As you can see it's not a complex crit circuit - 915 metres per lap. Basically a flat, counter clockwise loop but on this cold (for Sydney) spring day there was a strong headwing coming up the wide and slightly uphill Olympic Boulevard making it a tough finishing straight.
I raced the same circuit a few years ago (only other time it's been used I think) and had a good day (took the prime and 3rd place as my mate rode to a solo win) but today the quality of the field was far higher.
Pace was pretty hot in Div 3. I was a might surprised actually and ended up setting a 20 minute Power PB in the first 20min of the race as I was trying to either initiate or get into an early break. Two riders managed to get away on a counter attack. I tried twice to bridge across, once with one other rider (who didn't quite have the legs - shame, we got to within about 10 secs) and again solo but that was futile as the bunch was more intent on catching the chasers than the leaders.
So a bit of "hide in bunch recovery time" before a last ditch effort to grab 3rd place with a solo break at 2km to go but unfortunately I didn't quite have the legs to finish it off and was swallowed up in the finale just short of the line. Pulling 600 watts into the headwind was going to take its toll at some stage! Never mind - I had a crack and came away with a Power PB to boot!
Pavg: 309 W
PNorm: 348 W
NZAP: 342 W (only 10% zero power time)
Last week's training saw a lift in intensity, with 2 days of hard 3-minute hill repeats and some time trial pace intervals mid week. Easing back a bit this week to consolidate power gains made in recent month.
Next week it's the Snowy Wilson Memorial crit at Heffron Park. Usually a team dominated affair, it will be another slug fest I'd say! Can't wait!
PS - I saw one other Power Meter user in today's race - Amanda Spratt, 2004 Junior World Points Race Champion. Amanda had SRM cranks/PCV on her rig. She was strong too, duking it out with the men in fine style. Go Amanda! Wonder what her file looked like? You can view Amanda's Palmarès here: