Saturday, June 21, 2008

Welcome to C Grade, where you will spend the rest of your cycling life.

One of the things you learn when you get into cycling is that success comes to only a few people and it doesn’t take long to work out if you are or are not one of them. Before my race had even begun today the goal posts had shifted again. I signed in for D grade at the Heffron crits as per usual. Then 5 mins later the race marshal came running after me.
Marshal: Adrian, right?, I’m putting you in C grade
Me: But I’ve never won a race?
Marshal: Yes, but you did 8 laps on the front the other week. You’re too strong for D grade.
Me: But I’ll have no chance of winning C grade
Marshal: Oh, you never know, remember that speed skater…what was his name?
Me: Yes I remember. Everyone crashed in front of him.
5 mins later on the warm up lap I caught up with Simon:
Me: Simon, you’re not going to believe this, they’ve bumped me up into C grade.
Simon: Yeah, that’s because you should be in C grade
Me: But I’ve never won a race.
Simon: That’s because you’re stupid and you can’t sprint.
Me: Oh, thanks Simon, I feel really great now.
Simon: Don’t worry, you’ve done a Grafton. That’s what really matters.
Me: Ok. I am feeling better now.
The C grade race was a lot faster. We were holding near 40km/h for the first 4 laps. Around lap 5, the decisive move was made. A breakaway of around 5 riders shot off. The main bunch hesitated, then I chased after the breakaway like a dumb dog. I got close to closing the gap then slowly watched them pull away. Eventually a small group of 4 formed a chasing bunch. We tried to catch them but they were far too strong. I rolled in around 7th or 8th, pleased that I’d finished the race. Like Sisyphus rolling his rock to no end, I expect to be chasing an elusive C grade victory for the rest my cycling life.

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