Monday, July 14

Working Man's Stage Race (1/3)

Tomorrow is day one of the Working Man's Stage Race. This is a three-day stage race. The format is slightly peculiar in that the winner does not have the best overall time, but the most points. Points are awarded by placing in each of the three races.

Stage one, Tuesday is the individual time trial (ITT), a 6.6 mile course through Amesbury. That's only slightly longer than the 10km Newcastle Loop, so if you've been doing Newcastle solo at maximum speed, then that's about what we're looking at for that one. I've always biked alone a lot but I've never considered time trialing to be opne of my strengths--I just get bored too easily and start to diddle around when my mind drifts off.

Wednesday is the road race, 26.4 miles, three laps around a 8.8 mile course through Amesbury. My team, NorEast Cycling, already has like a ton of guys registered, so I think that with proper tactics, we can get a finishing scenario that is favorable to us. I don't know what the rest of my teammates' strengths are, in terms of breaking away or whatever, but if it comes down to a sprint, I'm there.

Thursday is the final stage--a points race. The points race takes place at the Star Speedway, in Epping, which is a quarter-mile loop. We do 50 laps, and every fifth lap gets sprint points. You get points based on how you place in the sprint, getting five, three, two or one points for first through fourth, respectively. The 25th and 50th laps are worth double points. That sounds like my kind of race, but from what I've heard, the Speedway is total crap--blown-out tires, oil slicks, and all kinds of hazards. Mix that with green riders like myself and the others in my field, and a crash is likely. Since someone else's crash only affects you if you are behind it, being near the front is a good idea for this one.

The stage points system is confusing, but it is explained more handily in the race flyer, so I'm not going to really get in to it here.

Either way, it should be exciting.

Oh yea and I guess there's some race going on in France too. Check out this video from last week, the peleton overtakes the last man in the breakaway just a few feet from the finishing line, and British sprinter Mark Cavendish annihiliates the competition:


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