Imperial Winter Series 2009/10: 4th Cat, 05 December 2009

Well that was a pretty miserable and frustrating experience for me. How was it for you? I look forward to the Imperial Winter Series as motivation to see me through the winter, but it got off to a mediocre start as I made all my usual mistakes:

  • Not holding my position and drifting back through the bunch
  • Getting stuck behind dodgy handlers
  • Relying on my cornering skills to stay in touch with the bunch
  • Losing concentration at key points
  • Getting caught the wrong side of splits and wasting energy closing gaps

Net result = Got dropped at some point and rolled in a lap and quite a bit down.

Really frustrating as I’m not feeling that out of shape and didn’t feel like I was struggling until the bunch started going away from me. I wasn’t alone in going out the back though, James Curry and Lance Woodman, two other habitual 4th Cats like me, both slipped off the back. James and I tried some through-and-off to try and make the most of our time by getting some extra training in.

Lance’s analysis is pretty accurate in citing the point at which we got lapped by the 3rd Cat race as where the problems started for the both of us. The Cycling Silk, Martin Porter also reckons this as the bit of the race that created difficulties.

The problem as I saw it was that instead of sitting up and neutralising our race when the 3rd cats came past, the riders at the front lined it out meaning that it took nearly a lap for the whole of the other race to pass us. This wasn’t helped by a split in their field and the annoying habit of shouting at our race to keep left and then diving across the front of us rather than staying on the right.

So I got caught behind that split and couldn’t move up while burning matches as our race upped its pace to chase riders who’d jumped on the 3rds, despite being told not to.

It’s bitterly frustrating getting dropped but better it happen now when I haven’t been putting in any effort rather than come Spring. In all honesty I need to ride a decent amount more than the once a week which is all I seem to be able to fit in at the moment.

I can’t make it next week so need to get my motivation up for the third round on 19 December. I’ll be wearing the bright yellow 68 until I can muster the ten points to move up to 3rd cat (how long have I been saying that?).

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