Cootamundra Haycarters & Recovery: Sat-Sun 12th & 13th May

Road cycling & upcoming rides
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NOOG
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Postby NOOG » 11 Apr 2012, 16:30

I've just entered.
What's going on with accommodation road captain? How's Shirley?

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Postby patn » 12 Apr 2012, 11:32

Yeah Im gonna enter too. Even thought I got dropped badly on both days last year it was great fun! And DHBC had more riders there than any club (except maybe Canberra and Coota CC itself). I heard from people in Coota that they were stoked so many DHBC made the trip from Sydney.

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Postby MarkL » 13 Apr 2012, 16:25

I'm out, I'm not going to be race fit for a while.

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Postby mikesbytes » 13 Apr 2012, 19:29

I'll see how I got at B2B

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Postby rhys » 13 Apr 2012, 22:02

Thinking about this. Will research it a little more.

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Postby shrubb face » 13 Apr 2012, 22:59

As your personal cycling adviser, I'm telling you that you have to enter this event Rhys or face the pain of excommunication from the cycling realms.

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Postby jbcow » 14 Apr 2012, 14:29

I am interested in this one, looks like a good training distance

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Postby rhys » 15 Apr 2012, 23:43

Just entered this too.

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Postby taybellz » 16 Apr 2012, 07:15

Yep I'm in to.

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Postby rhys » 17 Apr 2012, 19:13

I checked out the site for the Shirley, and it seems as though you have to enquire before you get some kind of pricing. Is it expensive and does it get sold out, or is there plenty of room? Would we get a better deal if we all applied for a group deal? Not real keen on sleeping in a tent next to my car after a race is all :)

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Postby shrubb face » 17 Apr 2012, 19:17

Ha, don't panic young man. We've been going to Shirley for years, they don't get booked out. Its 90 dollars each including dinner and breakfast, this includes your own room with a super comfy bed. Upwords and napping in front of the fire place is included for free.

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Postby rhys » 17 Apr 2012, 19:28

Mind at ease. Cheers.

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Postby shrubb face » 17 Apr 2012, 19:29

Speaking of ease, James you better getting on the phone and given them a call.

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T-Bone
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Postby T-Bone » 17 Apr 2012, 23:32

I'll sort it out soon, just need to have a chat with Al first.

I'm guessing John, Alex, and Rhys want some accommodation. Do you need accommodation Taylor?

I won't be able to give anyone a lift though, as i'll be heading to Canberra for 5weeks after the weekend.

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Postby Mikejnr » 17 Apr 2012, 23:35

i'm in also, entering tomorrow since I have been paid.

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Postby orphic » 18 Apr 2012, 11:51


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Postby jbcow » 19 Apr 2012, 15:30


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Postby orphic » 20 Apr 2012, 12:41


taybellz
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Postby taybellz » 20 Apr 2012, 19:13

No thanks. I got relatives in Wombat. 30kms north of Coota. Would anyone be interested in a post race club dinner at the Wombat Hotel (in Wombat). I could possibly arrange something? Where is this Shirleys?

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geoff m
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Postby geoff m » 24 Apr 2012, 00:13

I would encourage all those thinking of going, to take the plunge and enter. Its a great venue. James F is finalising what should be our usual accommodation for the club in the one place. Nice, comfortable, good meals and very reasonably priced.

Enter by this Sunday!!!

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Postby T-Bone » 24 Apr 2012, 00:28


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Postby jbcow » 28 Apr 2012, 12:29

I've entered. Entries close tomorrow. Hey James - any update on the accomodation?

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Postby mikesbytes » 28 Apr 2012, 17:54

Bumped into the Cootamundra Cycling Club president today and I asked him about the terrain of the Haycutters. He said it was about the same as the one later in the year.

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Postby taybellz » 28 Apr 2012, 18:42

Please correct me if I am wrong I thought it went North from Coota (along the Olympic Hwy) - towards Wombat - and then onto Young ( as far as the cemetary ) - right turn hair pin onto Back Creek Rd - towards Kingsvale - then towards Murrumburrah - left at the T intersection ( Down over the bridge crossing the Sydney/ Melbourne rail line) - South Murrumbarrah turn right ( another cemetary )- and then continue west along Burley Griffin Way towards Coota.

