Here are two hard things:
- Returning from an awesome week of Downhill shredding in Rad central
- Cat 1 road racing in 37 degree heat
What happens when you’re dumb enough to combine the two into a melting pot of punishment within a few days of each other? OH, well… stand back and allow me to elaborate!
Warning – Today’s post is liberally sponsored by Cunt Inc and its various subsidiaries; Cuntery, Cunted, Cuntox etc etc. So, if you’re having a sensitive Monday, you may want to avert your eyes. Also, stand back and marvel at how I manage to do a race report with virtually fuck all photos of any of us on our bikes… Skills.
Yes, without even the chance to get a gushy #R14QT round-up post out, it was straight back to the Global Hub and regrouping to get ready to head to Bintan for a 130km one day road race, Race #2 in the Cycosports series. Yes, trading rad shredding for the suffering of road racing was always going to be a big turn around, but after the rather large block of training that had been going down, it should be sweet right?
Astute readers will probably recall the volume of suffering and pain that Bintan can generate, the course we faced a pick of the classic hits of smack down that Bintan and its heat can dish up. Here was the plan to get cunted to the max:
As you can see from the above, its too hot there for even google maps to put landmarks on the place, we’re talking cuntox hot people. Of course, racing in another cuntry requires the mandatory early start and ferry ride. It was time to don my Noah cape and gather the animals into the Ark. Lets start with a Zebra and a Goat shall we?
This is where the first contrasts started to hit me… Sleeping in and then coffee waiting for the Gondola to open, vs already sweating at 5.30am, Reality was grabbing me by the throat and slapping me about the face, vigourously. Still, there were some consistencies – Daily SHAM maintenance for example:
I needed to find a gimp to carry my drink bottles, so managed to snare this white socked Euro tourist who had gotten lost on the way to a Mountain Bike race… The oversized bag creating a lot of conjecture:
For some strange reason whenever I ask people to now pose for a photo, I get a lot of hesitancy and nervousness now… Which I suspect relates back to the variability of the commentary that can be attached to images at any given point. But lads, a small price to pay for being made world mini famous:
Bored cyclists can be like a bunch of feral dogs with a chew toy (or a pair of Champsys shorts with your balls)… and I was busy fingering my Euro slave, constant enquiries as to what was in his giant bag and why he had a used condom in his pocket (and what were the parameters of its usage?) were starting to grate clearly:
By the time we got on the ferry, my antics were being ignore completely… The gang finally gets it together all at once to avoid any DN photo ops:
None of you are probably thinking “How do the bikes get there?”, well, to encumber you with some useless information, here is the approach taken… Enough to give any OSH officer an absolute melt down or stiffy depending on how much they like to issue infringement notices. Lets just say that timing is everything with this approach and a rocking ferry:
Based at Bintan Lagoon sort of a resort, it was a well run set up and soon all sorts of hideously fashioned cyclists were milling about and getting that final pre race faffing/shitting sorted out before GO time:
There was much pre race milling and mulling over of what was to come. When you’re sweating through your kit standing around in the shade before you’ve even thrown your leg over the sweet goodness of the Evo then you know its going to be a tricky day. To deal with this, my bottle gimp tries to explain to Zebra that he does have abs (doesn’t) and Goat makes a fish face in a strange facial massage routine:
So… Is there a race in here somewhere?
Ok ok… So yes, enough faffing about… There was actually a race. We didn’t have the numbers of some of the other teams, but I was reasonably confident that it was going to be a good day out and that I would ride into it. Ignore the jet lag, ignore the 100% change in temp and especially ignore my back feeling a bit second hand after a week of riding a jack hammer.
The first 40 mins or so was testing, but I was still there and whilst we were down to 4 riders, everyone seemed to be going ok. I was dismayed that my weird Euro bottle boy had already been vaporised, but I was consoled by the beautiful thoughts of the hammer time he would endure on the ferry ride home.
However, I got my first taste that perhaps things were a bit cunted when I tried to bridge across to one of the Mavs up the road and found myself stranded like a total cunt in no mans land. A signal from body/legs: No cunt, not today. Sitting up I did have the chance to have a giggle at seeing a sight unseen before, a new face on the front of the peloton, foaming at the mouth and very focussed on chasing me down. I take some pleasure in making the unemployed work, and being that popular. Actual file footage:
Still, it wasn’t a Catastrophe just yet and I perhaps I just needed a Catalyst to get going? Or was I going to be Catatonic? With one of the major favourites getting a puncture, you could see the looks on faces around the peloton as people mulled over the chance to eliminate a contender. Not cool in a stage race if its a race leader, but one by one each rider concluded that this was a one day race and that’s just the way it rolls… So things did get a bit more lively for a period. I decided that this was a good time to ride like a cunt, generally in a poor position and having to burn matches to stay in the main group while the break was up the road.
