Last Wednesday we had to deal with 32 degrees, wind, and the Korean national track team! From the get go it was a race of 'us' against 'them'. They always had someone covering every move, then attempting to control the bunch on the front. The pace was on so I was happy to sit on and suffer it out mid pack. The Korean boys blocking tactic was obvious but they allowed us to chase and fall back into 4-5th wheel without a problem. Had they started to disrupt the chase there would have been a few more harsh words spoken.
Round and round, the heat wasn't as bad as I thought it would have been, but there were riders popping and dropping out like flies. The previous winner from the last two weeks dropped out mid race along with a few others who were now standing on the sidelines watching proceedings. At around 25-27mins I was in a move with Reece Stevens that kicked up the pace. From what I could tell we weren't pulled back by the group as a whole, but people came across in ones and two's which ended up neutralising the break. The attacks then started, at one point Peter Braunstiens and an Korean got up the road and out of sight.
I had nothing left to chase so was happy to roll around on the back of the bunch (12 or so riders left?) through to the end. One Korean rider over-cooked the hairpin and hit the ground. He was ok, just a bit of skin off. Three laps to go I asked another rider if there was anyone still up the road, "Yep" was the reply. Right, easy done. Not worth bunch sprinting for 3rd place so I sat up the back and was chatting to Jaywoo. On the bell a Korean rider jumped off the front, everyone had sat up so I rolled through and jumped on his wheel without much extra effort. Still thinking it was only a battle for 3rd, I hammered along on the front which got us a 20-30m gap on the bunch. 500m to go I swung my arm to get him to pull a turn - he didn't come through. I swerved over trying to get him through - still no go - was 3rd place that important to him? With this mucking around and Reece Stevens driving the bunch, we were caught right at the hairpin. I lead through and swung off not contesting the 300m up hill sprint. In the wash up I found out that the two riders up the road were not there! Peter Braunstiens had pulled out, and I'm not sure about the other guy. Lesson #1, never give up! I would have been swamped in the sprint after TTing the final 1km - but you never know!
Results - A Grade
1 Patrick Drapac (Brunswick)
2 Seo Joon Yong (Korea)
3 Dean Sanfillippo (CCCC)
4 Lee Jin Woo (Korea)