28 March, 2011

Club Racing- It's Fun????

Yesterday (Sunday) was a club race meet. A hill climb TT (let's just say I wasn't last OK?) and then a 25k road race (for us plebes in "D" Grade) and 40km for the remaining grades. The "D" graders had a bit of fun- we're those who are new to the sport, not-quite-so-serious, and/or coming back from illness/retirement/deathbed, or just want to have a social hit-out. In case you're having a hard time doing the calcs- I ride in D Grade. I like the social aspect of D grade and if/when my fitness level gets to a degree where I can outride the other D grade riders, it will be time to move to C.

Club racing should be fun- it helps keep the spirit and camaraderie alive. And that's important in small clubs...

Yesterday I witnessed what was possibly the most unsportsmanlike race I have seen in our club. Earlier in the year (I'm talking this calendar year) a group of riders decided to form a team within the club- which is fine I guess for external events, stage races, etc... however, yesterday they decided to use their team numbers/strategies/whatevers in the club road race in C grade.

It became a race of 8 riders (Team X) vs 2 riders (non-Team X). A couple of Team X riders were sent off the front as a break and every time the remaining riders tried to get something going in the way of a chase, the remaining Team X would get on the front of the chase and slow it down. The remaining two riders never had a chance and there was no way that Team X would consider moving up to B grade because they would get whipped.

I just never realized there was so much prestige in winning by "swarming" in a club race.

I heard the leader of the team "apologising" to the other riders but it turned out to just be lip-service as that was "the race plan" they had set down beforehand. Makes me want to spew......

On the other hand- the countryside was lush and green, all of the streams were running and lots of waterfalls along the range. I know- at the speed I did the TT up the range, I had lots of time to take in the scenery.

Cheers- ride safe



Trevor Woodford said...

That type of thing seems to happen in a number of clubs...I have seen it myself. It's what puts a lot of people off joining clubs in the first place........

I think that I would be in group D..back from the death-bed..!


BoaB said...

Yes I think you're correct Trevor. That is, I think, one of the contributing factors to dwindling club numbers. I should add that in the next road race, they were unable to achieve their desired outcome- so there may be hope.