Event: Bariani Road Race 45+ Cat 4
ChristianCycling Teammate: Serge Plasschaert
By: Dan Schaefer


Leading the charge

It was an odd start to the race day having misread the flyer and thinking I had a couple of hours to get ready and warm up.  I was a little alarmed when I returned from my initial 10 miles and there were no racers nearby. I rolled up to the back of the start line and realized that they were giving final instructions to my group. And then we were off…no regular hydration, pre-race food, etc. I was the last man. “Huh…I guess we go with it.”

It was the last day of a rest week where I was in zone 1 or 2 for every ride. After we turned right out of the headwind the paced quickened. Entering the narrow windy poor pavement section my heart rate was nearly maxed. Suddenly I hit a pothole that launched my garmin into the field. And that was the race because “if it’s not Strava it didn’t really happen.” After the pain of the first lap I settled down for the second and decided to move up from the yoyoing off the back. I lead the field into the narrow section and was in front of the one crash of the day that held up half the field. Serge needed to chase hard but was able to reconnect by the end of the lap. There was an attempt at a rotating paceline but with 35 guys not everyone wanted to pull through. I knew that the finish stretch would be slow due to the headwind. A few tried to break in the technical section where my legs began to cramp (all that zone 1 training from the week taking its toll). At 2km to go another break attempt reeled back. And I found myself 4 wheel riding in the left side gutter. At 200 meters I was second and not able to stand or sprint due to tightening legs. At the finish we were swamped by the charge from behind. I ended in 9th. Serge from his heroic efforts bridging was in the top 20. All in all a good fun race in winding but pleasant conditions.

Lessons learned:

1. Rest weeks aren’t the best race weeks
2. Read the start times more than once
3. Strava isn’t everything