8:30 am was the start of the individual time trial (ITT) at Albi for the Masters world championship… Albi is in South of France, close to Toulouse, where the sun rise a 7 am and over 20 degrees. Well, an early start would be great for me but instead my race start was 16:04 ! 41 degrees on the sun! I was lucky enough to ride on a beautiful machine borrowed from a professional French team, Direct Energy.
I did 23km in 32 minutes. 41km/h,
Check strava segment: # 2017AlbiUCIGranfondoWorldITT
I got the best time ‘’as Australian in my Age group!’’
I finished 23rd in AG, and 106th Overall(over 600) The best time was an amazing 29:52 !!!
We leave from the ramp every 30 seconds
I was very happy with my intermediate time, half way at 15:00, then a fast down hill, few tricky turn and false flat….there were no flat segment! I unfortunately missed a right turn which was sharp down hill and went straight to avoid burning my breaks or end in a gutter! I probably missed 40
seconds! Funny enough, a riders just behind me, did the same as me. But break earlier, to get to the turn before me. Then I follow him as a target. And 4km before the finish, we had a sharp right turn, but the French rider in front of me missed it! He went straight off road, in the countryside, on a side of the road, in the gutter! I did not follow him, I took a good turn and finish hard to the circuit. Then, finishing in a circuit, 1.8km, wide and windy. I pushed hard, I had energy but too late to break it under 31 minutes! I kept it under 33minutes. Happy to see all my supporters on a side of the road, cheering me. Darren and Shane were also here to share a cold beer.
Sunday 27th September
I don’t have an Australian Passport so I represented France but next time I will proudly wear the green and gold color.
Riders: AG 19-34 depart 8:30am : Mathieu Brémaud
Should I start by saying that I wish I would write my report earlier , straight after the race but my French holiday did not go as plan as my brother in law had a motorbike accident the day before my race! I had to jump of bed, early morning to find him in the ambulance and wait for his motorbike to be towed away! He is fine! 2 broken hands so I had to changed my chilled plan pre and post race.
Monday after spending the morning in hospital, we drove him home late! Anyway now, back on my novel…let me tell you more about my race day with some athletes from the whole world!
Starts at 8:30 am at the cathedral of Albi, beautiful spot. I was there early at the front, standing next to 2 Sydney riders. I felt good, I had a perfect training, a great diet (my sister is a Sport dietician), my bike was all fixed, well to resume I was ready and fit to ride and race hard. It was supposed to be a neutral start for 2 km at 30km/h, but instead it was hectic to leave the town at 40 km/h inside a peloton of 204 riders between round about, cones in a middle of the road, speed bump which made water bottle flying off their cage! At km 1, we passed a rail way track which surprised me and made my handle bar dropping down! I have been riding for 2 weeks with no issue and the day of the race, I guess my handle bar was not tight enough! I felt so bad, awkward position from the beginning, I did not know how to get my hand confortable and stretch my back way to early! I could not pull it back! Well, It was not fun, but I manage to ride in quiet aggressive position but safe. The first 30 km, we have seen lots of single attacks which never work! I thought! But then I understood what does the Slovenian were trying to say!!! ‘’Get some gas!‘’ meaning makes the race hard from the beginning to get ride off the weak rider and split the group in 2 at least. I stay at the front around top 20 riders. Km 42, I did not do an purpose to attack but I was in a front to chase couple of guys, we ended up being 8 of us riding more or less together against the wind! 2 of them crashed in front of me! Oups! They get too close to each other at 55km/h. We thought we were safe, riding on the left or right side of the road, enjoying being leaders, safe of any more crashes but then realize the road was not closed in front of us! We had cars, campervan or ambulances coming up from opposite direction! Sketchy! So it was a good choice to be in a front feeling safer. The first climb of 10km, they were 2 riders in a front with 3 minutes apparently but we caught them back later. We were back all together, probably a peloton of 100. I was lucky to have my dad and cousin on a side of the road giving me water bottle because the temperatures were rising! I enjoyed again the down hill session, you could smell the overuse breaks while riding! Smell of burnt rubber! Probably from the Belgium riders!
At a flat segment with head wind we formed a group of 10 to 14 riders. At km 95 we started the 2nd big climb, 3km at 8% then a kind of slide, false flat for 7more kms! Well, I did well for 3 kms then my legs starts to gave up! I guess my legs overworked from my ‘’new’’ awkward position for 100km! So I dropped off the echappée and jump on the peloton a minute later but then cramped badly from km110! Still 45km to go! I drank lots of water. I begged people on a side of the road to give me water. I got water from support people, amazing support on a side of the road while I was crying of pain! Both adductors were tensing and cramping! Calf or hamstring were fine! Just adductors! I drank a lot, never stop rolling. Light spin, then I was back into business to ride hard with some other foreigners who where dropped. It was awesome to feel more experienced than them, and remind them to work together till Albi! At km145, we get caught by the 35-40 AG who left 8 minutes after me! They were a small group of 30 riders, strong and fast. I stay with them and avoid 2 more useless crashes in front of me while cramping more! I had such a good time. It was good to be in pain, all together and finish safe in one piece and knowing while my legs suffered so much! I pushed my self, I race hard I did not ride easy but stayed aggressive and learned from the strong lean Italian or big legs Slovenian and Spanish chatter box.
All week I was scared of going fast down hill with 200 riders but at the end it was fun to do it and be faster and better than them, taking enough risk to be safe and not behind someone who will split the group in 2. So the only cons was the traffic on the road! Seeing cars on a world amateur cycling race does not look good! The worse was maybe 6 km before finishing, when everyone is tired, nervous and wants to be in a front to finish well and last roundabout a car was stopped inside it! Probably panicked and very silly!
My time was: 4hours 3 minutes for 155km, 38.15 km/h
Finished 76th/190 finishers … 14 dnf or crashed!
The first in 19-34 AG finished in 3hour 52 minutes (39.97km/h)
I am again the first Australian ;)
Strava said I am 96th over all 987 user of strava! 157km in 4h07!
My heart beat was good and great power under the pedal ;)
I was aiming under 4hours 10. I am happy with that . Great experience and looking forward to the next race.
NEXT YEAR, the UCI amateurs World championship will be in Italy in Varese in 2018.