Waratah Vets Eastern Creek 16 March

Road cycling & upcoming rides
John Mason
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Postby John Mason » 05 Mar 2014, 20:52

A reminder to club members thinking of giving road racing a go for the first time this year.

Waratah Vets criteriums are in full swing, & on Sunday 16 March they are racing at Eastern Creek, which is an ideal circuit to make a start. Smooth, wide, & no road side obstacles.

For something closer to home they have a meet planned for Heffron Park on 6 April. They also run regular races at Landsdowne Park near Bankstown. A fun circuit, with a bit more of a hill than the creek, but also more technically challenging, so (in my view) less an ideal place to make a start if you are new to criterium racing.

as they explain on their website, they cater for all ages & abilities, with grades going from A through to E at most events. their schedule is here: www.waratahmasters.com.au/eventsmenu.cfm

last Sunday I got my first result in B grade, with a second place, so was pretty happy with that. I'm putting it down to the beneficial effect of chasing the club's NRS team riders up the eastern suburbs hills on a Tuesday morning!

See you on the start line....

John

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humanbeing
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Postby humanbeing » 06 Mar 2014, 07:06

Chapeau John!
Congratulations on the great result.
Have a great ride,
Peter

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marc2131
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Postby marc2131 » 06 Mar 2014, 09:18


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JoTheBuilder
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Postby JoTheBuilder » 06 Mar 2014, 11:35

Nice work John!

I can concur about Waratah Vets racing as an introduction to crits. My first race was with them (at Lansdowne) and I clung on to Stuart's wheel for dear life. Unfortunately that ride was marred by a crash but I've done a few since at both Lansdowne and Eastern Creek and they are all great fun. And certainly less intimidating than I imagine the SU Velo crits are.

andrewm
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Postby andrewm » 06 Mar 2014, 15:49

+1 on Eastern Creek as a good place to start. Wide and smooth. The polar opposite of Heffron :). If only I could nail turn 9!

And great result Mr Mason.

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Stuart
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Postby Stuart » 06 Mar 2014, 16:47

I might go to this. I haven't raced for 8 months or so. I love Eastern Ck.

I love turn 9 :-)

And congrats John, big result at a sprinters track.

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Stuart
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Postby Stuart » 07 Mar 2014, 13:47

Now not a starter. party on the Sat, March in March in the afternoon.

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Eleri
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Postby Eleri » 09 Mar 2014, 11:24

of John coming second in B Grade last weekend.
One of the nice things about Waratah Vets is they usually post the video of the final sprint. John is in the breakaway on the far left of the screen.

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Nozzle
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Postby Nozzle » 11 Mar 2014, 06:07

I'm a maybe for Sunday. Really depends on how I bounce back from 3 Peaks.

Dave
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Joined: 10 Dec 2012, 12:55

Postby Dave » 11 Mar 2014, 06:50

This looks good and as I've been looking at going racing for a while and my license came in the post yesterday, I'm rapidly running out of excuses.

While I still don't think that I'm "ready" yet, i don't see that changing soon so might as well turn up and give it a go.

I'm a mid-level C28 for the waterfall ride and have never raced before - I think that would put me in 'D' grade? Is there anyone else from the club racing that grade on Sunday?

Matt T
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Location: Marrickville/Stanmore

Postby Matt T » 14 Mar 2014, 12:32

I'm interested in racing this year (like Dave, I'm a mid-C28), but haven't got a gold licence yet. Can you get a one-day licence on the day at Eastern Creek?

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Eleri
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Postby Eleri » 14 Mar 2014, 22:27


Matt T
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Postby Matt T » 15 Mar 2014, 12:17

Well, just heard back from Waratah - you can get a one-day licence for $40 (which includes race entry fee), so I think I might give it a crack.

I've never raced before, so I assume I'll go into the lowest grade. Any tips for a not-so-young player?

Any other DHBCers planning on going?

Matt T
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Postby Matt T » 15 Mar 2014, 12:50

Actually, now I think about it, I've got some specific questions.

How long is the race?
What sort of average speeds are you looking at for the different grades?
Do all the grades start at the same time, or do you go off in intervals?
Does it get confusing working out who's in which grade?
I assume you can't "hitch a ride" with racers in other grades?

Thanks in advance for any answers!

