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The faster I get, the faster they get.

By jp - Posted on 15 March 2014

NB: Originally posted elsewhere on the Global Riders Network and appears via syndication.
Re: This ride meeting: 
Capital Punishment 2014
Position (Overall): 
Race Category: 
Position (Category): 

Last year at Capital Punishment I came 8th in my category. I was only 3 minutes off a podium place. After training pretty intensely for the last few months I knew I was faster than last year, so was hopeful of at least a top 10 again, maybe even top 5 place in my category. My result today was actually 5 minutes faster than last year, but I only placed 14th in my category. So it seems that the faster I get, the faster everyone else is getting! I guess it's a good thing that our sport is getting more popular, people are training more seriously and competition is increasing.

I lined up in the first start wave. My mate pointed out that I was quite possibly the only person in that group with grey hair. Not exactly a big confidence boost.

That road climb to the top of the Arboretum hill was a bit of a shock to the system. Hill climbs are usually my strength, but the pace of our group up the hill was pretty full on. I sat in about 30th position, and when we got to the top I was really surprised to see how fast everyone sprinted off down the firetrail. I wasn't feeling great, a few people passed me, but I headed off at a reasonable pace. The rest of the 14km trip to Stromlo was fine - I didn't feel as fresh as I would have liked, but I generally held my position.

I was glad to get onto the Stromlo singletrack, and the familiarity of the switchback climbs. I felt a bit better and pushed pretty hard to the top. Happy days. I caught a guy at the top and decided to sit behind him for the Skyline/ Luge descent. I felt like maybe I'd be a bit faster if I passed him, but not much, so settled in for the descent. As we got to the start of Luge a couple of guys caught us. They were shouting, but I couldn't tell if they were talking to each other or me... At the pace we were going, bikes clattering and wind whistling, it was hard to hear. Then on one of the bermed corners the guy behind me made his move - "on your right!" - he cut inside me with only millimetres to spare, and I almost ran off the track. I slowed down and called his mate through on the next corner to avoid another near miss. Now if these guys had been Elites coming through I would have happily slowed down and made space, but I felt like the first guy's move was pretty risky, especially since I met him at the bottom and passed him on the next climb. Anyway, no harm done.

Over the next 10-15 kms I think I got a bit complacent. I was a bit fatigued, but not too bad, just settled into a group that I probably should have passed. When two riders passed us I realised I was slacking off so took off after them. Over the last 10km of singletrack I put in a more solid effort, felt pretty good and really enjoyed the ride. My legs felt like one more solid hill effort would result in cramps, so I was a bit tentative but maintained a good pace.

On the criterium track to the finish line a guy jumped onto my back wheel. I knew he was going to draft me them jump out and pass me, and I didn't know if he was in my category. He jumped with 100m to go, got a wheel in front of me but I stood up and gave it everything I had... I think he finished about 2cm in front of me. Must have looked pretty funny - 2 guys sprinting like crazy for 46th place... We had a good laugh about it and shook hands.

So I was disappointed not to get a top 10. But I was faster than last year, had a good day out and no major incidents (just one dropped chain) - so really can't complain. Great race, and I really enjoyed catching up with Tristan, Anthony, Dicko and Doc at the finish line. They all rode excellent 100km races.

Well done beating last year's time anyway, and the ride sounds like it went okay. Hopefully lots more training can secure you a better placing in Convict!

That's the problem I have - the older I get, the faster I was

Well done JP. A good ride.
To be totally frank with you, I think you are much fitter and faster than the 5 minutes that you improved by. You might need a bit more racing to help you learn how to squeeze the speed out of your body. Club XC's, team events (Rocky Trail, ST Mind, The Mont) - they are all good for flat-out race condition efforts.
Well done though - you are a much better rider than you were this time last year.
I think you ought to do a 100km-er though. Convict?

... I feel your pain about the aboretum hill and about going faster but going backwards in your category.

Not turning 50 any time soon I hope.... Smiling

We can do all the hill reps on the QRT that you need to prep you for what's to come!

Great ride JP. It's unbelievable how fast everyone is getting. These days you need to train just so you don't fall behind.

A bit of a combination I think. Everyone is getting faster, but a few people moving up age categories too. Top 3 Masters placings were all racing Veterans last year. Great result anyway. As long as you're getting faster you're heading in the right direction!

@Lach - three more years til I turn 50. I can't wait to be one of the "young guns" in my category.

@Tristainia - whether I do the 50 or the 100, I'm definitely up for plenty on QRT rides in the lead up. Maybe I should change my Saturday ride to 2 x QRT out and back + OMV + H20?

@mediocre - yeah, good point - all that talent filtering up from the younger categories makes it harder every year. But that's all good, keeps us motivated to train harder...

@Antsonline - when I said congratulations to you a couple of minutes after your finish yesterday you were basically unable to speak. It was clear you had pushed yourself way, way beyond what most of us do. So I take your point. Apart from a few twinges from my quads threatening to cramp, I actually felt fine at the finish. Then I had this overwhelming feeling I had taken it too easy, and I felt disappointed in myself... So I'll take your advice and do more races.

That said, it was a fantastic race and a great day out. I'm super motivated to keep up the training and can't wait for Convict.

Cheers for all the positive comments.

Hey fast and grey fella, well done on a great ride ! I had to smile to myself as I read a number of your thoughts that sounded all too familiar.

See you for the Convict.

Hi JP,

I was just sitting here on a rainy day reading through blogs of races i have done and saw the end of yours and realised that was me sprinting you for the finish! (it was very close)
It was a great sprint for 46th place!, as we crossed the line you looked around and said" Im guessing we are in the top 40", good guess.

Turns out we were in different category's anyway and i think it was a good fun way to end the race, shows we both had a bit more left in us.

It Was a great race and it seems we got exactly the same time.

Only the second time for me in this race and knocked about 16mins off last years time, just hope Im warmed up for the start next time that road hill hurt me bad!


Yeah, it was a great way to finish a fun race, always good to empty the tank!

That's a great improvement on your previous PB, well done. Now if you can knock another 16 mins off next year you'll be on the podium.


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