Im going off old strava records and all the markings Ive seen spray painted such as start sprint and KOM marks on the roads when Ive been riding out there. I also asked my mate who lives out there and he said he had never watched it but was sure that was the route they use.

Do they change the route every year?

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T-Bone
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Postby T-Bone » 28 Apr 2012, 18:56

The Coota Classic went out to Young and Harden in the past, and the Haycarters was also North of Coota coming back with a right turn at Wallendbeen. Both Sunday races haven't really changed (always east of coota).

Issues with getting approval to race on the main highways into Coota resulted in the Saturday courses being changed last year, so all races are prettymuch on the roads to the east of Coota. Same as last year i'm guessing.

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Postby shrubb face » 28 Apr 2012, 19:24

Just entered then. I think the legs will be good for this one.

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paul
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Postby paul » 29 Apr 2012, 21:31

I've entered, Geoff talked me into it this morning.
Would like accommodation at Bethungra too if possible.

Paul

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Postby geoff m » 29 Apr 2012, 22:01


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NOOG
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Postby NOOG » 30 Apr 2012, 06:48


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T-Bone
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Postby T-Bone » 30 Apr 2012, 23:23

Accommodation booked for the following:
Me
John
Alex
Rhys +1
Justin
Chidgey
Al & Coral
Ron
Paul
Geoff

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Postby jbcow » 30 Apr 2012, 23:47

Excellent, thanks James

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Postby rhys » 01 May 2012, 06:19

Thank you James.

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Postby Mikejnr » 02 May 2012, 14:07


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paul
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Postby paul » 02 May 2012, 22:11

Thanks also James.

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Postby weller » 04 May 2012, 14:28

Hi all

Just heard that there are over 350 entries for this years race. Ride carefully to avoid the carnage.

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Postby shrubb face » 04 May 2012, 17:50

Including drapac and GPM racing. This should be fun.

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Postby Beanzy » 09 May 2012, 11:59

Grades have been posted

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Postby Mikejnr » 09 May 2012, 12:20


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Postby jbcow » 09 May 2012, 13:06

Hey Mikejnr - thanks for posting.
OK so that's interesting. It raises the question of how they do the gradings? I have no road race history in this country so I guess for me they took a wild guess.
They obviously don't use strava or they'd see that Mr Chidgey should be riding with Nguyen and Fowler.
And they don't do the ride to waterfall or they'd see that Ngyuen likes to ride off the front leaving carnage in his wake.
And surely they'd know from past years that Fowler's bike becomes unstable below 50kph so he settles in at 55 to be on the safe side...?
No worries. I'll have a fun weekend and maybe Rhys and Pat will have pity on me as they glide by and give me a a tow for a few k's until I can hang on no more.

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geoff m
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Postby geoff m » 09 May 2012, 13:14

Talk to James Justin.See if he has influence. Also, they can change you for Sunday's ride if you prove what you are saying in front of them on the Saturday (ie. you get dropped off the back quickly)

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Postby T-Bone » 09 May 2012, 13:24


taybellz
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Postby taybellz » 09 May 2012, 13:42

Just a query. Am I just racing my bunch or am I racing the whole field?

What are the rules regarding the bunches, can they merge or does this not happen?

and

When a faster bunch rolls by what happens? am I allowed to jump on if I am still feeling good?

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T-Bone
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Postby T-Bone » 09 May 2012, 14:04

It's a handicap race, so you're racing everyone. The idea is to work with your bunch to catch the bunches in front of you and not be caught by the bunches behind (less people to sprint for the win against). Bunches merge when caught, you can jump onto a faster bunch when they catch, just don't jump in at the front of their bunch and disrupt the paceline (it's not appreciated).

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Postby othy » 09 May 2012, 14:16


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Postby rhys » 09 May 2012, 14:20


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mikesbytes
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Postby mikesbytes » 09 May 2012, 14:36

Hey Justin, your handicap looks right. Enjoy the ride and see what happens

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Postby taybellz » 09 May 2012, 14:54

Will the bunches look like a peloton or a pace line?

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Postby taybellz » 09 May 2012, 14:57

Sorry very excited. What to do if there is a crash? Go around and keep riding or stop and render assistance.

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T-Bone
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Postby T-Bone » 09 May 2012, 15:17

Bunches are pretty much always riding as a rotating paceline, just follow the lead and you'll be fine.

