sábado, 28 de febrero de 2015

Longcross (London Dynamo race #1)

Finished in the bunch and I was very happy with it. I even celebrated it when I crossed the line.

I know it is not that a great achievement to finish on the bunch a race but considering how tired I was from this week's training, how my mind was asking me to find an excuse to not show up when I was still in bed and how my legs felt when I was warming up I'm really happy with the result.

For me it was not only about finishing in the bunch, it was also feeling "comfortable" in the middle of the peloton, with my cornering and deciding what to do at every moment of the race.

At some point I saw Declan at the front setting the pace, I figured he was trying to bring back a break (which I didn't know there was one) so I moved to the front and started to work. When the "climbs" came everyone passed me full speed, but I recovered in the final straight and moved to the front again. I did that about three or four times and when we were crossing the line I saw there were still 9 laps to go so I relaxed a bit and hide in the middle of the peloton to recover for a few laps. With 2 laps to go I moved to the back of the peloton and focussed on staying away of any problem. For me the work was done.

It was all about getting confidence back (especially after last race's fiasco), getting the training and measuring my progress.

Today I felt comfortable, numbers are telling I'm in better form than last year at this time, I'm not competitive yet, but if everything goes well I will.

sábado, 14 de febrero de 2015

Imperial Winter Series e123 race (Fear)

Fear, that is. Simple an plain fear.

It started to rain when we were waiting for the go, the pace was nothing special, but I was not comfortable cornering. I was afraid of slipping and that made me slow down and hesitate, it took me only three laps to quit.

My brain tells me it is all right, it was not the day nor the place to build confidence, my heart tells me I should have try harder. I hate this controversy.

Good thing next week I'm racing at Cyclopart, it'll help to build my confidence in my cornering.

The three laps in Strava (published as punishment for being such a quitter)

sábado, 7 de febrero de 2015

Imperial Winter Series 3th cat race

My first race of the year. Three months after the crash that broke my collarbone.

With this background in mind and knowing that my training was not that great since the beginning of the year (too much travelling) my expectation was pretty low for this race. In fact my brain spent all morning looking for excuses to justify honourably not showing up today. Couldn't find any so had to show up.

At the third lap the idea of being dropped didn't look that bad. I was expecting to be dropped at some time so why not quit early and have an easy time. 

I don't know why, or even how, but I kept going; a few laps later the pace went down and I started to feel comfortable in the middle of the peloton.

Half way of the race there was a crash in the second "climb" of the circuit. It sounded pretty nasty, luckily I was at the other side of the line so managed to avoid it without a problem.

When the 5 to go sign appeared the pace went up a bit but very quickly slowed down considerable. It was obvious that everyone was waiting for the sprint. I decided to move to the back of the peloton. I didn't think I could have been competitive, despite the first crash the peloton was still quite big and, honestly, being the first race of the year, I was more than happy to finish in the bunch and in one piece.

I think it was in the last lap there was another crash, this one in the first "climb". This time it happened just in front of me. One of these crashes that you see a rider moving left a bit too much, then he tries to correct which ends up with him moving right a bit too much and you know he will take someone down. And that was exactly what happened. I had plenty of time to avoid it, but still had to ride to the green. 

Soft pedaled to the line and when I was crossing it I celebrated a bit. I guess it looked silly to the spectators (a guy celebrating his 40th or 50th position) but I was really happy.

Not only I was in one piece and I was not dropped, I also ended up feeling quite comfortable in the bunch which is great to gain some confidence after a serious crash. I managed to move up and down as I wished and I didn't finish that tired. Riding back home was all joy and hopes for the year to come.

Then when I looked at the numbers I realized they were not that great (no wonder it didn't felt that hard) but what numbers can't take away is the fun I had being back to racing.

Take care
Javier Arias González