Well this race write up has taken me a bit longer than usual. It was a packed few weeks and there is plenty of more fun races lined up. The next event is the Rapha Nocturne then the Rad Race Fixed42, with all these races coming up I thought it might be a good idea to write up a report of the Waterkant Krit in Hamburg.
You know that feeling you have before a race when the start list is published so you immediately check it out which is followed by a large gulp! Well this was my feeling with the Waterkant and it was a race that would also have me gulping for air!
It was a good turnout for the race with nearly 100 riders lining up to pit themselves against one another on a sunny day in Hamburg. The course was about 1km long and was very open with only one hairpin that you needed to slow for the rest was going to be flat out.
I wasn’t sure how good my legs would be feeling for the race after a day of smashing it around the velodrome, but the sun was shining and that always gives me a psychological boost. I had some grand plans for the race and it all seemed to go quite well for the first few laps.
I have a reoccurring struggle in races and that is I am too polite, I won’t be assertive or aggressive enough to hold my position in the group and I eventually end up getting bullied. I had to change this and I planned on implementing this at the Waterkant Krit.
The race went off crazy fast, Jan Hoffman from Fixedpott had decided he wanted to win the first lap prime and he was going at a crazy pace, one I knew I would not be able to maintain. I got away well and sat in around 3rd for the first lap, as soon as the first lap prime was over the pace usually dropped. I decided to try to force a breakaway at this point, yes it was early but as there was already a split we just needed to keep it going for a few laps.
Unfortunately after my long pull on the front the next guy just sat up and by the time someone willing to pull came along the group was back together. I decided to sit in for a bit and recover as I knew more attacks would be imminent. I was sitting comfortably in the main group, then the usual happen, someone lost it on a corner took down another rider and this instantly split the field.
I tried my hardest to solo bridge back on but in the end I was just not getting closer to the group and I could not sustain an effort in the red for much longer so I made the sucky decision to drop back to the chasing group. It was a tiny group and only a couple were willing to work so we had no chance on making up ground. After a few laps there were just two of us rotating pulls, then all of a sudden someone decided to ride into my back wheel and take themselves out!
I’m not one to grumble online but in this case I will make an exception, there is nothing more annoying than inexperienced riders shouting “hold your line” and barking other various instructions when they are behind you! I was riding up a straight road, then matey boy rode into me from behind…how the fuck am I meant to see him? I’m 6ft 1″ and not really inconspicuous so if you don’t notice me then please don’t race bikes! If you want to bark instructions then get up the front and do a pull! Rant over!
So eventually there were only two of us left riding in our tiny group, with only a few laps to go the front group caught us up and we had to exit the track. I was pretty gutted about it as my legs felt good, although I was not going to podium I wanted to get a decent result. I placed 24th in the end which isn’t great but it’ll do, more importantly I had a great time and would definitely go back next year.