DISC report - I'm auditioning to be a derny
Tonight's DISC, and they call me 'Mr Domestique'
The usual Thursday at DISC, sorta. Who's here this week? Of my crew? None of my coaching clients are racing tonight, but John Lewis and Pat Dougherty are there, and ... they're riding C grade. Ok ... I owe John a few favours as he's been looking after my T1 for me while Dino's been off the boards. How can I help? They ask me to try and keep the pace even for the first half of the scratch race so they're not disgraced. Ok, I can do that. The field is big but most of the stronger riders are absent. Plan? You bet ... this'll confuse a few people, but will work.
How best to control the pace? Simple, just stay on the front and string out the field. so that's what I did. Got on the front from the start whistle, and just stayed there, for 9 laps. Not super-fast, but a reasonable tempo, no-one keen to attack was near the front at the start, so I had a fair buffer of wheelsuckers before anyone who would exercise any initiative, and that wasn't until 10 to go (of an 18 lap race), I chased the first (rather weak!) attack down straight away, but then I'd done my job and I let the bunch roll over and I rolled down and got out of the way. A DNF, but John & Pat finished comfortably with the bunch. Job No. 1 done.
Then, the points race. I wanted to set John up for the first sprint, and Pat's job was to tow him back if he got dropped at any time. Same drill, this time John's camped on my wheel from the starting lineup, and there's a girl in QC gear in front of us at the start, but she shows no interest in leading off, so I go over her straight away. On the front, 4 laps 'til the first sprint, and John knows the plan. I'm going to wind it right up and do the first leadout, and then I'll be blown and will probably DNF. So at the whistle, I ramp it up and up and up each lap, keeping the field in a long line and John has an armchair ride. With about half a lap to go John gets the hint and kicks over the top, just as well, I'm cooked. He takes the first sprint at a canter. Perfect. I'm spent though, I make a half-arsed attempt to hold the gap I've let open up, but concede after a few laps of this once I notice John's been dropped after the second sprint and Pat isn't coming back to help him. Bugger! Oh well ... we got him in the points and that's good. Job No.2 done.
Up to 98.4" for the motorpace, this time, I'll be riding for me and the confused crowd won't be wondering what's going on with this fool who rides on the front like some triathalete! That's the plan, anyway. The last two races have taken a lot out of my legs though, big long turns on the front have done some damage. I'm not in my prefered position at the start and with that big gear, I let a little gap open up at the very start, I close it, but overpower the bridge and waste some matches and have to roll up the bank to slow, dumb ... and after about a lap and half my right hamstring starts to hint it's about to cramp. I had a knee recon a decade ago on my right knee, and the surgeon did a hamstring graft, so I have less tendons in my right hamsting than the default that humans come with. If my right hammy says something to me, I know to stop what I'm doing, pronto. So I pull up and get out of the way, roll down and pop my pedal out, and let my right leg hang while I scrub speed and roll back into the infield. Three DNF's for the night! But, it was still fun and I did my duty by the riders I worked for.
Dino's come down for a look and he's worked out what was going on (all those race skill sessions *are* worthwhile, eh?!), Lisa Hocking's along for a spectate as well, and it's off to Nandos for a refuel. It was good to see big Trav take out the D grade scratch race, and Lawrence rode well, and Stu Vaughan finished the night with a great attack in the A grade motorpace and held his gap for a win. It was great to see Monique Hanley and we congratulated her on her fantastic performance in the RAAM (she was in the winning team).
Tomorrow, easy recovery ride, before doing it all again on the w'end. Mmmm, bikes are good.