20 or so in A grade today, with the now familiar faces who have lifted the standard of racing this season at National Boulevard. Total Rush, Kosdown, Italo CC, Hawthorn CC, Broadford/Seymour CC, Drapac Porsche, Doom Posse, Salter Cycles, Maccabi CC, Virgin Blue-RBS Morgans - all represented. A well credentialed weekend club race for sure!
First move of the day was Rhys Gillett (Virgin Blue-RBS Morgans) who pulled a solo flyer from the bunch and held a 200m gap off the front. Rob Doyle (Doom Posse) waited for a few failed attempts from the bunch to pick up the speed before bridging solo across to Gillett. Soon followed by Sam Lilley (Kosdown). The three of them never gained more than 300m on the attentive bunch for a number of laps. Lilley was first back in the fold with Doyle and Gillett swept up a few laps later.
As soon as the break was caught there was a counter attack - no surprises there. And no surprises that it included me. Myself and Cam McKenzie (Doom Posse) threw down the challenge of a chase to the bunch and slipped off the front at 30mins in. My ride had gone from holding wheels in the bunch to a repeat of last weeks world of pain. Excellent. :) The bunch never gave McKenzie and I much room off the front, they kept us in sight in the longer straights. A Salter Cycles rider was let go from the bunch and attempted to bridge, but in the mix of passing other grades I couldn't tell who it was and how much gap they had off the front of A grade, so he didn't make contact.
McKenzie and I kept working hard over the next 30 minutes still holding off the A grade bunch who didn't seem to be getting too much closer. 60mins +3 laps means, like last week, if you cross the line at 59:50 then that isn't 60minutes. Four laps to go and the bunch was creeping back to us. Coming down the main straight to greet the '3' to go McKenzie pulls a monster turn, swings off and shoves me forward.... "oh shit, solo time!". Laps of this course are 1.7kms, so 3 to go means 5.1kms! Head down and I keep cranking with the bunch still 200m or so behind me. "2" to go and I'm still holding a gap, nobody had jumped across to me. Bell lap and I'm still hanging off the front but they're getting closer. I keep clear all the way up the back straight but was finally caught at the top of the course 500m from the line. Bugger, but well worth the shot.
I have no idea what happened in the bunch sprint - I let them go after they caught me, I was spent. If you ever wanted to see the difference in power required to sit in the bunch vs break away/solo the data below sums it up:
Edit: I also forgot to mention that I had a quick chat to Jake Sutherland about potato cakes while we were racing. He reckons there are two places in Melbourne that do awesome ones. We were getting strung out single file by the time I could get the address off him. I'll do a potato cake review once I get the address from him and try them out!
A Grade Results:
1st. Rico Rogers (Total Rush)
2nd. Rob Doyle (Doom Posse)
3rd. Pat Drapac (Drapac Porsche)
4th. Rhys Gillett (Virgin Blue-RBS Morgans)
5th. Sam Lilley (Kosdown)