Tuesday, 24 February 2009

National Boulevard Crits (Coburg CC) 21/02/2009

Not including a few unofficial time-trials, the Coburg Crit would be my first race after throwing myself of a mountain (and the road!) at the Tour of Bright. My training has been all time trial efforts, so I was hoping to get in a small break away and work at time trial pace. Coburg run a 'masters' category but I'd nominated for A grade 'Elite', to give the young guns a run for their money.

The first 25mins was relatively uneventful, a few young kids were attacking with a tail wind and out of a fast corner. These moves were always covered by someone. I wasn't out of the saddle for at least the first 15 mins (perfect TTing!). Someone finally went solo into the long home straight into the head wind. Stu Morgan and I didn't respond, we were waiting for everyone to tire out trying to get way early. A Coburg rider responded late and had to bridge solo taking the full brunt of the wind for the length of the straight. He was only a few meters off making contact then blew - we lapped him soon after. Good to see a gutsy move fully committed, but it didn't pay off for him into the wind.

Soon after Stuart Morgan threw in one hell of a solo attack. It took 50 seconds at 600W just to get to his wheel, with a tail wind! One other rider in TFM kit was chasing across solo to us from the bunch, as soon as he made contact the race really started. The three of us worked perfect turns for the 28 minutes lapping people who had dropped off the chasing bunch. Race reports on the Coburg web site say there was a group of four riders trying to bring us back, but with the turns we were pulling into the wind there was no chance they'd get across. The stats from the PowerTap showed a perfect TT power effort for the 28mins, exactly what I was there for!

Two laps to go and I knew Stu would put up a good sprint, but I didn't know how much jump the TFM rider had. His turns were good, but was he keeping something in reserve? Into the home straight about 300m before we got the bell lap, TFM attacked Stu and I. I was third wheel and came around Stuart to cover the move and pull us both back to TFM's wheel. He sealed his own fate right there, and we kept him on the front for the next lap. I let Stu know I'd throw in an early sprint at the turn into the final straight and to get on my wheel for the lead out. We had time to really cat-and-mouse it, but TFM ticked over a good turn on the front for the rest of the lap... into the final straight and I gave it a hell of a stomp. I thought I'd opened up a gap on Stu, but he has the power to get across to anything so I kept my head down and the power high. 100m to go and we'd dropped the TFM rider off the back and Stu launches past me. I get out of the saddle to see if I can at least match him but no chance, he'd slung past me with a good turn of pace. Awesome to have made the break with Stu and to have pulled off the 1-2 against all the young guns! :)

A Grade Elite
1st - Stuart Morgan (Canberra)
2nd - Shane Miller (Hawthorn)
3rd - Nathan Elliot (Brunswick)

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