Tuesday, September 14, 2010

2010 Mondello Open Race

It is not often you get to race on a completely closed course, never mind a race track – so when I heard about the Open Race being held in Mondello Race Course I was all up for it. That and the fact that there are hardly any road races for my class (A1 – basically elite) this time of year you gotta do everything you can. I had heard that the last open race held there was 1986 but if successful, more events (maybe a series) would be held next year.

A large A4 group went off first, followed by an A3 group and then finally an A2 and A1 group (there was only four A1s so we got to go with with the A2s) got going making a total of around 90 riders (many riders trying to make it failed due to a big crash on the main route to the event – me, I had to ditch my car and ride the final 10km to the event and leave Alan with my car).

The race was one hour plus three laps, so I tried to get our groups going well until we caught the A3 group – after about thirty minutes of riding an easy tempo, we caught them and the group was suddenly huge. With that, I attacked straight away with 3 or 4 other riders getting a good gap quickly. Another half lap later while cornering on the front of our group I heard my rear tubular go pissst – damn... I pulled in and made my way back to the start/finish in the hope that the race organizer would allow me to change wheels and get back into the race as long as I didn't contest anything. They did, so I rejoined the original A1,A2,A3 group. After getting up to speed I attacked out of that making sure not to pull anyone along. From there I basically went full gas on a solo effort to bridge to the A4 (and the guys I was with when I punctured out of the winning move). I pushed hard and almost caught the group by the finish – averaging 43kmph over the windy course by myself.

After a wheel change - waiting to get going again

Attacking off the A1,A2,A3 group

I was annoyed about the puncture – I wouldn't have expected that on a track but several other riders also punctured – side wall slices of all things – there must have been some crap on the circuit from previous races. On the plus, I was feeling very very strong - on what was a very flat course.

The sprint finish

I really enjoyed the racing and hope that there will be more racing out there next year. It was well organized and a beautiful late summer evening topped it all off.

Thanks to Alan for all the pictures (and driving my car the rest of the way to the venue)

EDIT - Naas CC have just announced that there will be an Open Race in Mondello Park, every Tuesday from 19th of April 2011. Cool - sounds like my AC/Threshold sessions for next year are sorted.

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