|Today's pooch screwer, my saddle.|
Five MMAS1 riders in the combined MMAS1/2/3 bunch for the 2011 Victorian Metro Road Race Championships hosted by Castlemaine CC at Harcourt. 14 or so others in MMAS2 & 3. We were read our rights before the 56km race, the commissaire needed a little nudge in reminding everyone that each age group would be racing for a set of medals/state title. This tidbit of information must have been missed by some given the tactics we'd see out the road...
The first 5km roll out was at pedestrian pace. One attack. Everyone jumps on it. James Grant (SKCC, MMAS1) rolls to the front and puts the hammer down. I jump on, so does everyone else. Too early, everyone had fresh legs. Shorty after I hear (and feel) a CRACK from my bike. Shit. A quick check of everything, and the saddle feels a little softer than normal. Broken. Fizik Antares snapped right through the middle. Bastard. It didn't feel too bad, I could sit further back and it was ok, I could sit forward on the nose and that wasn't too bad either. So as long as the leather covering held the plastic bits onto the rails, I should be ok. I just had to get off the saddle when we hit any major bumps..... in-race arse injury risk management.
Of the few moves early on, nothing got away. Through the small rolling hills, the hammer was down, but the bunch was always together. We were on a go-slow at the 20km mark. Drink, eat, watch, wait. Andrew McGrath (HCC, MMAS1) and I on the front and the pace is still down. Since all my moves were marked, he may have a chance at getting away if nobody chases. I tell him to go - he goes, and GOES, and was soon out of sight! A few kms later a MMAS3 rider launches attack/chase, I'm on the front questioning what he's doing, a MMAS1 rider is no threat to his title.... did he miss the pre-race memo? I wasn't going to chase McGrath at this point, and I wouldn't be bringing the field up to his wheel if I did. I'd love to see him get the win if he pulled it off from this far out.
We were paced up the hills leading to the 40km mark climb by an awesome domestique (cheers Jase!). The pace was quick on a few climbs before the main climb of the day, sapping some of the energy from the bunch. Most riders still hanging in strong. At the turn towards the base of the main climb, I attempt an attack for a solo ride across to McGrath. A move that would be no threat to MMAS2/3 riders, but they missed the memo too, and chased me down right away.
At the base of the main climb we get "1 minute" to McGrath from a support car. He was now back in view up the road too. I go solo off the front up the climb, 16kms from home. If there was a point on the course where 'the shit goes down' it'll be on this climb. And the shit went down! The bunch shattered by the time I'd reached the top. Paul Mason (CCCC, MMAS2) and Harry Brennan (CCCC, MMAS3) bridged across to me at the top of the climb. We had a good 80m gap on the chasing bunch, who at this point, HAD to chase. There was a MMAS1 up the road, and a MMAS1,2,3 off the front of the main bunch. The combination was the most dangerous there could have been, we'd sweep up all the titles on offer regardless of how we finished if we stayed away.
We turned ourselves inside out to get over the never ending rolling hills for the next 8kms, in the process picking up McGrath who jumped on and helped keep the pace high, not a bad effort after being away for over 20kms solo. I kept an eye on the chasing bunch, they were making progress on us. Even more reason to rip long monster turns in the breakaway. The four of us lifted and pulled longer turns where we could, the gap started to grow nicely. Once we hit the main road and the fast downhill to the line for 3kms we knew we wouldn't get caught. No need to cat-and-mouse, we each had our own races to win. McGrath and I would decide the MMAS1 title. The hammer was still down as we flew into town for line honours, Mason makes the first move out of the saddle towards the line, quickly responded to by Brennan, McGrath opens the door for me to rip up the inside of them both, I take the sprint, and the Vic MMAS1 Metro Road Race title. McGrath 2nd in MMAS1, Mason 1st in MMAS2, Rider X 1st in MMAS3. Handshakes and smiles from all as we roll down. That final 15kms was all honest hard work with the unique situation of everyone being rewarded for the result. Three state titles, and McGrath more than happy with his 2nd place after his solo escape and digging deep to stay in the break.
The presentations by MC Shirley Amy (Castlemaine CC) were excellent. The first thing she explained was why the 'Metro' championships were out in the country. "Because nobody else put their hand up to have them". Can't argue with that, and the homemade cakes, cookies, and coffee were great!
1. Shane Miller (Kosdown/HCC)
2. Andrew McGrath (HCC)
3. Nick Youngs (CCCC)
1. Paul Mason (CCCC)
2. Stuart Cameron (SthVets)
3. James McArdle (Dirt Riders)
1. Harry Brennan (CCCC)
2. Miles Dacosta (Footscray)
3. Adrian Sinnatt (Blackburn)
Full official results HERE.
|MMAS1 Podium..... 3rd missed the podium memo.|
Now.. onto fixing that saddle issue.....
|This won't hold....|