Perfect weather at Eildon for the race on Sunday, not the 13 degrees and frost that was forecast. The main mens bunch included U19/U23/Elite/MMAS123, around 30 riders strong. The all-in contained a few races within the race. 1-2-3 to the line would take the memorial trophy honours, 1st Blackburn rider would be male Club Champion, and each age category would get envelopes. Lots to keep track of, much easier just trying to beat the guy next to you. :)
The start line looked a little more professional than most club championship races... 2x V Australia pros (Chris Winn and a team mate), recent Budget Forklifts signing Jason Spencer, Ashley Baines in his Euro pro team kit, a Serch2Retain rider from Wangaratta CC, and the rest of us - A stacked line up from the 6am-ers, two new Kosdown riders - Shannon Johnson, Stephen Lane, and me, some lightweight juniors, and a stack of others.
56kms flat, 6-7kms up a hill, then 32kms to the finish. The advertised and anticipated final 2km up the Eildon dam wall was scrapped on the day. The finish being located a few 100m through town on a flat side road. Not much action in the first 25kms. Cameron Parlevliet (U19/BBN/DeVer) launched the first major attack before we hit town to finish lap 1. A few minutes later he was out of sight. The three of us in Kosdown kit didn't mind, not our category (we were registered as MMAS123), and it was not our championship. V Australia had other ideas, sitting a rider on the front for a monster 10km+ turn to pull Parlevliet back to the bunch. Johnson (Kosdown) sat locked in 2nd wheel making sure the monster effort by V Australia didn't turn into a solo ride away from the bunch. Baines was soon on the attack too, hitching a sit on a 4WD+caravan that cautiously passed the bunch heading in the same direction, then jumping off the front solo once that move was shut down.
With Baines up the road when we hit the climb, Spencer attacked on the climb after a few minutes taking both V Australia and a few others with him. I was on the limit stomping over 400W, feeling too heavy, and not enough power to go with those guys.... I kept cranking and worked my way through a few riders and was chasing the leaders solo by a few 100m at the KOM. On the descent I was joined by two others - one I didn't know (racing Elite) and Vaughan Bowman (CCCC) who is old enough to be MMAS123 but I didn't know what he'd registered as. The leaders were now out of sight, so we started rolling solid turns to stop anyone getting back to us. The Serch2Retain rider was just off the back of us and didn't quite make it across as the three of us stepped it up for the 30km home.
We picked up a rider who dropped from the lead bunch at 25km to go. 10km to go Bowman started the fight. Putting the hammer down on a rise, dropping one rider off the back. At this point we weren't going to catch the leaders, and we weren't going to be caught... so game on. 5km to go we passed a V Australia rider who'd hit the deck after a touch of wheels with Baines. 1km to go I attacked, brought back. 500m to go I dug again and got a gap, keeping clear to the line.
I was 4th in Open Mens/overall and 1st in MMAS123. The large chase bunch was lead home by Johnson (Kosdown), Tully Lyster (Wang CC), and Lane (Kosdown). Three mates at the pointy end of that bunch! Nice!
Winn (V Australia) had taken the win/trophy, Spencer (Budget Forklifts) 2nd place and BBN Club Champion, and Baines in 3rd after a mad chase after stopping to secure his rear wheel into place once it was nudged by Winn's team mate.
Full results: HERE
Apart from not being able to keep up with the lead guys, it was a good day out and about. 56km road race, 7km hill climb, 32km team time trial. Perfect training for the next month and beyond which is stacked full of racing!
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|Team Kosdown photo pose (Shannon, hands behind!)|