McDonald's Classic- 83km Handicap Wagga Wagga NSW, 12 June 2010
Again reminded why I really dislike handicaps! They are an absolute gamble- a result very much depends on the rest of the people in the bunch and the days that you are good won't necessarily be reflected at the end of the day.
The McDonald's Classic Handicap was one of those days that could have been so much more. Right from the gun the bunch was a shambles. Everyone was looking at each other as if it was the final 5km and waiting for someone else to make a move. For neither love nor money would a paceline get organised. And the men certainly didn't want to listen to the lone female in the bunch! Needless to say, the bunch blew itself apart within the first 10km!!
That left 73km to go... in the wash up after the hill that killed my bunch, I was in the second group with, I think, 3 further ahead. We chased hard and I think in the end we got back together. It is hard to tell, I found out later that the bunch ahead of us also disintegrated in about the same place as mine. The chase went on until we were caught at about the 35km mark. Making the most of the increased bunch size I took the opportunity to feed, but then we turned into the cross wind... cue a number of us getting flicked off the back of the bunch.
And so it went on. Chasing in small bunches, chasing solo, and ending in a small bunch. The biggest frustration of the day was that I felt awesome on the bike. I went over the "hills" like they were flat and was generally having a good day, I just didn't have anyone sharing that with me. I think that is probably the biggest handicap of these races...