It was time for the Goat to get involved… He had been riding well and in an aggressive style that is a welcome return, so it was good to see him take the initiative and force one of the major breaks of the day. Actual file footage of him going on the attack:
With a larger break up the road and our Goat representing, it got calmer for a period. I was relatively pleased with myself that despite feeling sluggish, I was still hanging around post the halfway point. But, he who celebrates early tempts fate and today was no different. In a self induced curse of the commentator, I somehow managed to get myself oddly caught out when the eventual 1st and 2nd place getters dropped the hammer in an attack that created chaos in the Peloton. Legs were being shredded and hopes were assassinated in a very short space of time.
I still don’t know how I got caught out, had I eaten too many cupcakes in NZ? Or was it a combo of one of my famous lapses of concentration and poor positioning combining to make it feel like I was eating dry wheetbix whilst trying to sprint through quicksand in a wetsuit (borrowed from my bottle gimp) when I tried to respond. Next thing I know, that familiar music started to play… Yes, we’ve been here before folks. Couldn’t grab a wheel and next thing I know, I am in TT mode trying to get back on. The harder I tried, the further away the group got. Yes, it was over at the 75km mark. Appalling, inexcusable, unexplainable, atrocious, ridiculous etc etc… But best summed up as follows: Ride like a cunt, die like a cunt.
So whilst I was now faced with yet another very long solo ride on Bintan roads in 37 deg heat (flashback anyone?), the Goat and Snozza were still going hard at it up the front, with Snozza putting in a now legendary 20km TT effort in on the front of the group to chase the break, yes, right when I should have been lending a hand, I was instead riding at 25kph instead of 45kph, super handy.
I wasn’t the only one with a penchant for fuckwittery though, with a few muppets not working out that when someone is chasing down a dangerous break, attacking them when you haven’t caught the break instead of working with them is pure cuntery and just makes you look weird. But, it wouldn’t be a semi-PRO race without some weirdos, speaking of which, here is an equation that many would do well to memorise:
- Sprinting for 1st place – Cool and acceptable
- Sprinting for 1st in the bunch after the break has won – Kind of ok maybe if there are world tour points on offer, or time bonuses still available in a stage race
- Sprinting for 5th-to-last place – Cunt
Yes, I know what you’re thinking… No one is that uncool are they? Well, yes kids, I am afraid there are those that even when 10 minutes down, like to treat the last KM of a race like the final of the world champs. I was happy to roll home with the Zebra, we really had a care factor of zero over the last 20km’s and all I wanted to do was get as far away from my Champsys shorts which were getting mega busy sanding back my anatomy in the most alarming fashion. China can make a lot of stuff, but decent cycling gear is not on that fucking list. Here is a rare shot of me and the Zebra rolling across the line with our ‘give a fuck’ factor set to extremely low, my mind wandering to more relevant questions:
It was carnage at the finish, with riders trying to get water, hide from the thermonuclear heat and stop without cramping to pieces, something the Goat didn’t manage to avoid:
So, Snozza and Goat did a great job of upholding the honour of the jersey, especially with Snozza’s effort to chase down the break singlehandedly. Goat rode out of his fleece as well, good to see him riding well again. Still, there was much post race musings going down as almost everyone continued to avoid my ass clown camera work:
Whilst our two remaining lads led the charge in trying to chase down some rather epic attacks by the eventual race dominating Mavs, the maths and form were against the rebel alliance and credit does need to go to Bastion and Youcef for smashing the thing to pieces. Some times when you watch the way someone attacks and you have that “oh oh” feeling, you knows its going to be a cunt of a day. They fully deserved 1st and 2nd the way they rode.
Whilst I’m getting gushy on it, Kudos to the organisers Cycosports, who put on a very well organised and run race in difficult conditions. Support was perfect and it was a pretty slick in the context of location, not to mention its just good to have a decent race series happening around these parts. Well done gang.
So… the moral of the story? Well, it depends on your perspective I guess, so I have made it multi choice today:
- Ripping DH perhaps not the best tapering approach before a hard road race
- The transition from 18 deg average temp to 37 degrees is harder than it sounds
- After the best training block ever and the worst race performance ever, perhaps its time to move from Semi-PRO road riding to full time DH riding?
I comfortably picked up the Cunt Of The Day award for this one, based on how I rode, but there were plenty of contenders out there trying to take it off me though, riding in ways that the rest of the world looks at and just says “that shit is whack cunt”, even when they think there is nothing wrong with it, I would say “You know who you are”, but they probably don’t. Recognise.
So, to the week ahead of self loathing and making siiiiiick DH edits from qTown as I throw darts at my Black Ops Evo, should be thrilling!