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Eleri
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Postby Eleri » 15 Mar 2014, 15:07

1. They will allocate you to a grade. If you are youthful and skinny looking, you are likely to get put in C Grade. Tell them you've never raced before and push to get in D Grade. E Grade probably too slow for you.

2. I think D Grade is 45 mins and 1 lap - i.e. they ring a bell at about 45 minutes and then you've got one lap before the end. Last time I raced at Eastern Creek I rode 35km and averaged about 32.5kph. I think that race was a bit longer (Specialized Cup). That's not particularly fast in a race because you are mostly in a bunch and on a smooth surface with no hills (or traffic lights).

3. Grades are started in intervals. Each grade has a different coloured number.

4. Occasionally it gets confusing if 2 grades go across the finish line at one time. It has happened to me that A grade passed my grade just at our final sprint and it was impossible to tell who was in what grade. But usually it's quite clear.

5. You are not allowed to hitch onto another grade.

6. There is an intermediate sprint about half-way through the race. You'll pass the finish line and a whistle will blow. Whoever wins the next lap has one the Prime (pronounced preem).

7. My advice first time is don't try and win, just see what happens. And whatever you do - hold your line in a corner or you will get cleaned up or clean up someone else and we don't want that.

Matt T
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Location: Marrickville/Stanmore

Postby Matt T » 16 Mar 2014, 19:59

Well, I bit the bullet and entered my first race this morning at Eastern Creek with the Waratah vets - D-grade with 31 other starters.

I won the sprint prime ... and won the race! Huzzah! :P

Three other DHBCers raced on the day, and all did well. Peter Tregillgas got 4th in E-grade, Rob Webber came 6th in the B-grade, and Irish Dave acquited himself well in his first-ever race, finishing in the second group over the line.

If you're thinking of racing for the first time, all I can say is give it a go - you've got nothing to lose, and you might surprise yourself.

Eastern Creek is a great place to start - nice smooth surface, wide roads and well organised by the Waratah Masters Club (chapeau to them).

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Eleri
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Postby Eleri » 16 Mar 2014, 20:59

Well done! C Grade for you now I bet :-)

Did you ride off the front and go off on your own? Or was there a sprint for the Prime and for the win?

Matt T
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Postby Matt T » 17 Mar 2014, 08:36

It started off mellow enough, pretty much like a club run for the first few laps. Things didn't really pick up until the whistle blew for the intermediate prime - a couple of fellows went off the front, and seeing as I was close by I thought I'd follow them. They started to fade on the inclines up to the arch thingy before that super-speedy hairpin corner, so I put in a bit of dig, managed to distance them, and made it over the line solo.

The pack all came back together after that, and the pace seemed to pick up a bit. (Although then there were a few times when it really slowed down for no apparent reason out the back of the course - I guess people were starting to suss each other out, and not wanting to spend too much time out front?)

By the time the bell for the lap was rung, I'd drunk all my water and was feeling a bit thirsty, but at least the bike was lighter.

On the first left-hand turn past the finishing straight a lone rider pulled away up the gradual slope. Because I'm a skinny weed, I figured my best chance at a good placing was to avoid a bunch sprint, so I chased across to him. We swapped a couple of turns, with the bunch gathering pace behind us, but then he started to fade on the small climbs out the back of the course.

I pulled away from him, and by the time I got to the climb up to the arch I had an increasing lead. I sped down the final hairpin corner solo, careful not to overcook it, but feeling like I might have it in the bag ...

... until some heavy breathing behind me told me I had company - a lone rider from LACC, I think? He came around me, but I clung on to his wheel as we rounded the final corner before the long finishing straight. Just then, however, about 3 other riders swamped us.

They started to play a little bit of cat and mouse - at least I think that's what happened, because I managed to get back on the wheels.

With the line approaching, they accelerated, and I followed in the slipstream. The LACC rider made a jump to the left - I was behind three guys in the middle, so I popped out to the right, head down, bum up, and started to pull past the the middle guys. With the finish line metres away, I glanced across to the left - I was ahead by half a wheel!

Peter T
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Postby Peter T » 17 Mar 2014, 08:46

Absolutely well done Matt. Not only did you outride the field with canny tactics, you can also write a great report about it!

Four adventurers from DHBC had a great morning at the Creek.


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