20km ITT - Saturday. I rode the course on a sunny Saturday morning, then raced it on a cloudy cold afternoon. First 8kms was super fast, sitting on around 45-55km/h, then the home leg was one long straight drag. Jono Lovelock pulled off the win around 8 seconds faster than me in 2nd place. Local rider Rhys Gillett took 3rd about 10 seconds back from me. It was a good training event for the CSV Masters ITT series, round #2 being this weekend in Wangaratta.
76km RR - Sunday. Seven loops of a 10km circuit with a few kms out and back. 14 starters in A grade. In typical masters racing style everything was chased down in the first few laps. Nobody got far up the road at all. We 'city' riders were well out numbered by the local Ballarat CC boys, so if there was going to be a break away it would have to contain one of them. Lap 2 Andrew Weightman stuck it in the gutter and had the bunch on the limit. We popped a few riders but they were soon back on. Lap 3 we did it again, but a few of us on the front sat up the road a little to make sure the first few riders were out of the wind and the rest were suffering in the gutter. The bunch split in two and it took them another lap to rejoin us. It was local riders Weightman or Phil Orr always on the attack or chasing things down, so these were the riders to watch. On lap 5 Weightman got off the front and Ballarat CC were not chasing. I had a chat to a St Kilda rider about getting across to him, then jumped. Orr closed me down and dragged the bunch with him, we were halfway across to Weightman. The St Kilda rider attacked and the bunch chased him. I sat in and waited for Orr to close him down... when he was back we were within 50m of Weightman so I went again and got across. Orr and co closed it down and we were all back together. Less than 1km up the road Orr goes on the counter attack with Ken Ford. They get a good way up the road and nobody was chasing. I jump from the bunch to get across.. I pushed hard for a few 100m and look back to see the bunch closing me down. I only made it half way to Orr and Ford so I sit up. I glance back at the bunch and seeing me sit up, they did the same. Nothing to lose I jump again determined to get across to Orr and Ford. The bunch don't chase me the second time and the three of us are away! I'm not sure who did the Ballarat CC write up of proceedings, but Orr and I did about equal work in the break. Ford was dropping off on the corners but we made sure we didn't shell him too early, we needed him to pull a few turns to ensure the break kept away. Onto the last lap and we knew it would be a 1-2-3 for us.
Onto the final straight 3kms to go I knew Ford would be off the back if Orr and I hit the final corners hard. I got on the front with Orr on my wheel to keep Ford out of the sprint. I swung off and let Orr pull a turn. 1km from home I'm on the front again and swung over to the side of the road. Orr came up next to me - we had no time to cat and mouse as Ford would then be back with us so we rode side by side for around 100m waiting for one of us to jump. It was a good old drag race. Once Orr jumped I had nothing to respond with and watched him roll away by a few bike lengths. Ford taking a well deserved third.
A Grade 76km
1st Phil Orr Ball/Sebas 1hr 57 m 45
2nd Shane Miller Hawthorn Citizens
3rd Ken Ford Cau/Carn