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It's all ball bearings
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Last night's local circuit race was a little over an hour's worth of laps around the circuit totalling about 28 miles. Riders are divided into three fields: 1/2/3, Masters, and 4/5. The field starts are separated by about a minute, but the lesser fields are generally passed at least a couple of times by the faster fields throughout the race.

So I'm in the 4/5 group (~40 riders?), one lap to go, I'm feeling okay (despite having redlined hard earlier in the race with difficulty recovering). The field is riding at a mellow pace up until about mid-lap.. I take advantage of the chill pace to move up as many spots towards the front as possible, and move towards the outside line...and get on this one BIG dude's wheel who just starts hammering up the outside of the pack, resulting in a fairly unanticipated attack (unanticipated, frankly, due to his size). I was right on him, and this guy gave me the best leadout from the pack for the third quarter of the lap. A counter attack ensued with about 6 riders coming up the inside who started to pass us, so I hit the gas and got on the last guys heels.

Up a super gentle climb, and around the final turn toward the finish, I'm in a perfect position. Everybody backs off because we see the Master's group just 100 yards ahead of us and we want to give ourselves room for a sprint. At the very last minute with less than 100 yards to go, our little lead group of 7 or 8 started a half-assed sprint, sort of hesitating, not sure how it would work with the Master's right there in front of us. I was about 4th or 5th guy back glued to the wheel of the guy in front of me, ready to make my move...and just before we approached the finish, we got assimilated into the arse-end of the master's group. :(

My first chance at my first top-3 finish, and it was all wasted, grr.
 

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Banned forever.....or not
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It could have been worse. A few years ago, I was in a race that also had the womens field on the course at the same time. They had a few laps to go, but we were on the bell lap when we had to pass them on the final turn. There was a little bumping, and three or four of them went down. They were turning at a reasonable pace, but we were going full speed.
 

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Big is relative
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I have seen this situation a couple of times when racing on a circuit course. The unfortunate response is often to get the more aggressive group the bell lap early. If you were planning on a 25 lap race and suddenly you get the bell at lap 22, there is a good chance that you will be out of position or even recovering from an effort. I have seen crashes from this since the sprinters who might work their way to the front in the last two laps suddenly have to make their move and usually right down the middle of the pack to hold their position for the turns. The other solution would be to extend the race for a couple of laps but try explaining that to the breakaway that is dangling off of the front.
 

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Apa kabar?
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the bright side...

i guess the bright side is you were in position to possibly get a top 3 finish. seems like you were well aware of what was going on around you, and that you used some good race tactics. everything is a learning experience and i'm sure the confidence you now have from being there at the end will carry over to other races!
 

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It's all ball bearings
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
true enough, true enough

B-Fun said:
i guess the bright side is you were in position to possibly get a top 3 finish. seems like you were well aware of what was going on around you, and that you used some good race tactics. everything is a learning experience and i'm sure the confidence you now have from being there at the end will carry over to other races!
I think that is definitely right, B-Fun. Even though it didn't quite work out the best possible way, I felt way better about my ability after last nights race than I ever have. Like you say, just another dose of experience and confidence that I can bring to the track next time around.
 

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MR_GRUMPY said:
It could have been worse. A few years ago, I was in a race that also had the womens field on the course at the same time. They had a few laps to go, but we were on the bell lap when we had to pass them on the final turn. There was a little bumping, and three or four of them went down. They were turning at a reasonable pace, but we were going full speed.
No wonder you are mr_grumpy!
 

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Hey Ben-
I think I was the BIG dude attacking up the outside! As we came up on the remnants of the Master's field, me and a handful of others sat up, with no interest in wiping out at 36mph. I too was a bit disappointed but felt that safety was more important than a point in the series. Come back in a few weeks for the "point per lap" night!
 

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It's all ball bearings
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Could be!

crestlinefarm said:
Hey Ben-
I think I was the BIG dude attacking up the outside! As we came up on the remnants of the Master's field, me and a handful of others sat up, with no interest in wiping out at 36mph. I too was a bit disappointed but felt that safety was more important than a point in the series. Come back in a few weeks for the "point per lap" night!
If that was you, you were MOVIN'. I was seriously impressed with that move and the pace that you held afterwards, no way I could've sustained that kind of speed by myself.

Yeah, we started a half-assed (maybe quarter-assed, even) sprint but then sat up last minute when we saw what was happening up ahead.
 
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