April was SACA's Second Road Classic of the Season at the end of Sentosa,
along the road to Ocean Cove. This Classic was termed a Criterium with
three sharpo turns along one big undulating road with hardly any flat
terrain at all. Riders would start at one end, proceed up some hillocks
into a narrow service road that runs beside the Sentosa Satellite Station
and then descend precariously to make a 180 degree turn at the Dolphin
Fountain before climbing round again back to the start and make another
180 degree turn at the start.
weather was hot and humid, with some cloud cover. Tall trees on both sides
of the road provided shelter from most of the wind and so this was not a
factor in the race. The fields were much larger this time. The Ladies
segment must have grown by 100%! Ok, so last time, there were only four
ladies, but hey, any growth is good! The junior and senior veterans fields
were merged but it was also my impression that there were a lot more
people this time.
Absolutees were racing in 3 categories this time - Vets, Sports and
Juniors. Sandman (Veteran Slut), The Kid (Junior Slut), Lippy, Young Man,
Spiderman and myself (Sting) were the Sporty Sluts. Johnathan and Ray our
Associate Sluts also turned up. Adrian BKC was there as our Support Slut.
Johnathan was as impressive as ever using the mountain bike category as a
warm-up to his race in the Open Category! And that was at least two hours
before the Open Racers took to the field.
was our erstwhile rep in the Vets where he rode bravely but could not
match the explosive sprinting power of local supermen like Jeffery Lee.
Jeffery Lee took the 1st spot again and is guaranteed to do so in almost
any mass sprint! Now, that's what we call fast.
had a small mishap while recceing the route. Lippy touched wheels with one
of Spidey's friends and there was a fall that broke two wheels. Sandman
did not think twice about lending out his wheels - allez Sandman!
we have a plan? Sure, we wanted to animate the peloton, place one or more
of us on the podium and most of all, HAVE FUN. What's more fun than
attacking the field and making them chase, thereby raising Lactate Levels
all around? Share the Joy Juice, Bro!
was the story for most of the Sports peloton that day; there was an
Absolutee in the front in almost every lap. Flat out from the gun, I
surged. Only problem was = everyone else had the same idea. The pack
started mightily fast at first, but then slowed when we reached the slope.
I found myself boxed on the left - bad starting position if you want to
attack straight away - until I was again near the back where I launched
off. Ahh, the searing pain of Lactate in the thighs. I tried to pull away
along the service road, reached the fountain alone but was a bit nervous
into the turn and lost time. We were together again by the start.
to fear, Lippy was strong despite his fall - he went next and the pack
actually allowed him to ride away for one lap before we were brought back
altogether again. Then Spidey twitched a bit but the pack jumped on him.
Spiderman has a bit of a reputation as a HOT FAVORITE I think and a lot of
eyes were on him. He'd twitch a bit and the pack would jump. Never mind,
that put him in excellent blocking position!
next few laps were neutralized by Independents jumping up the road and
getting chased down by other Indies. On one lap, a car drove up and
someone jumped into the draft. There were shouts of "Oi, don't cheat
lah", actually I think it didn't matter cause the car was quite slow
- it was probably more risky than anything. However, I tot of testing my
legs again and I jumped after him. Bad move, the puking feeling came on
really, really strong, my lungs burned. Time to follow Skin's advice and
do Zen (i.e. suck wheel) at the back of the pack and I disappeared there
for a little while.
the next lap, I felt recovered enough to try again. I rode up to Spidey
and inquired as to his legs. He smiled and said he was fine. Excellent! I
rode off the front up the service road and reached the Dolphin Fountain
alone. I could hear the pack right behind me and I attacked up the hills
back to the turning point as well as I could. This went on for three laps.
I would keep gaining time on the outward leg, but lose it in the return
leg. Frustrating but thatís what you get for not training enough! I felt
like a crazy yoyo trying to break the string between me and the pack but I
just couldn't do it. On the last lap that I was free, I heard the riders
in the pack yelling "Chase!" and I knew my game was up. I was
cooked. I was swallowed up and disappeared into the rear of the pack.
however, went off immediately like clockwork and the peloton must have
packed it in. They let him ride off the front and disappear! One of the
Indies managed to grab his wheel but that was it. It was as if the pack
had enough of playing with the Absoluts and decided to settle for the
minor places. Spidey was right that one of us Absolutees should have
bridged across to the two leaders. But I guess this time, none of us could
have done it; I was sizzling in Acid Heaven, Spidey was marked and Young
Man was getting ready to sprint.
the last lap, things became really hectic. Some of the other teams were
yelling at their riders to chase down Lippy and there was a last shot
effort at doing it. But you see, Lippy is a Tri-Geek. And Tri-Geeks cycle
best when they cycle ALONE AND INTO THE WIND. There was going to be no
stopping our Absolut Hero from reaching the Finish Line in 1st Place! As
for the rest, Young Man started to attack really early and he was yelling
to keep up his strength. His effort must have cooked half the field as
well as I was at the back and found myself in a large group up the last
hill! Only the very strongest riders managed to crest the last hill with
him; Spidey, Bernard of Shredder, Robert "Tattoo" and a few big,
strapping guys. Unfortunately, Spidey was isolated and boxed in and had to
settle for some minor placing.
Junior Slut came in for 3rd place in the Jr Cat after having a close
encounter with a water bottle and testing the crash qualities of our team
jersey. "I rode much better after the crash!", he exclaimed as
he climbed off the bike.
the moral of the story is - Crash before you Race! Scientifically proven
by TeamAbsolut's Lippy and The Kid. Till next time, keep riding.