08 November 2009

西湖は最高と最後 - Ending the season (and my racing career) with a triple championship

Today was the best day in my short racing career - in fact too good not to make it my last...

First place in the Tour du Japan/JCRC race around Saiko (D1 class)
First place in the Tour du Japan 2009 series (D class)
First place in the JCRC 2009 series (D class)

Actually, JCRC was already won with the previous race as nobody had sufficient points to catch me today. The Tour du Japan was a harder win - I was only second before today's race with a big gap to the first, and because of the different point system stood the danger of being easily overtaken by others if I did not do very well. Alas I was lucky to be able to apply my sprint strategy into undisturbed practice. I still cannot believe it all worked out so beautifully.

This is a very proud day for me first of all because I have never won any prize for any kind of sports before starting road race cycling a year ago; in fact, my worst grades at school were always in sports/physical education. And I did it without any elaborate training gear, joining a disciplined cycling club/team; in fact, I went to all races on my own by public transport and on my bicycle... Which all goes to show that if I could do it, really anyone could.

Well, maybe not quite. My greatest thanks go to MOB for all the advice and coaching that prepared me so well for each race (and in fact, for starting road race cycling at all!), and to my assistant for helping to clear my calendar when a mid-week training was in order.

A more detailed report on the racing season to follow later.

Congratulations also to James for coming in third in E class today and therefore starting next season in pole position for the third Positivo Espresso D-class championship in a row. Now the pressure is on you!


James said...

Manfred, What can I say!!! An outstanding victory in all three events and the finish really was worthy to be aired on J-Sports!

Yes next year I'm ready to take up the torche and try and blaze Positivo Espresso to another JCRC Series and hopesfuly Tour Du Japon victory.... already I can feel the weight!

Again congratulations and I will be hitting both yourself and MOB up for coaching and advice!

David L. said...

Manfred von H:

Congratulations on your multiple victories. Very impressive. Chapeau!

I guess you want to go out at the top of your game, kind of as if Hideki Matsui were to quit baseball now, having ended up MVP of the World Series.

I ended up driving up to Saiko, racing in the E2 heat, then driving back to Tokyo ... and going into meetings from 3PM to after midnight.

I was in the middle of my heat at the finish, but very happy with the result -- 6 seconds back with an average spead of 40.52 kph is MUCH better than my prior efforts at Saiko, and this time I did not get dropped on the little uphill section at around the 8 km mark. Second lap around the lake I had some fun, pulling back a break-away rider for the group and generally staying too close to the front and using up too much energy. Sorry I could not stay to watch you and Michael.

Best, David

James said...

Would also like to point out that technicaly P.E came 12th in the 10km TT with only 2 riders :D

TOM said...

Fantastic feat Ludwig! Go for C Class Champ next!

Dominic H said...

Many congratulations Ludwig! Now it is time to stand aside and let James win next year. The last thing we English/Brits won was the Rugby World Cup in 2003 and the Football World Cup in 1966 (and I suppose a couple of dozen cycling golds in recent years......).

David L. said...

Definitely, James should go for the D (or C?) class championship next year ... though as Ludwig did he will need to exercise restraint to avoid a too-high placing that would push him up into the next class.

The prelimary results are here:


There were a few Catteni Positivo folks interspersed among the heats, but I did not see any of the "other" Positivo team listed as a podium finisher.

Ludwig -- I'm looking forward to you "pulling a Michael Jordan" and un-retiring to try the B or C class in a year or two.

Best, David

Manfred von Holstein said...

David, congratulations on your strong performance. You were one second closer to the winner than I was last year in your (E) class.

Dominic, no worries, I cannot compete with James unless he ends up in C-class too. If I was to ride again, I'm now in C-class, by force of winning the championship (new rule) and anyhow by winning the last race.

But then as I said, I have no further championship aspirations.

Besides, I don't think I represent any particular country. If anything, I represent Positivo Espresso, which prides itself on being open to all.

mob said...

Congratulations again.

It was a dream final on Sunday.

Also we should mention that my daughter finished her primary 1./2. grade race in 24th position out of 34 on her inferior DRECK bike and that James wife Kaori finished the W heat in front of Yoshizawa Hitomi of Morning Musume fame.

There were also two riders from Catteni Positivo in the races, Yoshida finished 5th in the F class and Saka? I couldn't find him in the rankings. I hope he will contact us again, nice guy.

There is also an entry on Hiroshi's blog about his S class race and some pics from my daughter. 8http://blogs.yahoo.co.jp/yo8661)

It was also a good season and a good day for the team and I am seriously proud that we are not regarded as a "disciplined cycling club". As we are not.

James said...

Guy's just to let you know that Positivo Espresso got some good coverage in yesterdays Nikan Sports Paper with both Manfred's outstanding results and my 3rd placement being recorded in print.

Manfred, if you didn't manage to get a copy I bought one for you.

Manfred von Holstein said...

James, thanks for alerting MOB yesterday to the article, who told me in turn. I bought a copy and will scan the page. Happy to reimburse you for the extra copy you bought - it was a good thought.