Sunday, 9 March 2008

N.Combine Crit Champs '08 - 1/3/2008

It has taken a while for me to write this up - lots going on. 25 or so M1/2/3 starters at National Boulevard. A handful of HCC riders, a handful of Coburg riders, and a few unfamiliar faces. Again a stiff wind on the main straight meant if a break was going to go, everyone in it had to work. Tom Crebbin was the hot favourite and had told me he would be marking me (so much for club tactics!), so it was on. I went, he followed, he went, I followed. A few break attempts lasted no more than a few laps. At one stage Ess (HCC) was away with the eventual 2nd place getter. I wasn't going to chase that down, but sat on Coburg as they pulled it back.

10mins to go I threw in an attack trying to form a break, we had 10m on the bunch into the wind and four very good riders, Crebbin was there too. I screamed to start pulling turns but nobody moved. Bunch back again - no break this week. On the final back straight Cam Woolcock (HCC) did a flyer - awesome - I let it go, he was HCC and wasn't marked. Someone bridged, then the rest followed. Cam sat on the front and drove himself into the ground. This made sure nobody else went for a flyer for the win. Into the final straight I backed off and let 1/2 the bunch swarm me - Tom was up the front looking strong and if I could pick a clear line I'd have saved energy into the wind for a massive slingshot. Well the gap I picked to slingshot closed about 200m from the line, I jammed my bars up the arse of the eventual 2nd place getter and kept it upright. Four wide about 100m from the line and I was free-wheeling with no gap to pick. I kept the power on and ended up rolling over the line for 4th. Crebbin 1st for HCC, 2nd a StKilda rider, and Paul Logan 3rd for Coburg. That gap would have been a perfect avenue to a podium spot, but that's sprinting I guess - all about luck! (this is why I like breakaways, 90% strength/form and 10% luck) :)

After the race it was straight into the car and up to Horsham/Dimboola - Von's grandma was on the way out, she's had a great innings of 95 years. Sunday was a 84km ride into a headwind riding Horsham to Jeparit, the headwind being payback for the awesome tailwind I had last time!

I had my nose splints out on Tuesday without too much fuss. I could write a whole blog on my recent nose operation but it'd be both gory and boring. In short - sinus surgery, septoplasty, turbinectomies to clear out my left sinus and straighten my airways.

Picture info: It's a combine harvester near Jeparit. Sums up the weekend racing in the Northern Combine and training back home between the wheat fields.

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