If there's a crash, it's up to you. There are official vehicles following, which will stop, but if you're dropped and another dropped rider crashes, you would probably see if they're alright. The race doesn't stop for crashes.

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Postby Mikejnr » 09 May 2012, 16:38


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Postby jbcow » 09 May 2012, 18:03

Hey I'm not fussed which group I am in. I'll just get on and pedal in whatever bunch or solo and try to get to the finish line. It's all for fun. It's been great to see all of today's discussion - answers a lot questions I've had.

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Postby jbcow » 09 May 2012, 18:05

OK so the next questions now - what time do you aim to be there by? Do you check in at Shirley's first or straight to start line registration?

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geoff m
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Postby geoff m » 09 May 2012, 18:22

Shirley afterwards. Go to the start about one hour or more in advance

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Postby rhys » 09 May 2012, 19:24

Justin I'll msg you on fb about our transport arrangements.

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paul
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Postby paul » 09 May 2012, 20:22

I'm one bunch up from last year, even though I haven't done another race since.

Anyone plan to drive down Friday afternoon?

Paul

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Postby mikesbytes » 12 May 2012, 21:01

So what happened today?

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Postby timyone » 12 May 2012, 21:46

Scratch got up

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Postby jbcow » 14 May 2012, 13:01

JB's race report:
- First road race
- got dropped in the first mile, rode a fairly lonely race
- Met up with Paul for a few miles
- Met up with Frank for quite a few miles
- Frank and I crossed the line about an hour after the race winners. Even the oxygen had packed up and gone home by the time we made it.

All good fun, I'll be back next year

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Postby othy » 14 May 2012, 17:32


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Postby Mikejnr » 14 May 2012, 17:45


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Postby jbcow » 14 May 2012, 17:53

Hey Tim, I'm sure you'd have wanted to be there. Hey Chidgey - I guess like me you got stretched on the weekend so it must be good?

Sunday was better, they had pity on me and put me in a bunch where I lasted for 15 minutes and that's all I could hope for.

Kudos to Taylor for Sunday. He came across the finish line just seconds after the first finishers and picked up some (sprint?) cash. Nice work. Next round is on Taylor right?

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Postby rhys » 14 May 2012, 20:22

Yeah, super impressed with Taylor. He is all heart. I had a fantastic weekend with similar experiences in my races to Justin. I will probably write something of a report when I get around to it.

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Postby NOOG » 14 May 2012, 20:43


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Postby paul » 14 May 2012, 21:14

Saturday: Chilly and windy afternoon. I got dropped out of the fasties warm-up, which was not a good omen. In the race I was in a group of 40 + riders, at 14:30. Rolling out of town I found myself near the back of the bunch. Onto the main road and they sprinted off very fast, settling at 44 km/h. The big group was messy, with many riders struggling with the speed and crosswinds. After closing a few gaps and going around riders losing wheels, I’d had enough after about six ks, so sat up and waited for the next bunch. This wasn’t any easier, and I lasted a few more ks before packing it in and dawdling around the first lap and back to Coota, having done only 30 of the 70 km. Back at the showground, most of the DHBC fasties were already there holding a post-mortem, so I didn’t feel quite so bad about getting dropped. The lesson of the day: ride near the front of these big bunches and pay attention. Apologies to Justin for letting him soldier on alone.

Sunday: Cold, damp morning. Signed on and saw I was back in limit at 22 min, but so were most of the riders from my Saturday bunch. This time I stayed near the front rolling out of town and was soon in a pace-line organised by a Cootamundra rider giving a big serve to anyone who played up. After the first hills and the left hand corner, it was down to eight off the front, including Taylor from DHBC in his first road-race, and one female rider. We were a nice even bunch and worked well, pulling away from the other limit riders. Taylor and I organised ourselves for the first sprint, and caught the others napping, with me leading out and Taylor taking the money quite comfortably. Our bunch of eight was still off the front at the second sprint, but I was tiring rapidly, and was dropped shortly after. But we had built a big lead, and I was alone for about 20 km before being swept up with 10 to go. I heard the other seven stayed together and were only caught very close to the finish. The female rider in the bunch won first female. Lessons of the day: You can do well from limit. I need more long rides to condition for these road races. Big respect to Taylor in his first race.

