domingo, 17 de octubre de 2021

Went for two masterpieces. Got three lessons

 So here comes Juniper.

We are 9 riders in the group so I made sure I was fifth wheel when we turned right. 

I checked where everyone was and I took note that Richard L was behind me. Dai at the front. Denis third wheel.

Not bad positioning if you were to ask me.

I rode there comfortably the first half of the climb. When the steep ramp came I moved up and positioned myself in third wheel. Dai still leading, Alan following him.

Such a great feeling to go through that descent knowing your legs still have some power and your tactics are working.

When the last ramp came Dai pushed the pace and opened a small gap. I didn’t panic and stayed on Alan’s wheel a bit more. The gap was not increasing very quickly and I knew I could close it.

Then I decided to close the gap. Moved to the right and put some power on the pedals. It was not a sprint, I was still sitting on the saddle. I just knew that was enough to catch and pass Dai.

That was almost a masterpiece of tactical execution!

When I figured I had opened a gap with Dai big enough I looked back and slowed ever so slightly to enjoy the celebration of such a magnificent win. 

Only to discover Richard coming at speed. I immediately knew there was nothing I could do. He got me.

Two lessons there; you would imagine I should know them by now, but it seems I need a refresher. Always wait until you cross the line to enjoy the win. Never forget Richard. 

So now the Horton roundabouts spring comes.

I start on the sixth wheel. 

I know that is a bit too far back so at the second roundabout I move to the fifth wheel.

I know Richard is behind me. You can be damn sure I’m not going to forget that!

Denis gets to the front and sets a very strong pace. 50 km/h at places. Such a great leadout man!

I’m sitting on Dai’s wheel. He knows I’m there. He even makes a sign to tell me he is watching me. 

I don’t mind. I know I’m in a very good place. I know where everyone is. I know I haven't forgotten anyone. I know what wheel to follow. Denis is keeping a fantastic pace. I’m saving my legs. I’m feeling strong. This time I’m going to get my tactical masterpiece.

In the roundabout before last I see Richard passing me on the right. I played cool. I knew it was a bit too early.

In the last roundabout I knew I was wrong. Suddenly I realised I had five riders ahead of me. They started the sprint. I started the sprint. But quickly I realised it didn’t matter. It was too crowded for me to get even close to contesting the line.

Another lesson there; you would imagine I should know them by now, but it seems I need a refresher. When you turn left in the last Horton roundabout you have to be second or third wheel. Otherwise it’ll get too crowded.

There you go. I went for two tactical masterpieces and ended up with three lessons.

The rest of the ride was great.

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