Watt Matters is a blog about training and racing with power and other related musings.

Aside from writing items here on occasions, I also provide cycling performance improvement services via coaching, aerodynamics testing and host a cycling tour.

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Farewell Crit

Today was a fun race.

Driving the small scratch bunch down the straight at Heffron

It was my last with the Sydney Cycling Club as I am moving to a new club, Bicisport. The reasons for my move are positive ones and there is no animosity at all with SCC. I simply want to follow my passion of hard but enjoyable track racing as I build towards the State, National and World Masters Championships in 2007 and so I need to train and race with like minded guys.

So I have joined Bicisport along with my regular track training buddies. SCC doesn't have much of a track racing culture (believe me I've tried to change that over the years but to no avail), so I have decided to stop swimming against the tide and get with the strength. My first race in the new colours will be next weekend's Central Coast Track Open. Hearing Paul Craft's commentating should liven up the evening no matter the results.

Anyway, back to today's race. Another Handicap Crit format - 10 laps, 20km. Six minutes to limit. I have already described these race formats in a previous post , so if you don't know what I mean - click the link and have a read.

I was also the handicapper! Just to add some spice into the race, joining us for the first time was current Australian Masters Crit champ (and former World Masters crit champ) Liam Kelly, and Discovery Channel's recent signing, Aussie Matt White.

Matt & Liam doing it tough. Sorry 'bout the handicap boys!

Being a kind fellow, I made them start 30 seconds behind the normal scratch boys (myself included). Sorry lads (as it turned out) since they never caught us. Nice to ride away from a seasoned pro like that. My small group of five was made up of the usual suspects (Stan, Doddsie, Simon, Chris and myself) and worked together pretty well with only one passenger. We averaged 41.7 km/h (25.9 mph) for a little under 30 min on the semi-technical Heffron Circuit and I did some pretty solid turns today. The result didn't matter to me since I was more interested in getting a good workout.

Sshhhh - coach had me down for a 20 min time trial effort today but I figured a 30 min race would be just as good if I did lots of work. I did and it was. I don't think he'll mind ;)

Race Day stats:

Club Crit:
Duration: 29:16
TSS: 58.8 (intensity factor 1.098)
Norm Power: 335
VI: 1.05
Distance: 20.351 km

____________ Min __ Max __ Avg

Power:______ 0 ____ 943 __ 320 watts

Cadence:____ 33 ___ 116 ___ 96 rpm

Speed: _____ 4.6 __ 52.1 _ 41.7 kph

CTL: 95
TSB: +7

So, that's a pretty solid power average for me (indeed had the race lasted a little longer then it would have been a 30 min power PB). When I look back at the previous handicap crit on 28 October, this was over a minute faster! It's amazing what you can do with 5 guys prepared to all work together. Both Average and Normalised power was up on that previous race, so more good signs after the legs felt a bit ordinary this week. I think a little less than optimal amounts of sleep was partly my issue. Good rest is so important when training regularly.

Simon about to lead us into one of Heffron's 9 corners.

Nice tight group riding - there's 5 of us - count the shadows.

We caught what was left of the normal "chopping block" bunch with about 3.5 laps to go so that added 3 more riders to our group but it wasn't enough to overhaul the front bunches, which by this stage had all grouped up and finished about 20 seconds in front of us. Good luck to them - they clearly rode well today.

Club President Barry Doosey won the day in the bunch gallop with good buddy Leigh Ringrose taking 2nd spot. Nice one boys!

Afterwards there were lots of takers at the mobile cafe van dispensing free coffees and in a nice surprise, the club all gathered to give me a farewell thank you and a nice gift to boot. Thanks to Tanya for her kind words and all at the club for their support and camaraderie over the past decade. I'll still be around the park after my training.

Some farewell words from Tanya and a goodbye from the club.

Nice way to go out.

Next up I have a trial pursuit effort on Monday night at DGV and next weekend is the Central Coast Track Open. Can't wait!

Trials and tribulations

In Pursuit of Perfect Pacing