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T-Bone
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Postby T-Bone » 14 May 2012, 22:25

Saturday: I lasted approximately 3km in the 8min bunch with John, before getting blown out the back after doing a turn on the front. I still felt alright and rode with another rider before jumping on the next bunch and hanging in there until a group of us dropped off the back following a wind change after a corner. Our small group was working well together, but i was caught out and didn't notice Alex's bunch coming until it was too late. After a short chat with Al, i raced up a hill to be ready to jump on chopping block at the top, and stayed there until Scratch came past, but it also resulted in everyone riding on the wrong side of the road to try to get out of the wind, so i took the option of dropping off the back, before returning to the car early.

Sunday: I rode much better, and stayed with my constantly diminishing bunch for 25km, at which point our bunch of 6 became 4 as me and a Lidcombe rider were dropped. We continued to work together, and were joined by Eugene to battle the wind. There was a brief stint on the back of a bunch, although we were dropped as a result of other riders letting gaps open. I felt much stronger than the day before, just hampered by the terrible wind.

Great racing by everyone, and always good to have such a big turnout. Hopefully the next race will have some kinder weather conditions.

timyone
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Postby timyone » 14 May 2012, 23:09

The hay cutters is the short one, so fast as! The obe I did well in was 120km, the big one, so cruisier as there's longer to ride

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Postby patn » 15 May 2012, 08:50

I had a great weekend too. Fun bike riding and great company. Highlight was definitely Taylor's ride on the Sunday, would love to hear his take on the race!

As per Paul's post, Rhys and my group (group 8 or 9 I think?) took off very fast and sat on 45-50km/hr until that first hill. I agree I think everyone was over-eager and the bunch was all over the place. Rolling pace line sometimes, but too many people couldn't keep the wheel at the speed and it would dissolve into a single paceline, then repeat. I felt OK on the flat but suffered really badly on the first hill, and was dropped by the top. I flogged it down the hill and caught up to the bunch again but had used up too much gas and was off again, this time for good. I jumped on the back of group 8, then was dropped shortly after, then tried missed groups 7 to 1. Rhys and I 'coffee-rode' it back towards the start line, until Rhys also dropped me.

Sunday I felt quite a bit better and managed to stay on for ~20kms, which I was pretty happy with. Again when we got to the first of the hills on the way back into town at the end of the first lap I got dropped straight away. Think this fat arse was not designed to climb. But had a good half hour cruise around with Chidgey after I pulled out of the race.

Brilliant weekend, lots of fun!

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Postby taybellz » 15 May 2012, 16:24

Right then here it goes.

Ride report of Taylor Bjarnoe,

This was indeed my first road race and I really enjoyed it. I highly recommend anyone reading this who has considered racing but never got around to it to just give it a go. It really is that fun.

Saturday.
Rocked up, signed on and met up with the guys. The atmosphere was awesome, bikes everywhere though very windy and cold! Checked tire pressure and rolled out with the DHBC boys for a fasties warm up. Returned for my bunch briefing with group 10 and made my way up to the starting line. I was really calm I thought that I’d be a lot more nervous. Garmin told me I had a HR average of 85bpm. The guy next to me was shaking he was so nervous I was worried he was going to spew on my bike. I tried to distract him by pointing out the S-Works Mclaren Venge but I think that only made it worse. With all the bike porn to look at I failed to notice the riders at the front were all Team Suzuki women. They led a blistering pace of 45kms out of Coota. I hung on for 5 - 10kms and popped out the back and watched them roll off. Picked up the pace to be ready for the next bunch to roll by. Jumped into that and hooked up with Pat and Rhys. Made it over the first hill in good place. The climb was awesome! The pace line squished into a peloton, which was a fantastic experience just like le Tour with cyclists everywhere out of the saddle pushing pedals. We went down the hill and around the next corner up a false flat and that was it, I had been unable to recover even when I was hanging out the back, again 45km pace. Met up with Rhys introduced myself to Pat, had a few jokes then decided I wanted to keep trying and took off.

Formed a group of three and very clumsily pushed on with no real order to our method. Picked up a masters 7+ rider from Griffith who set about forming us into an effective pace line. He encouraged us and really helped us get moving smoothly. A few more bunches came by but really only helped to drag us along for a little bit before we would drop off again, reform pace line and keep going. This process continued. We would pick riders up and drop them and the three of us kept going.

