Event & Category:
UK Tour Series – Aberdeen – Amateur Support Race – CAT 3/4
Brief event/course description:
City Centre Criterium, with cobbled sections
How’d the race go down for you?
Here’s the report,
A half sweeping, half twisty cobbled circuit. 50 riders, 40mins+3laps.
I am feeling nervous at the start, this being the first race back in over 2 years. Plan is to get to the top 10 places and see what happens, I had no idea how I was going other that my base powers were good, but I had done no specific top end training usually needed for crits.
Started mid pack, moved to the outside of the group on the first few turns, which were wide and sweeping, at each turn moved up several spaces. On to the technical cobbled sections, again staying on the outside maintaining speed as much as possible, observing the road and bends for; best line, potholes, manhole covers etc. Riding through the first pass of the technical section, thinking “you can go much faster through these bends”. Sharp U turn at the bottom of the start finish straight, punch it up the hill, push, push, push…making up spaces all the way, keep the power lower but keep it going longer. Lap 1 done, in the top 10, good!
Ok watch the line, high speed turn coming up past the theatre, don’t brake, trust the grip, lean in & lie down on the bike…woosh no problem, made up 3 more spaces. Back in to the technical section; right, left, right, left…..crap.. gaps opening up ahead due to braking…got to get further up. U turn again, round the outside and punch it…got to get top 5 to reduce the chase back on after those bends. Lap 2 done, 4th position, good, sit in and see what happens for the next few laps.
Pace is good, guys ahead taking better lines, back into the technical section then onto the U turn, look across at the peloton….its lined out and big gaps appearing!…..time to put the pressure on. The 3 other guys are looking good and strong, through the start finish line again, I pull alongside the other guys, “come on guys we have a gap here, lets get it going” I ‘m doing the universal hand round and round sign for working together. “Go on then you pull” I get shouted back at me.
I go to the front and push hard, taking the sweeping right hand bend past the theatre flat out, woah that was fast…down the to the technical section. First right no braking, hitting the cobbled section full speed, hard on the brakes before the tight left, leave it late, turn in hard, fast exit…done. Next right and left bend done the same…back down to the U turn, quick look back…..hmm a few bike lengths there, good to know that cornering pace is hard for the others to follow. Round the U turn, pull hard up the grade to the start finish line, I flick my elbow and glad to see one of the other guys pull through hard. At the back of the break I look back and see we are a good 100m clear.
We are 10 minutes in to the race and going full gas, I shout to the others in the break “we have a good lead, lets take 1 lap each and keep it smooth”. We work well together, each taking a lap. At each pass through the technical section I back off, leaving a few bike lengths to allow me to carry more speed and save the legs. Up the start finish line a push with less effort but longer to reduce the high end fatigue.
30 minutes in, ok how do I win this? Are any of the others looking tired? One of the Aberdeen Wheelers guys is slower through the bends so I need to be in front of him on the last lap, so I don’t get gapped through the technical section and the Stonehaven cycling club guy is not pulling so hard on his lap. We are well clear now, 37minutes in, put in a hard lap and get to the back to recover. I pull hard up the finishing straight, along Union terrace to the theatre, then drop to the back of the group.
3 Laps to go….rest, ventilate, get the lactate down, the last lap will need to be full gas. Round the U turn to start the last lap and go through the bell, I sprint up the hill as hard as I can, dropping one of the Aberdeen Wheelers guys and the Stonehaven guy. The other Aberdeen Wheelers guys is with me and goes hard past the theatre, go, go, go he’s not getting away, in to the technical section, I am 2 lengths off his back wheel…Keep close but not too close in case he looses it. At the U turn, I go round on the inside, I am off his right shoulder….ok match his sprint then punch it, I mean full gas, no holding back…..He sprints, with a kick I match his speed, he stops accelerating, I’m at 80%…build the leg speed then change down. I change down 2 more gears and kick again: go, go, go, go, go, GO!!!! Full eyes bulging max effort I shout past him and know I have got it. 25m to the line I am clear….time to poster up……got it!!!
Which coach do you work with and how did your training help you prepare for the event?
Adam Mills – many years of coaching, Adam has taught me how to train specifically for event demands.
What advice do you have for someone up and coming in your cycling discipline?
It’s only cycling, enjoy it!! Find a group that wants to support each other in competition.
What is your next event?
Evening league Road Race next month.
Congrats Andrew Ennis! We’re looking forward to seeing what the rest of the season holds for you!
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