Perfect beach weather this weekend, which means perfect race weather! I still can't work out why our road racing season is in the middle of winter. Is it because track racing is in summer? I don't see that many trackies racing road week in week out. Because it's 'Euro Pro'? No, they race in the middle of their summer. Because that's the way it's always been, so don't ask questions?........ ok, I'll get to the race reports before I wake up next to a horse head courtesy of the old-school cycling mafia.
National Boulevard Crit (Jan 29th)
24 riders in A grade with no trademark headwind up the back straight. A few riders to watch lining up at the start, Jake Sutherland (Total Rush) in form with a win last weekend at St Kilda, Nathan Elliott who's always up for a break regardless of form, Rhys Gillett (Virgin Blue/RBS Morgans), and 20 others to keep an eye on. With round #1 of the TT series the next day all I was after was 20 minutes of hard work, so the plan was to sit in the bunch and go with any late attacks. As with most premeditated plans, they change. At the 5 minute mark I was up the road with Gillett, Liam Dove (Cryodon Cycleworks), and Conor Murtagh (DeVer). I thought the move was way too early in the race to stay away. Typically someone with fresh legs in the bunch will either bridge across or get on the front and close down the break. That didn't happen. We kept cranking and the gap from the bunch kept growing.
Kosdown Printing had sponsored the A grade race this week with a few extra dollars for two intermediate sprint primes. 1st sprint at 20mins, 2nd at 40mins. Our break was clear enough to sweep up the sprints. I was still thinking it was too early for the break to last so jumped for the 1st sprint. Gillett didn't contest and wasn't happy I didn't hear his instructions to just keep rolling. No harm, he'd take the 2nd one and we'll call it even. Sprint #1 was the equivalent to 1 1/2 wins at Kew! Back to rolling turns and we were still well clear of the bunch. For his 60ish kilos Gillett is a motor. 47km/h turns up the back straight, it took 360W just to hold his wheel. Murtagh soon popped and drifted back to the bunch. Three of us left. After an eternity of suffering we were shown the '3 to go'. The chasing bunch had picked up the pace and were now only 300m behind. By bell lap we knew the three of us would keep clear and fight it out to the line. Gillett jumped first and was closed down by Dove, who was now screwed as he was in the middle of both Gillett and I, wondering which one of us would jump first. The pace dropped, and to his credit Dove himself took it to us both and launched the final kick to the line, nice! Gillett launched and went a few lengths clear of us both, I sat on Dove for a leadout and came around in the last 50m. Jake Sutherland took the bunch kick which was only 15 seconds behind - close! So that 20 minutes of hard work ended up being 1hr 3mins of team time trialing at threshold.
A Grade Results:
1. Rhys Gillet (Virgin Blue/RBS Morgans)
2. Shane Miller (Kosdown)
3. Liam Dove (Cryodon Cycleworks)
4. Jake Sutherland (Total Rush)
Sprint 1: Shane Miller
Sprint 2: Rys Gillet
Wildwood 25km TT (Coburg CC ITT Series round #1).
Hot, sunny, and a 40km/h northerly wind. Ideal conditions for a 25km time trial that mostly uphill and into that north wind. Not much of a warm up was required after the National Boulevard crit the day before. I rode the first 5kms of the course at around 300W which resulted in 25km/h one way and 60km/h with the tail wind. The wind was brutal, but the tail wind was a hell of a lot of fun!
I was assigned #1 and was off last. Chasing Rob Regester (1min), Nathan Elliott (2min), Martin Lama (3min). I'd been out for a recon lap of the course early in the week so had an idea of where the hills were. Two climbs in the first 4km, a quick descent, a climb of 6% for just over 1km, more head wind, then the fast home stretch. I caught and passed Regester at 3kms. Elliott was in my sights but took a while longer to reel in on the descent. I caught a few more up the main climb then could see Martin Lama up the road. It took the next 5kms to catch and pass him. By this time we were both on the super-fast return leg. 60km/h+ and a cadence that was suitable for track racing. The final corner with 3km to go - all out from here. 36:05 on the line. The average speed wasn't anything special, but the average power was only 2% down on the 20km flat course at the masters nationals last year, NP was bang on. I'll need to keep nudging the power up, but its only January... and it's a long time to the Tour of Bright.
IRTT Race 1 Results:
Shane Miller 36.05
Martin Lama 39.34
Nathan Elliot 41.24
David Younger 42.13
Ian McGinley 44.32
Andrew Moffat 46.47
Rob Regester 41.08
Paul Williams 44.20
Andrew McGrath 44.54
Adrian Chew 45.16
Jonathan Mawer 48.24
David Shirley 49.40
Rae Lesniowska 53.00
Daniel Saaghy 62.17
Sunday was finished off with a Hawthorn CC track training session at DISC in preparation for the club team events this coming Saturday. 50 laps warm up at easy pace, a number of drills swapping turns, trying not to get killed by running up the arse of other bikes. The events this Saturday should be fun. I would like to see these 'championship only' events run throughout the year at a club level (like almost every other event, scratch, points, etc). This was something I added to the CSV 'improving track participation' survey a while back. But these events still remain 'championship only'. I guess that's the way it's always been.....