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.
- Finish the race.
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
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.