Friday, January 26, 2007

Australia Day

Australia Day (26 January) means many things to this nation. Technically it's a celebration of the anniversay of the 1788 British arrival of the First Fleet in Sydney Cove and the establishment of a new colony, New South Wales. Of course many indigenous Australians don't necessarily see that as something to celebrate and in reality Australia Day has become more of a day to mark things that we enjoy most about being Aussies. Being smack in the middle of Summer, typically there are lots of outdoor festive activities. Of course it's a public holiday and us Aussies like our days off. A little more on the topic can be found in this Wikipedia entry.

One of the many thousands of activities on this day includes the annual Joseph Sunde Memorial criterium races at Sydney's Heffron Park. The race doubles as a fund raiser for the Children's Cancer Foundation. There are open graded events including a Masters 1-3 race.

I usually race it, although as a race it can be a bit of a non-event. The organising club, Eastern Suburbs CC, has a tendency to stack the field with their best riders and play the usual games that result in a break away with the remaining 10 or so Easts riders sitting on and marking any attempts to bridge across. Any time the gap is shut down, the rested Easts boys would counter and so on until they get someone away. It's pretty dull racing really and indeed I think the numbers of entrants will fall if this trend continues. Already I noticed other local clubs poorly represented (this is not home turf for my club).

And that's exactly what happened.

Not that it mattered much, I was really just interested in a good training hit out and it served its purpose. Here's a pic of the race file for reference.

Joseph Sunde Memorial Criterium

In this case I wanted to sit in the bunch a bit more than I tend to and it shows with the regular coasting (see how often the yellow power line drops to zero). I was zero power for approx 17% of the race (even though this is a flat crit) and less than 100 Watts for 24% of the time. But when you pedal you have to pedal hard.

The race stats show that with a Variability Index (the ratio of Normalised Power to Average Power) of 1.18. That's pretty typical for a flat scratch race criterium.

Just to spice up an otherwise dull race, I went to the front with 1.5km to go and wound it up hard in a final attempt to bridge the gap, peeling off with 500m to go after getting them to within 50 metres of the leading two riders, however the rest of them couldn't continue the surge and they ended up sprining for third, while I coasted in, happy to have a solid hit out.

Happy Australia Day!