing. I should be at the warm end of the too-cold zone as I sit on the start line. If I a comfortable I am overdressed.

I need to be fit enough to ride for 1 hour at 42 km/h to finish in the bunch.