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On Saturday riding related activities started somewhere you wouldn't expect me to be. The brewery shop. The reason I was there was not because I'm making my own home brew alcohol , but because I'm making my own home brew Powerade (the recipe to make the Powerade can be found here).

On Saturday I went down to help at the junior race. It was meant to be an easy roll with a few short efforts to get ready for the race the next day. For the first half of the ride it was easy as we were riding at a slow enough pace so even the youngest riders could keep up. This all changed when we got to the point where the race actually started. 

I thought that I would just be helping the juniors, as I was meant to be saving my legs fort the next day. But it turns out I was in the race. Clancy, Steve and I were chasing a bunch of younger riders but we somehow forgot about them and started attacking each other. As we came round a corner another rider who was late to the start joined in our group and we remembered that we were racing other people not just each other. We settled in to a good rhythm, but the damage was already done. We didn't stand a chance of catching any of the other groups so we were left to sprint it out between ourselves.

Not long after the race finished I was on my way to Castlemaine where I was staying the night with my coach (Geoff) and his son (Steve). 

On Sunday I woke up, had breakfast and made the short journey to Harcourt. I got to the start nice and early because this was the first time I had to get ready for a race by myself. I managed to stuff up one of the simplest things. I cable tied the transponder to the spokes of the wheel instead of the fork, not once but twice. After that I managed to not stuff up anything else and get to the start line on time.

My race was roughly 80 km and comprised of two laps of the small course then one lap of the big course.
The first lap felt easy as no one wanted to go on the front to early and therefore nothing much happened and I just tried to stay out of trouble and not touch the wind. On the second lap nothing much really happened either. The good riders forced the pace on a few of the hills, not enough to put me in difficulty, but enough to get rid of a few riders. I ended up getting dropped about 35 km into the race. This was because there was a 2 km hill at 4% followed by another hill that was 1.5 km long that was about the same steepness but flattened out near the top and went back up again. This is where I lost touch with the front group because the first hill raised my heart rate up to 189 bpm and then the pace was raised even more on the second hill and as it flattened out I let a small gap form and as it went up again I couldn't hang on.

But I hadn't given up yet. Two other riders got dropped at the same time as what I did so I tried to form a chase group with them. We were close to catching the main group but one of the riders in my group just seemed to give up and without him we couldn't catch the people in front. We slowly got further and further away from the front group until the other two riders told me it was time to give up on catching the front group. Without the others commitment it wasn't possible to catch the front group by myself so I had to listen to them and we settled into a rhythm to try and stay away from any riders coming from behind.

The other two riders had given up though, one of them even said "I'm lacking the motivation to even keep going". This meant a group from behind was catching us. They started to catch near one of the biggest hills in the race at 10 km to go. My aim was to get to the top of this hill before they caught me to make it easier to join in on the back of the group. This worked out well as only one rider caught me as I went over the top of the hill. I managed to get him and the other two riders that were in my group to start working together to make sure no other riders caught us. This worked because the four of us came towards the finish with no one insight behind us. 

As we came down the hill in to the finish I had to concentrate. I had to make sure I started my sprint at the right time, not too early but not too late. I timed it perfectly and won the sprint from my group. 

This meant that I got 8th place. I was happy with this as I was aiming for a top 10 finish.

Full results:  

Link to the GPS file: http://ridewithgps.com/trips/1338174

Jenny Allen
05/22/2013 2:45am

Hi Ryan
I was getting nervous for you just reading about your race.
I now have my IPAD, it's great and Papa is reading about your rides also.
Well done


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