You Live & You Learn

So…

It seems as if I have done the opposite to what I said in my previous blog, I’ve been living under a rock and not written a blog post in a few weeks!….. sorry! I will get better…

Racing doesn’t always go the way you want and that was the case for me at the Cycleways Cup (crashed and mechanical – DNF) and John Moore Memorial (5th place). Looking back a few weeks later I’ve learnt a lot and after all, it’s what you take away from every race, good or bad, that develops you as a rider.

So, here I am, jotting down some pointers. Yes they may seem obvious, but as I’ve learnt, still very important! I’m sure I’m not the only one annoyed at a race result so hopefully this helps look at the outcome from a different angle (as hard as that can be sometimes), soaking in the leanings and bossing the next race!

  • Always pay attention – Looking back on my crash at the Cycleways cup it definitely could have been avoided. I was in the breakaway with around 10-12 other riders and there were fairly brutal cross winds on the section of road where the crash took place. The group wasn’t really working and there were riders attacking. All it took was one lapse in concentration, looking around when I thought someone was attacking, a large gust caught my front wheel… Boom! Before I know it I was on the floor wondering how the hell I ended up there? Was the bike ok?  Was I ok ?
    Luckily there was only one other rider that came down in the crash with be and both him and the bike were fine. I watched him roll off to chase back on while I waited for a lift back to the race HQ. To say I was frustrated was an understatement, I was feeling strong and comfortable in the group and I know that with one lapse in concentration, I threw away a potential result . So what I learnt from this race, although now seems obvious when typing it out, pay attention and focus on the road ahead! Otherwise you will end up like me…. on the floor licking your wounds wondering what could have been.

                                               Picture – The Belgian Project

  • Be patient – This is something I already know I should do and something my coach continues to give me a hard time about. At the early season races I tend to get over excited and make stupid mistakes that cost me results. In this case; the final lap of the John Moore Memorial. The handicap of 7 minutes to the A3 group made it a tricky race to judge however we caught the A3 group just before the final lap. Rather than wait and follow moves, I tried to force a move myself attacking several times within the last lap. As I approached the final few km’s I should’ve realised nothing was going to get away and conserve myself for the sprint, but no, what did I do ? Attack, again and again …. to no avail. This not only left me fatigued for the bunch sprint but also put me in a poor position too far to the front, with no shelter from the wind, no real view on anyone that may open up their sprint from further within the bunch, and the result ? Not what I wanted… Another obvious point when typing it out and something I already know, but somehow still need reminding – be patient! I also need to be confident in my own abilities and strengths, I know I am a decent sprinter, I should have decided long before I did to rest up and conserve my energy for a bunch sprint!

There you have it, two points that should seem obvious but looking back both mistakes I have made on more than one occasion, and I know (hope…) when you’re reading this you will be able to relate in some way and have made similar. Now to put my words into practice… the Wallace Caldwell Memorial and the Des Hanlon this weekend, game on!

Over and out!

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