After watching the Bay Crits where riders fight to get near the front, club crits are usually a fight to get away from the front.... but still be near enough to jump with any attacks. This usually means 5-10 riders set the pace and the rest are in the dog house for not doing any work. But that's just the way it is, these are not handicap races. Riders soon get grumpy, then the attacks start. Game on.
No attacks stuck early on. All of them shut down. Then the counter attacks never got far.... except mine. This wasn't a good thing at the time, 15 minutes into the race. The bunch let me go solo so I spent three laps off the front. A group of 8-10 riders broke from the bunch and bridged across to me. The best I can recall is the break containing Elloitt, Dove, Johnson, Sutherland, Hurley, Goesinnen, Dudkiewicz, Madden, Murtagh, and a few others. Some riders pulling good turns, some not, some hanging on the back - the break would have been doomed if the chasing bunch put the hammer down.
|E Dog ripping a turn on the front.|
Goesinnen has been wanting a rematch ever since I rolled him by 1/2 a tyre at Kew last month, so if this move stuck, it would be on! Madden was hurting but would do a turn on the front for a few 100m. Each time rolling off he looked like he'd crack, so I kept making sure he didn't give up with a few words of encouragement to keep him fighting for another lap or two. He hung in there and started pulling better turns towards the end. "A 3" was shown to us, finally, at 67mins into the race! We were hurting and wanted to make sure it was going to pay off.
Bell lap, enough time to cat and mouse. Mark wheels, fake attacks... and in my case, pull a fake attack and get stuck on the front waiting for the other two to jump. "Well, this is it, the rematch" I said to Goesinnen as we rolled into the final straight. Yep, he knew it, and it was on! Madden was third wheel but Goesinnen was only concerned with where I was. 300m from the line Goesinnen jumps first from 2nd wheel. I match his speed, get on top of the gear and flip down a cog or two. I didn't think I'd hold him, but in the final 50m I pulled away, taking the win by just over a bike length along with an unplanned two hand salute and some epic swears of happiness. Hell yes! Elliott attacked the bunch at 1km to go and went solo for 4th place.
Time for rest, reset, and race day tomorrow! 33km ITT with no sprinting required.
A Grade: (35 starters. 67mins + 3)
1. Shane Miller (Kosdown)
2. Floris Goesinnen (Drapac)
3. Tom Madden (Broadford-Seymour CC)
4. Nathan Elliott (Brunswick)