BBCh Nandi Race 2013

After riding a warm up race of 95 km, a small bunch with all the main contenders had hit the base of the climb together. Who among them managed to conserve better? Who had that little bit of extra juice left in the tank? Who had the fresher legs? Who could put in that little bit of extra power? Who is the best climber on the day? Who is the king of Nandi? It was up to the climb to decide. 
This is where the real race started!
Each of them began to fight their own battle against the hill. Lungs screaming, each sinew in those legs were trying their best to put in as much power as possible to work against gravity. Some were climbing faster than others. Some were climbing more gracefully, some more efficiently but almost all with pain written allover the visage. 

Some may be faster than the others but the hill humbles everyone!

With in a couple of hundred meters of the climb the gaps began to form. Sachin Kumar Panwar of Team Trek Firefox began to pull away from others. Naveen Raj and Sangamesh Talawar of Specialized KYNKYNY Cycling Team were a few meters behind. The ever impressive riders from Aurovelo were not far behind followed by other Team Trek Firefox and Spectrum racing riders. 
The peloton during the first half on the Hyderabad highway. Team Trek Firefox set the pace throughout! 

The year’s most eagerly and equally nervously awaited race, the 100 km Nandi race, was kicked off with 67 riders on the Hyderabad highway just after the airport. After a couple of km of rolling start, things quickly fell in place. With most riders from the lead teams Specialized KYNKYNY Cycling Team(SKCT) and Team Wheelsports not participating as they were off to Nationals, the Team Trek Firefox Racing(TTFR) who were there in better strength took the responsibility of setting the pace at the front. The pace was steady and the peloton was huge at times almost hogging the entire highway.

The realities of racing on open roads were quickly brought to us in the form of buses and trucks that were quite aggressively contesting with the peloton for the right of passage. A few nervous brushes with the traffic and the intermittent broken glass on the roadside were not going to deter the enthusiasm of the peloton. It continued to move at a brisk pace high enough to make any attacking an exercise in futility and but not high enough to shed too many out of the back door.

For most of first 45km before the U-turn Adhitya Muthuswamy and Rahul Roshan of Team Trek Firefox were working away at the front with one of their sponsors, Viju Varghese, helping them even on the road. There were a couple of riders from Team BTwin, Somaskandha from Team BOTS, Sachin Krishna of MadRascals and a couple of guys from Aurovelo and team Spectrum racing in the mix as well.

There was a solo attack at around 35 km mark which was quickly joined by a guy from TTFR and Sachin Krishna. With around 100m or so of gap, I just wanted to see if I could bridge up and possibly make a break happen just to spice up the things. Although I managed to bridge up,  I ended up bringing the entire peloton with me and the break died a premature death.

Having got back to the group and sitting for a while, I noticed a couple of my teammates missing from the peloton. I saw Vicki falling back with Hari trying to help. I decided to fall back and three of us were able to make it back to the bunch again just before the U-turn. However the flyover climbs on the way back almost saw me out the back. I was about to give up and sit up when friends from support vehicles refused to see me give up. I’ve put in a couple of sprints to get over the climb and get back to the group. Once back to the group, I was able to recover quickly.

There was a spirited attack from Oluf Kristian Hรธjbjerg Hansen on one of the flyovers but it was in vain as the peloton gobbled him up just at the top. Another bluff of an attack from TTFR’s Jetharam Gat didn’t induce any response from his rivals in SKCT and he quietly settled back into the group.

After about 55 km into the race, another set of riders from TTFR, Mohit Ubhan, Vishwanath Narayanaswamy and Siddarth Kansal were ordered to the front by their leader Sachin Kumar Panwar, to set the tempo. Although Sid had to fall back after a bit of effort the remaining two kept on drilling at the front. Once the peloton reached the Nandi turn-off and got off the highway after 82 km of race, the pace injected ensured that the group kept thinning with every passing km. 

I was the first one that got ejected right at the turn-off with a flat on my front tire. I almost was about to fall off the bike unable to clip out because of sudden cramps. I decided to call it a race and got into our support car. Although I was not praying very hard for it, the flat was a welcome blessing. I readily accepted as it was already a hard enough race for my training deprived legs and bronchitis battered lungs.  

What is amazing is that they were still able to put in a descent show on the climb even after such a great job at the front leading up to the climb.             

Men’s Cat 1 podium!

Women’s podium! Laura(2nd) Vicki Nicholson(1st) and Sowmya Urs(3rd)

Master’s podium! Andre(4th), Arvind Bhateja(2nd), George(1st) and Ankush Sharma(3rd)

Cat2 Podium! Gaurav Dwivedi(4th) Daniel Mark Trulson(2nd) Chorbert Mcnorbert a.k.a Sukrit(1st) and Vishwanath Narayanaswamy(3rd) 

Under-18 boys podium! Chinmoy Rajurkar(4th), Vishwesh Arya(2nd), 

8 thoughts on “BBCh Nandi Race 2013

  1. I like the way you wrote it, better than your ever better blogs!

    I, having been dropped, mostly due to a hutchinson tire that ballooned without my knowledge after 55 km or so, got to see a few extra scenes. It was a three hours race and that meant, some people needed to pee. I saw some of those Specialized and Trek guys taking pee breaks around the 65 to 70 km mark. My reaction was like "what the heck… we are sweating like pigs and no drop left in the bladder, these guys are coolly peeing and joining the pack again".

    One of the trek guys got flat and the team fell behind. They caught up every soon after that.

    This race also saw the role of the support vehicle, supplying drinks and food. It was almost like a touring race ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. One more thing about women scene… I have seen three dangerous Nicolsons, first the regular Vicky, another one who turned up in September BBCh (cross country) and also in Nandi BAR and a third one is a young child, probably in her early teenage, who rode the Btwin Experience. Does name have anything to do with the performance? LOL

  3. Opendro, you missed out the bit where you almost rode in front of a speeding car at the U-turn! My HR was too high, otherwise it would have totally spiked… that was close.

  4. @Opendro: Yeah, I saw a couple of them peeing on the go too. Quite pro indeed! ๐Ÿ™‚ The support cars with food and mechanical support was quite helpful. Glad a lot of us were able to swap bottles etc on the go without any issues. Re: Nicholsons, I guess you're referring to Nicola Millar in the second case. Might not be a Nicholson, but I know what you mean! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    @Prashant: Thanks! @Minkey: Yeah, quite spooky! Glad there were no serious incidents in the end but I guess more volunteers manning the U-turn etc flagging down the traffic from a bit out might have helped. But very difficult considering it is a highway.

  5. What a wonderful write-up and review Venky!! Congratulations to your team for such a fine showing. My heart rate increased quite a bit reading your account of the race. Great job!!

  6. Venky, I felt as if I am watching the race from the front! Its always great pleasure to read your blog. Also it was an honor to ride along side with you in this race. Thank you!

  7. Thanks, Scott and Deepak! @Deepak: It was great seeing you back on the bike. Been a while riding with you before this. ๐Ÿ™‚

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