We eventually started passing limit riders and we all picked up the pace. One of the riders, a girl from the NSW Institute of Sport, eventually took off leaving us down to two but we pushed on. Into the final sprint I told my compadre that he could take the sprint. EPIC FAIL. He went flat chat and I still had heaps more in the tank. I should have blown him off. It was after all a race.

A hard ride, I did remark to the boys that it was the hardest thing I had ever done, but glad I finished. I’m better for the experience and had a wonderful day.
Return to base for a refuel and resupply. (home brew, home made curry and bread)

SUNDAY: I almost didn't go. It looked like rain and it was colder and windier than Saturday. Bed was nice and I had pulled a muscle in my leg that was giving me grief when walking. Did I really need to get out of bed to go and make myself suffer? YES!

Arrived, checked tire pressure, had a warm up ride and made my way to the start line. I was moved into the limit bunch but I wasn't really holding out hope of anything happening. Geoff was in this bunch and he made his way up to the front. This was encouraging. For me to survive the first 10kms I needed a smooth, easy pace line. The bunch settled into a nice easy 38kms pace. Masters riders were encouraging us and chastising any ill discipline. Again, this suited me. I prefer a disciplined bunch over a dog’s breakfast, don’t we all. Came to the first major left turn and a big gap opened. We slowed the pace waiting for riders to close in and join us hoping for more workers. But eventually we decided that was it and had to go. About eight of us including Paul from DHBC were in and we all settled into a good rhythm, nice and smooth. From here I started telling myself that we were not a limit bunch but a break away. Helped me stay focused thinking the wolves were after me.

It was tough. I didn't trust myself to have a spell out the back fearing Id lose contact and only managed to consume one of the nine gel packs I was carrying. Why did I bother?

With the first sprint in sight Paul blasted out from the back of the bunch and called me onto his wheel. A brief counter attack was quickly shut down as Paul led me out superbly and I claimed the first sprint. Thanks Paul I owe you one big time.

Recovered, reformed and back to work.

Got dropped at the same time Paul did and really had to fight to get back on. Made it across a big gap and rejoined bunch.

Finished first lap and the commissaries were now starting to encourage us by telling we could win this and that we had a really substantial lead. I’m not sure if this was good or bad but we should have tried to step up a gear, save the best for last. From my analysis of scratch riders’ Strava records, had we lifted our pace by one even two kms we might have survived.

We hit the final hill – a triple hill climb – and all really struggled. It was silent we were all spent. This is when we should have been screaming at each other to dig deeper and torch ourselves. This is my only regret that Ill never know if I had anymore to give on that day. Lesson learned for next time. Always give a bit more.

We were caught about 4kms from the finish on the crest of the last hill of the three. We all jumped on the back and got sucked along. It was a bit sad to be caught by the wolves. I might have even called them a few rude names, REDACTED. But this was one of the highlights of the weekend to be getting pulled by such powerful riders watching them work in full flight was wicked. The kind of experience you don’t get from watching the Tour.

I missed the start of the sprint (is that called the split?) and lost contact putting the final few 100m in on my lonesome.

Might not have won, but one of the riders from our bunch took 1st female. I’m super stoked at this because our effort helped achieve a fantastic result and that I collected a sprint win $40, HELL YEAH!
Well my goal for the weekend was to finish both rides and try to finish in the front half of the field. Of course in my mind I’d dreamt of a win, I’d even spent the money but this wasn’t meant to be. This year anyway.
Last edited by taybellz on 15 May 2012, 18:34, edited 1 time in total.

taybellz
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Postby taybellz » 15 May 2012, 16:24

PS, Thanks Pete and Andre for everything in the last three months.

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Postby rhys » 15 May 2012, 19:54

Here is my report.

Justin and I rolled out there together in his flash Skoda wagon. I knew it was going to be a great weekend when I saw that car there waiting for me, because I like Skodas and I like wagons. I also like Justin so this was a bonus.
We met up with Patty, Alex, John, Chidgey, and James at Yass service centre and hung out for a bit before we convoyed in to Cootamundra.
It was fairly chilly and a little windy, but not too bad. I guess the weather in Bowral on Anzac Day had raised my perception of bad riding weather, so I wasn't too perturbed. I'm trying to shake my reputation as a fair-weather princess, but it's not going so well.
We got out of the car and got dressed, assembled our bikes and went for a warm-up ride, which was just as fast as our race bunch ended up being. We made it back just in time for a toilet stop and we were into the marshalling area.
Pat and I were in bunch 9, which had a lot of Coota locals in it which I hoped would be an advantage.

