with the first race of 4 out of the way, I'm sitting in a freezing cold Benalla cabin far too early in the morning stoking up for the next race.
Benalla is a small somewhat sleepy rural city which used to be on the Hume highway..the main road between Melbourne and Sydney...well it still is, but now its by-passed 'cos for many years now there is the Hume freeway. So whereas it's one street used to be a busy busy mess of long haulage and tourist traffic it's now just a quiet backwater with shops that on a Saturday shut at 12 o'clock...so yesterday and so bloody inconvenient.
The roads close by are dead flat but ride out a way and there are challenges for the non climber. Yesterday's race was 52km long with a KOM at ~15km.....in any other location the slight rise would barely get a mention..here it was a prize we all raced for and I got droppped and had to TT back onto the group. One of our group got dropped there and was never seen again.
It's been a while since I've raced anything except TT's and so I was pretty quiet..I'm also less strong, not as light as I should be and older and so had no intention of spending ALL my biccies on the first day. I did enough work so as not to be called a wheel sucker, but spent also alot of time avoiding the pointy end. In the group, those like me outnumbered people willing to exhaust themselves at the front and so it was a pretty dyfunctional bunch with only sporadic periods of good rolling turns...once a couple of people don't come through the mood spreads as no-one wants to get stuck at the front for what feels like ever.
So we were a bit slower than we should have been and had 3 A grades pass us with quite a way to go..they started something like 10 minutes behind us and were clearly working!
I finished with the bunch, putting in a sort of sprint at the end..well at least I stood up and powered down..didn't seem to make much of a change in my speed! and now I'm ready for today's sufferfest of 1 x 45km road race at 10 o'clock and 1 x 21.6km time trial at 2 o'clock. Tyres pumped up, brekky eaten........