Sunday, February 12, 2006

T minus one week

Again, don't ask me to explain. Suffice to say that I'll be in Sunny Belgium on the 21st of Feb. I think I'll wait a week before riding though. When I got there last year, I was doing 700km per week in whatever weather there was, and I don't reckon I got fitter any quicker. At least now I have a reasonable level of condition from racing at Heffron twice per week and not falling off. The latter is quite important.

Two more second places on Saturdays, both in similar circumstances. Last week, we had our monthly handicap race, and five of us (me, Pete McDonald, Robbie Cater, Spurge, and John Kenny), averaged 43 km/h and mopped up B and C grade with about 4 laps to go. Alas, I punctured on the top corner at this point, but took a lap out and borrowed a wheel so I could jump in with 3 to go. One lap later, and I would have had to chase.

At this point in the proceedings, Pete McDonald had placed his winning attack up the back straight, and as I was forced to rejoin at the rear of the peloton, I had no chance of following him. The puncture did work a little in my favour though, as I could move up to the front and attack with 1.5 laps to go. I closed some of the gap to Pete, but there was no way I could get back the last 10-15 seconds. However, holding off the rest of the bunch was worth a nice $120, so I took that happily.

Last Tuesday wasn't as good, as for some reason there was an FRF implosion after we'd caught C grade the first time, and half of A grade was left behind. I was in the back half, having done a turn in front at a bad time. Or more accurately, not hopping back into the train at halfway, which I should have done. Liam Kelly was also in our group, as well as Troy Glennan, Robbie Cater, Joe McDonnell, Matt Fleming, Tim Willing and a few more. Tim managed to get across on his own, but Liam decided that he'd attack up the back and then take a shortcut to rejoin the front bit of A grade, then started doing turns with them. We weren't impressed, and Troy let him have several serves, both during and after the race. Admittedly, I did the same thing the previous week, but didn't take any further part in the race and just sat on the back.

In the end, the fast bit of A tacked onto the back of C in the last lap, but couldn't get around them.

Yesterday was, as I said, rather similar to the previous Saturday. Except this time, Pete attacked after just 4 laps (ok, so I went on lap 1...) and four of us were left chasing him. The four became two when Liam Kelly lifted the pace with me on his wheel. He kept telling me to accelerate when I came through, but this was rather hard as I was already on my limit when following his wheel. If he'd left me out there for short turns, then we might have closed to Pete. As it was, we got within 5 seconds. But I wasn't strong enough to keep that momentum going.

We caught B grade and Liam gave up. I didn't want to sit on B grade for too long, and told Liam, but he could be bothered coming with me, so I ended up with second. Pete was slowing down towards the end, even after having lapped three of the original starters, and he didn't get much further ahead. But he still had a fair chunk of the length of the straight, so it was enough. $90 this time.

Saturday racing at Heffron has been very lucrative.

Two films

I finally saw Harry Potter 4 with mum, and it was good, I reckon. It's one of my favourite books in the series, and the movie wasn't too stale. The acting was generally good, even though Emma Watson (Hermione) tends to overdo it a bit. It probably befits her character though. And it was suitably dark at the finish.

The other film was Overcoming, about Bjarne Riis and CSC team, which I saw on Thursday as part of Martin Renwick's new women's team's non-official launch. Very intense, but there were some good moments with the riders like Sastre, Voigt, Basso and Bartoli. I preferred Hell on Wheels - that was beautifully done.

More, anon.

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