I hadn't done proper road racing before (only a few stints at Heffron), so I was a little bit nervous and the guy on the start line whispering into his loud hailer (?) wasn't helping things. I hoped he wasn't saying anything too important. He said "Go" and we started riding.
We rolled out at a civilised pace, and the 25 or so of us wound up and got organised into a rolling paceline which worked really effectively for the first 10 to 15km. I looked down and my HR was 105% max and we were sitting on 45km/h for most of the time. I remember thinking "No one is ever going to catch us" - Ha! There was an RBCC guy at the back who wasn't doing any work and claimed to be suffering (after 4km!) but he looked fine to me, so whenever he was on my wheel I would lag 3 or 4m from the group and then give it a boot full to get back on in an attempt to 'encourage' him, and I think he got the point after a little while as he started contributing. We approached some stragglers from other bunches including Geoff/Paul/Taylor and with plenty of warning I moved over and told Taylor he should try and get in with our group, as I felt he could stick it out. After about 13km in we came to the first hill and as Taylor said our paceline became a swarm of bees. Slow bees, moving slowly. I only say slow because although I had my climbing socks on, if I'm leading a group over a climb - something is wrong. I had to weave my way from the back through the group or I would have had to stop, wasting valuable energy.
On the way up I inadvertently invaded one of my groups' personal space, and they yelled at me in a really whiney voice "AWWW BE CAREFULLLL". I thought to myself that if someone's riding more than two metres from you and you're nervous, you should never ride on a velodrome. We were only going 10km/h!
We crested the hill and I looked around and there were about 10 of us and I thought to myself "Rhys you are a badass, forcing the selection like this." We attacked on the downhill and re-formed, onto a rough surfaced false flat which I really struggled to keep pace on. I tried and tried to hang out, but it was futile and I dropped off.
Patty and I rolled on for a bit until we heard a "Rhhhyyyyyyyyssssssssss" coming from behind and it was Eugene. We tried to make the jump but I thought meh, I'm happy just rolling in with Pat and that was pretty much the end of our efforts for the day.

Day two I wasn't really looking forward to it because it was 6 degrees at race start. I never used to feel the cold, maybe I'm getting old, maybe it just gets colder now. But I digress. We left the Shirley with plenty of time to stop in town and have a few coffees, and met Pat who'd ridden in from his grandfolks' house and was reading the paper in warmth. More lols were had while we hung out and sipped our coffees and then it was into the cars and on to the race.

There were only 187 people in Sunday's race as opposed to the 301 the previous day, and the bunches had been adjusted. Justin was now in the same bunch as Pat and I which was cool. Having club mates around you who are a known quantity in a time of nerves can be very reassuring. We rolled out and again got into a nice paceline and I think I lasted about 10km this time. I continued on, and I think every rider who wasn't already in front of me passed me in the following kilometres. It was pretty demoralising, I just didn't have any legs. A cow mooed at me and I looked it in the eye, I swear it was laughing at me. I looked around and realised I was pretty much in the middle of nowhere, all by myself. I saw a herd of sheep at the fence up ahead so I pulled over to maybe give them a pat, and as I stood up I realised I had a flat front tyre. Drats. Just as I put my bike down on the forkends, the wind picked up and blew it over, dirtying my white hoods. The sheep had long run away by this time and I started cursing to myself. A dual cab ute drove past and from the backseat someone yelled out "F***wit". I deduced they were holidaying from the shire, and wished them a safe journey. Fixed my flat and rode for what seemed like for-everrrrrr until I saw another human in a hi-viz jacket. I usually avoid these types but I was happy to see this one. I asked him how far to the finish and he said 5km, so I relaxed a little. The road changed direction and I got hit with a hill and a headwind. I cursed, loudly. Several times. Then I cursed some more. I pretended I was Eisel, towing a lardy Cavendish through the mountains, and finally made it to the finish line. It was actually 8km, not 5. Thanks guy.
Stood at the finish line with Pat, Alex, Justin and Chidgey and we watched the scratch group come through for the win. About 20 places back came Taylor, and we all cheered loudly. Wow, that was really impressive! He wears his heart on his sleeve and you could see he was completely stuffed but 100% excited to have finished that close. Great to see! John rolled in not long after and after we dried ourselves from his sweat we went back to the cars and got changed. Then we drove back to Sydney.

