So no last 2kms.. The race had been castrated. Never mind, off to register. I've given up on the whippet generation and have put myself to pasture in M1. I line up in the sun and I'm met by the friendly face of Pater Cayley. "Hi Peter, we've got a good turn out for Hawthorn today!". Peter: "You are not wearing club kit, you know thats $150 fine". Oooook, .. I guess Peter is on the IHSM mailing list!
Off to warm up and take mental notes of how many others were in their $150 fine inducing kit... I spot Wornes getting in some secret hill warm ups on last years route, while I was doing the same. Last years race was good for both of us. To the line and we're off under control for the first few kms. Lots of chatting, lots of friendly faces that I'd seen around before and a few unknowns.
I could spend a whole night writing up the race as it panned out, but I'll keep it short..
- Tom McD (Coburg) solo attacks over and over for the first 40 kms.
- I'm on the front.
- I jump on anything that moves waiting for "the break".
- I help out if someone jumps to pull Tom back.
- I'm on the front.
- Stu Morgan throws in a blinding attack and has a few on his wheel.... "SHANE GET ON" was the cry as he passes and I punch out max watts for the day joining in on the fun. I was hoping this was it, the contenders were all there and on the rivet for a few kms.. but then it shut down! Bugger!
- The KOM was a surprise, nobody told me? I made it over with the front group. I find out at the presentations that M1 and M2 KOM was a combined medal. Grrrr!
- The 'spin doctor' was looking strong up the first hill too, he had me worried about my chances!
- The race SHUTS DOWN, again. Nobody wanting to work, nobody wanting to race.
- I'm on the front.
- Tom McD goes again, we all watch, some CCCC rider goes, we watch.
- Crebbin goes, we all go!
- I try to get people working the front, only a few pull through. Mig says he'd love to help but he just wants to finish, fair enough.
- Mig starts pulling some nice turns!
- I'm somehow on the front, but now we've got a few HCC faces pulling turns (if I recall there was Andy VS, Mig, SpinDr, Tom Crebbin all working away)
- We blast north and hit the next climb - I'm around the top 10 so didn't see the casualties out the back, but the bunch was thinner.
- Stu Morgan's chain spits off his bike on the 60km/h+ decent, I manage to dodge it.
- Again, shutdown time. And I'm up the front with the handful of regulars who'd pull a turn.
- The solo break guy goes, nobody chases.
- Mig goes, nobody chases. I sit back hoping he gets out of sight. It didn't happen.
- A non-worker throws in a few attacks. I'm all over him. Work or I'll work you over was my new plan.
- Wornes pipes up at him, to which I agree. Nobody wants to help chase #1 guy, but they're happy to attack the bunch for a no-hope-in-hell chance of 2nd? Bah!
- Another non-worker goes off the front. Nobody chases. I announce to the bunch that I'd tow them back to him. I do. I'm being a smart arse at this point, the race for 1st is already over and I'm getting a little frustrated with the race. The guy on my wheel rolls past and tells me I'm a true gentleman. Thanks buddy. :)
- #2 place getter attacks at the feed zone. I make sure everyone in the bunch knows what I think of that.
- In a turn of events when I had a spare water bottle after the feed zone, he was first to put his hand up when I offered it to the bunch. He got it. Karma restored after feeling bad at piffing a bottle 40kms ago.
- Mig throws in a few nice tempo efforts on the front over some rollers.
- I'm somehow on the front again with the same handful of workers....I'm done with the front after 120kms.
- Tempo up the final climb as I've already spent most of my bikkies for the day, I watch Wornes spin away, and I keep the small bunch of 4 at about 30m.
- I catch them on the false flat with some mad TTing skills!
- Top three are up the road, I'm toasted. I pop off the small bunch and spin, spew, spin, sprint to the line.
- A minute or two off the 2nd/3rd/etc... I came in 8th or 9th I think in M1/2/3... I might score first for M1, we're waiting on results.
If our race wasn't plagued with total shut downs, we would have been home in time for Oprah and Dr Phil.. but nooooo.... No crits this week, its time to start hill training for Bright.