Robin Parker writes…
16th June. LVRC National Criterium Championships at Hillingdon
Well there’s no point trying to build any suspense this week. I came last. This was one of my “A” target races for the year and it didn’t work out.
The coaching manuals make a big point of saying how important it is to set “Process Goals” and not “Outcome Goals” and I can see that there is a lot of logic in that. But right now I’d rather have had a rubbish race and be sat here wearing a medal than to have raced well and come nowhere. I guess sometimes the manual isn’t much help!
The race itself was pretty standard Hillingdon fare for most of the event. Plenty of action, but no breaks able to establish themselves. That didn’t stop me from trying of course. And there were plenty of others trying to escape the clutches of an attentive bunch. But nothing was able to stick.
My last attempt came with just 5 laps to go. I was away and on my own and thinking maybe, just maybe the bunch might ease as thoughts turned to the sprint. With 4 to go I was joined by Colin Roshier who was going like a train today. It was hard just hanging onto his wheel, and then I really thought that this could be it. But alas, within a lap the bunch had us back.
My thoughts immediately switched to trying to recover ready for what I thought was an inevitable bunch sprint and so I eased myself back into the group. But Colin Roshier had other ideas and he was off again, joined by another rider. When 2 further riders shot out of the bunch, nobody seemed willing or able to close them down. With the bunch fanned across the track, that was it, with less than 2 laps to go the medals were gone in a flash. I wasn’t remotely interested in sprinting for 5th place and sat up on the last lap to finish last rider.
Trying hard to see the positives, the process bit went OK. I am in good shape and I “had a go”. But being in a position to “have a go” isn’t the reason for those interminable turbo sessions staring at the cold, dark inside of my garage through February. Nor is it what I’m visualising when trying to finish “just one more” gut wrenching hill interval in training. And I’m certainly not thinking “what a jolly marvellous process I am executing” when in training I attempt to rip the handlebars off my bike during yet another all out sprint effort! So today, and just for today, you can stuff your process and I’ll wallow in the outcome.
But tomorrow it will be back to the process of training again. There’s a couple of “A” target races out in September to build back up for – both of which are much better suited to my abilities. And I’m planning a trip out to Belgium in August for the ICF World Championships RR. That one will be just for the experience – but hey, just to ride a World Champs – does that sound pretty cool or what! Yes, for sure there’s plenty of good “outcomes” left in this season yet…