Sorry for the essay but there you go. Thanks to all who came along, I had a great time. The bike racing was only half of it really, hanging out with your club mates making jokes and having coffee and beers is just as much fun.
A really well-run event, I'd like to do it next year so we'll see.

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Philip
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Postby Philip » 15 May 2012, 20:08

Congratulations Taylor on the ride and thanks for providing such a fantastic blow by blow report. An inspiration!

Rhys, great report too, sounds like a must do for next year. In the meantime I'll win lotto and buy us all some domestiques.

rhys
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Postby rhys » 15 May 2012, 20:45

Instead of a domestique, could I have one of these please?


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Dougie
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Postby Dougie » 15 May 2012, 21:04

Great reports!

kiwiames
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Postby kiwiames » 16 May 2012, 08:52

Great reports guys. I finished 11th on the Saturday and 15th on the Sunday in these races last year.
(2010 i was dropped in the first 10-15km both days).
Coota is always a fanstatic weekend away, and Ill be fit for it again next year. Its a shock tho if its your first road race :-) Congrats All.

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jbcow
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Postby jbcow » 16 May 2012, 18:27

Some entertaining reads there. It's funny to see how we all experienced the same events differently. Time to enter more events...

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paul
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Postby paul » 16 May 2012, 19:32

I've been thinking about the tactics of our lead bunch of 8.
Contesting the sprints broke up the rhythm and used up a lot of energy.
If the eight of us had agreed not to sprint and just worked together, we might possibly have stayed away. More likely the scratchies would have just gone that little bit harder and got us anyway. Whatever, it would be almost impossible to negotiate something like that with strangers in the middle of a race.

The weekend has left me pretty motivated and I was on Bobbin Head at 6:30 am this morning.

taybellz
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Postby taybellz » 16 May 2012, 20:29

Your an animal Paul. Im gonna raise you one though.

Just entered the 120km Coota Classic and following recovery day race.

Who else is in?

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NOOG
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Postby NOOG » 16 May 2012, 21:22

My race report for the Bernard Riders website http://www.bernardriders.com.au/
The full report with photos is on the website.

Just over 2 hours out of Sydney, I found myself sitting quietly in the McDonalds car park in Yass contemplating what was to come. Beside me, Alex Chubb, who had made the choice of wearing a short sleeve shirt and thongs, sat shivering, unable to gather the required motivation to open the car door. It was just after 10am and the thermometer on my dashboard was reading 8 degrees.

As the minutes ticked by, we were inexorably creeping closer to the end of the McDonalds breakfast menu. The thought of missing out on my customary pre-race hash browns soon overcame my need to maintain consistent core body temperature. Racing away from the car towards my goal, I heard Alex yell something about pink donuts from the relative comfort of the car. My weekend as Alex’s domestique had started.

As we drove out of the Yass valley, pre-race nutrition in hand, we cast cursory glances at the renewable-energy generating wind turbines turning quite swiftly ahead of us. We didn’t give them much thought. Perhaps we should have, as they would prove to be an omen of what was to come.

The Cootamundra Haycarters racing weekend, is one of the first races of the road season. With the postponement of the Tour of Canberra, we knew there would be a lot of in-form riders looking to take advantage of the legs they had cultivated for the Canberran race. With 80km to ride on Saturday and 60km on Sunday, it was going to be a quick, cold, windy and brutal weekend.

As I lined up on the start line, Alex was handicapped 2 minutes behind me. As with all handicaps, it’s hard to do any real race planning until you know how strong your group is and how well you can work together. My group set off at a cracking pace with everyone rolling through relatively smoothly. Once we hit the climbs, I was feeling strong, so much so that I was able to use them as a bit of a respite from the all out pace on the flats. Things were looking good and by the end of the first lap, there seemed to be a chance that we could stay away from scratch (the real fast guys).

