Saiko race

MOB has already written about the Tour du Japon/JCRC race around Lake Sai at the foot of Mount Fuji: D as in „Done“ and Championship Reflections. Let me add a few short impressions of my own.

The best thing about the race is probably the scenary. Where else do you get such a beautiful view from your hotel room on the evening before the race?
My goal in the actual race was to survive: most importantly by not crashing (which is a distinct possibility when racing at 40km/h in the middle of a large pack of riders, mostly less than half a meter apart), secondly by not losing the peleton and thus the benefit of the windstream created by others, and thirdly by not doing anything else embarrassing in what was only my second race (MOB wrote on the first one in Gunma a few weeks earlier).

At the start – I’m in fifth row at the outer left.

I’m happy to report I did not crash and felt surprisingly comfortable in the tightness of the pack. Even better, I managed to stay among the top group of riders throughout, and arrived in the finish only 6.5 seconds behind the winner.

The final sprint in my E-class.

Unfortunately, another 20 riders managed to do even slightly better and I ended up only 22nd. (That’s why I can’t be seen in the above picture.)  Still good enough to earn me the official qualififcationto race in the E-class in future. Strictly speaking I had qualified only for F-class with my performance at Gunma, but somehow I managed to convince JCRC to let me race nonetheless in E-class (which I chose upon MOB’s recommendation as being probably slightly safer than F-class).

The race itself are two rounds around Saiko, 20km in total. At an average speed of 39.33km/h, the race was over after just over half an hour.
One of the rather wider bends (photo is of another class). Some curves are nastily narrow.
At a heartrate of just over 160, the 7 degrees Celsius didn’t feel that cold, despite relatively light dress.
After the race, in increasingly miserable weather.

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