Friday, 25 February 2011

HCC Kew Crits - Feb 23rd 2011.... and Horsham tales.

A Grade: 20 riders this week. Tom Southam (Rapha) was back again, along with Nick Walker (Pegasus), Rico Rogers (Giant Asia), Pat Drapac (Drapac). I think that's the complete list of pro/semi-pros. Add to this list the local quicks: Steve Pilson (Footscray), Cam Clamp (HCC), Hugh Watson (Brunswick).. and a bucket load of others ready to race in good conditions.

The pace was on from the start. Someone had sprinted the first lap on the front and strung things out from the get-go. Lap 2 Southam rolled past and said hello, Pilson rolls up on my wheel and says g'day too. Lap 3 Nick Walker sprints off the front, nobody responds. Southam sits and watches from the front. Were the pro's all in the chop? I took off after Walker and a lap later I'm on his wheel and we're a few seconds clear of the bunch. We kept our heads down and kept the pace high. The move was very early in the race, so it was only after 15-20mins that we thought we had a chance at staying away. Walker is an animal on the bike, just holding his wheel took a lot of watts, pulling a turn took more. The HCC photos when published on Facebook will confirm this, pain face all race.

Along the way we were almost chopped into the right hand gutter by C Grade.... "Keep Left" means left... not 'look to your right and serve into the passing riders'.... Then we then had to pick our way through an orienteering group who would not listen to 'race in progress' and 'keep off the road'. We were on the end of some serious disrespect from whoever these clowns were. The hairpin at Kew is tough enough, add runners with the directional skills of Stevie Wonder in the mix and it's a nightmare. Within a few laps HCC put marshals all over the course and this helped somewhat, however like herding sheep there was always one willing to do their own thing and risk darting across the road.

Tom Southam had a lap out and was then spotted on the side of the course, mechanical? Other riders were spotted on the sidelines too. We started picking off lapped riders from the A grade bunch one by one. At 40mins Walker pulls a monster turn for a whole lap which puts us on the back of the A grade bunch, containing the remaining riders. Lapped! Nice! We roll past them and hear "Ohhhhh shit". :) We kept separate from them and continued rolling turns for the final three laps. No cat and mouse, on the pedals all the way. Walker took the victory by a length or two, as I said, animal! There was a handshake and congrats around the back of the course. This was one of the best races I've had a Kew. Consistent power output around the whole course made for some handy stats to review that night.

Michael Drapac was there watching the race too, he walked the course in reverse and was checking his watch as Walker and I went past each lap. It was good to be off the front in the race winning move when someone who has invested so much into the sport was watching. But no phone call this week with any offers.... so it's back to IT for me in the near future... :)

A Grade (20 riders, 40 minutes + 3 laps)
1. Nick Walker (Pegasus/CCCC)
2. Shane Miller (Kosdown/Hawthorn)
3. Rico Rogers (Giant Asia/StKilda)
4. Conor Murtagh (Brunswick)
Intermediate Sprint #1: Cam Clamp (Hawthorn)

Horsham tales...

I came up to Horsham early Thursday morning to meet my team swimmer for the Horsham Triathlon. We've entered the mixed team doing the full distance. Mark Hutchinson swimming 500m (he's just done the Lorne Pier to Pub, so 500m is no probs). I'll do the ride leg, 20kms dead flat. Then my sister is running the 5kms. We've been informed the roads are not closed for the bike leg. This will be interesting. It's a 40km/h 'scenic drive' zone.... Flashing red and blue lights will only make me ride faster, and I'll bunny hop spike strips (a task well practiced over fallen trees on the Richmond Blvd)... so game on! :)

I had a call from the local paper yesterday about the event, and was in today's printed and online edition. A local company has also chipped in for our team entry! Lots of support from the locals, and from all reports they'll be out in force to cheer us on. The tri starts at 5pm..... and the Coburg CC TT series round #3 is 10am the next morning out in Humevale. Zoom zoom zoom!

Random visuals....

Locusts. Little flying devils.

TT recon. 40km/h zone. Hmmmm.

The road that never ends. Ever.

Ninja cows. They dwell in the shadows.

Checked on the traffic near home today. Eek.

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