Then the wind changed, and just as Ruth Park told us would happen when we were kids, my face became stuck in a horrible expression of stem chewing, Garmin slobbering pain for the remainder of the race. My bunch, which had by this stage been whittled down to half a dozen of us, battled against the winds that seemed to blow us every which way but forward, regardless of which direction the road was headed. It was a matter of time before Scratch caught us, and when they did, I found myself hooking onto the back of a train of riders about 100metres long, all of them hanging on for dear life.

I quickly found Alex in the bunch (there aren’t very many lime green kits on the road) and ascertained that he was feeling pretty good. I pulled in front of him and set about my job of closing any gaps and getting him to the finish line as fresh as possible. We had ridden quite comfortably with Scratch for a kilometre or so, when a sudden gust of wind split the bunch about 5 riders in front of me. All of a sudden a 10m gap had appeared and was growing by the pedal stroke. The race was riding away from us.

“GO!” I heard Alex yell from my wheel, so go I did. I gave everything I had for as long as I could. It felt like forever, but I probably only pulled for about 500m (Alex will tell you it was about 20m). As I flicked my elbow to call him around, the gap was down to about 5 metres, but starting to grow again. As Alex sprinted around me, I peeled off to the side of the road. My race was done and I was cooked.

As the bunch rode away over the rolling hills into Cootamundra, I was able to see Alex regain contact with the splintering bunch only to be dropped again when another gap appeared in front of him. We were about 10km from the finish. Half an hour later I rolled into the car park (I am fully aware that this means I averaged 20km/h). The post mortem revealed that Scratch had got up in a time of 1 hr 31'09".

After an evening’s session of UpWords next to a toasty fire with the Dulwich Hill Bicycle Club (DHBC) crew and a good night’s rest, I awoke the next morning refreshed and keen to test my legs. This enthusiasm died about 1km into the trip back into town, around about the time I had to turn my windscreen wipers on.

We pulled into a café on the main street to drown our sorrows in a cup of coffee.

An hour and a half later, I was once again in a strong group of about 6, working hard in a rolling paceline. The race the day before had sorted out the group. We knew who had the legs to go and who didn’t. Who we could afford to drop and who we had to keep in the bunch to give us the best chance of staying away. Despite our best efforts and with the wind picking up, we were caught by Scratch, once again, with about 10km to go. This time however, the bunch was only about 20 riders strong (no lime green jersey in sight) and, in complete disdain of possible oncoming traffic, spread out in an echelon across both lanes of the road in an attempt to hide from the consistent cross winds. Against my better judgment, I reluctantly drifted across the median line of the road and found myself a wheel almost in the dirt of the unsealed road. I comforted myself with the thought that at least car that killed me would be slowed somewhat by the score of riders it would have to plough down to get to me.

I shouldn’t have worried. In the end, it was the wind that was to be my undoing once again. As we turned onto the road back into town, we had the wind in our face as hit the climbs. Breaks were opening up everywhere. I sprinted to close the gap a few times, but cresting the penultimate hill, I lost the wheel in front by about 5m. As the bunch accelerated down the other side into the headwind, I was left cursing myself...by myself, as I cruised the final few kms back into Cootamundra.

A disappointing weekend perhaps for the Bernard Riders Road/Track squad (sans Matt Wallman: newly crowned NSW Masters 1 Rider of the Year 2011), but overall we were quite pleased with our form. We look forward to a better result at the Sydney Road Titles in two weeks time and wish Matt good luck, strong legs and weak winds as he races the Ken Dinnerville Memorial Handicap on the same weekend.

A big thanks to Ashfield Cycles and Specialized for setting us up. The bikes, unlike the weather, were perfect.

shrubb face
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Postby shrubb face » 16 May 2012, 21:34

Love the reports, especially John's.

Whilst i would have liked to have been there for the sprints, i'm reasonably happy with my form overall.

Plus I won UpWords :)

Mikejnr
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Postby Mikejnr » 18 May 2012, 12:13

Great reports guys. I had a super weekend thanks for the company.

taybellz
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Postby taybellz » 23 May 2012, 17:48

I noticed a guy scored a Cipollini bike last night on the Giro. Were you over in Italy in your undies last night Rhys?

rhys
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Postby rhys » 23 May 2012, 18:52

It's funny you should mention it....


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