I've often written on this site of my relative triumphs in my first year of cycle racing and it's been a rapid progression through the local ranks with numerous wins this season. I started in D Grade and having been a semi elite athlete in most sports I laid my hand to 'D' felt a little Dgrading until I faced the shocking reality that until i learned my craft, D was actually a flattering place for me to be.
Eventually I served my apprenticeship.I Learned how to use the wheel in front of me, watch the cyclists around me, conserve energy and how to drag every ounce of energy i had through my pedals to the wheels for the sprint to the line and had my first win only a couple of months ago. My first three races in C Grade were two firsts and a second and my confidence was rising, I was eager to get out there and mix it with the big boys.
This morning I rocked up at my Club Championship Criterium and found that I'd been lifted to B Grade which meant I could contest the open title and ride with the A Graders. D Grade Crits are usually around 30 minutes...A/B, 60, quite a difference but I knew I had enough miles in my pegs. Adelaide has a very strong cycling scene for well known reasons....The TdU, O'Grady, Jonker, the AIS having it's training base here and now Bobridge and a new generation of kiddies coming through so the standard is high, but i was determined to give it my best. There were even two cycling chicks in B Grade but racing against Tiff cromwell and Carlee Taylor is certainly no disgrace but i didn't want to be looking at their arses (honestly)
I was as well prepared as I've been for any race this year, good sleep, no pre race disasters or recent surgery. My Cochlear Implant gets activated tomorrow so my mental state was high...I even asked on the startline what the finish routine was so i could plan my sprint to the line...I needn't have bothered!! The average speed for the first five laps was 48km/hr and i was struggling to hold on to the snake line in front of me and i was last in line. I finally lost the wheel in front of me on the sixth lap but still tried to TT it for a while to tag on to any fellow stragglers....I was lapped on my 11th lap...a rude awakening to reality.
I will train harder.