Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Big Weekends of Racing

4 races over 14 days makes for a great period of time on the bike.

First up was Le Race, a hilly 100km course from Christchurch over to Akaroa. This course suited my characteristics and all the signs in training were good leading into the event.

Finished 4th and my team mate Michael Vink won, solo. During the race I put in a few attacks up the final climb and across the false flat to whittle down the numbers in the chasing bunch, allowing more time to be edged out by Vink. It was fun event and I was really happy with the form.

Next up was the Kapiti Cycle Challenge, which took in one of my favourite training loops, the Aka's. I know this loop like the back of my hand, covering it untold times in training over the years.

I had mapped out before the race just where and when I would attack if in a break. Near the base of the final climb there's a section of rolling roads, and on one of the steeper ups I hit it hard, opening up a gap and increasing it on the false flat that followed. Put my head down and went into time trial mode, keeping the gas on, edging out more time from the four remaining riders. Over the Aka's and down to the finish it was a nice way to finish off the first weekend of serious racing in a while.

Took the 3 hill primes on offer and the overall win, stoked. For a full race report see www.meogp.com

Joe Cooper
Photo © Nesport. www.nesport.co.nz

The next 5 days I used as a recovery week to freshen up the body and mind. Took Monday and Tuesday really easy, and even got stuck in to my other job, painting... Glenno's new kitchen is now looking mint! The other days were at about 80% of my normal training week volume.

The Grape Ride is a 101km race around the top of the south, taking in stunning views through wine country and the sounds near Picton. Epic ride and heaps of fun, again I felt really good on the climbs, but as the race doesn't finish up a hill it seemed a bit of a wasted effort hitting it hard on the ups, only to be brought back by a fast chasing peloton. It came down to breakaway which formed in the last 15km. Team Subway Avanti had 4 team mates up there, so I had the roll of making sure the chasing bunch didn't bridge up.

The finish was in the driveway of a vineyard, not ideal, with my team mate Matt Gorter taking a tumble. Gordy third.

Round One of the Benchmark Series was 160km around the 2009 club nationals circuit. The team had high hopes of doing well here, praying for wind to help break the race apart. On this course, little or no wind makes for a bunch ride and breaks are usually caught shortly after they begin... well, for the most part they're usually caught.

Not ideal, but if you're feeling good on the day you could have a shot at the win if you pick the right break. Attack after attack is how the race played out and I rolled in for 10th, still in the hunt for the overall with five more rounds to go. A hard way to end the weekend, super sore legs.

Easter coming up, no racing planned, but hopefully some solid training rides with the GP boys before stepping back into it at round four of the National Points Series.

Benchmark Race
Photo © David Letsche. www.cyclingphotos.co.nz 

1 comment:

Niall said...

Should get yourself over to the UK for some racing. Couple of NZ riders impressing over here just now, Jack Bauer being the name I can remember off the top of my head...