Soon I will be moving into my final month of the season in Belgium, the whole year has been a big learning curve from the first races in March to this point.
At the beginning the success was just getting round, but from about May onwards I went from the occasional attack, to be able to go to each race with the aim of competing in the front,
leasing to my expectations of myself to race and led to a much more aggressive approach to the
racing. I found myself really getting stuck into the races, like last year.
The races don’t seem to follow any pattern except that of constant attacking until the elastic snaps.
There are guys who always make the move, you follow them all day and either you cook or they
go the one time out of 20 you didn’t follow. Other days the first move sticks. You can always feel the moment its happened or happening but to be in the right position to react without having burnt a match in the previous minutes is the challenge. So far I’ve only managed to make the winning break once in Merelbeke, despite attacking multiple times every race. Many factors are at play to guarantee your move is going to stick, but the 10% chance is better than nothing, being aggressive and maintaining a positive racing attitude is crucial. Sometimes you’re out there for a few minutes, for 50k, all day or less than a minute.
I have managed to ride good results from chase groups or last lap attacks, even after missing the main break so it pays never to give up on the race until you cross the finish line.
It can be frustrating to miss moves when you feel physically capable, I have found myself doing too much or too little in the beginning of a race, and the end result is the same. Reading the races can be difficult and sometimes not always related to the strength you have as a rider.
At the end of each race, I am able to talk it through with the guys at Epic and we are able to spot the mistakes to improve and the positives to reinforce. Having external feedback is crucial as it would be easy to become fearful and stick to one plan always.
My best race on paper was Bambrugge in which I went after the break on the final lap with my
house mate going on to take 11th. Though it left me thinking what could have been as I didn’t play it smart early and was a bit gassed when the actual break went after going after everyman and his dog for the first 20k.
Despite making many mistakes, every race I come away a better rider, next year I plan to ride in some of the larger tours and interclubs and use the experience gained from this season to get
some good results.
This season isn’t yet over though and there still a solid 4-5 weeks to acheive the season goals,
with Epic’s guidance my form is still solid and I’m confident of finishing the year well.