Thursday, 13 October 2011

13th Australian Masters Games - MMAS1 Criterium, Time Trial, Road Race.

After the Masters Nationals the plan was go straight over to Adelaide to the Australian Masters Games for the cycling events. The Masters Games is held every 2 years, in '09 it was in Geelong - it hosts hundreds of sports, it is what I call, the Aussie Olympics for oldies.... The cycling events are overseen by Cycling SA, so it is real racing, no messing about!

Before we left Ballarat we stayed another night to watch team mate Shannon Johnson take out the MMAS1 crit title (he took the road race too!). Lucky we hung around, because after lunch that day I had a short stop over at the dentist, seems while winning the TT the day before I was able to do some tooth damage.... chewing the bars too much? Result: Root canal! A lovely surprise for 4:30pm on a Friday... one head drilling session down, two to go. It didn't hurt as much as a TT does, so the procedure isn't all that bad. I've asked the dentist to put in some ant+ compatible strain gauges in the tooth because it's going to cost as much as a new SRM. 

Anyhows... onto the Masters Games road cycling events.... and at this point I must send a shout out to Thule for their sponsorship! Their equipment comes in very handy when transporting five bikes over here to SA!

Criterium - Victoria Park, Sunday, October 9th 2011.

A flat/open 1km circuit on the V8 Supercar start/finish through Victoria Park. Nowhere to hide, no hills for a selection to be made. Only 6 or so in MMAS1, a pretty thin field. Racing interstate means not really knowing who to watch, or how people will race. The pace was high on lap 1, I didn't know who to watch so I sat on. Lap 2 much the same.... I attacked early taking Corey Roberts with me. We were shut down in 400m. I went again, they chased but never really got back on, leaving me to dangle 10m off the front... so I went... this time no chase. 7mins into the race and I was away. Two laps later the chase got underway. I could see it unfold on the other side of the track. A rider or two shelled, 4 chasing, then 3, then 2. The tail wind down the front straight broke up the effort nicely, and I was still gaining 4-5 seconds a lap. At 35mins in I was within striking distance to lap the two front chasers. I caught them on the front straight and waited for the headwind back straight to get past them - at which point they jumped on my wheel..... I swung off and told them I wouldn't mess with their sprint for 2nd so they needed to battle it out honestly. They let me go again, with a few laps to go I put another few 100m into them. I had enough time to pull off a smartarse finish line move too, unplanned, and Von caught it on her phone. It was a perfect warm up session for the TT on Tuesday.

MMAS1 Medals:
Gold   - Shane Miller    VIC 0:41:25
Silver - Shawn Kasbergen SA
Bronze - Alan Leslie     SA

MMAS1 Podium

David Heatly from Cycling-Inform was there on the sidelines watching, supporting, and giving me time gaps as I came past. He wrote up the race over on his site:

Time Trial - The Range 17km, Tuesday, October 10th 2011.

Four on the MMAS1 start list, two DNS. Not too happy about that... but it was a chance to battle Corey Roberts who I've ridden against a few times for Gold/Silver, and with all grades doing the same distance it was a chance for a shot at setting the best time of the day. I had a pretty good ride on the undulating course. The 3km climb to the finish was pretty epic. I took 1st in MMAS1, overall time of the day, but the Cycling SA officials weren't sure what the course record for The Range was... turns out I nailed that too!

MMAS1 Medals:

Gold   - Shane Miller  VIC 22:32
Silver - Corey Roberts SA  25:43

Praying before the start....? No, just cold, and in need of a coffee!

"....Hold me closer tiny dancer
Count the headlights on the highway
Lay me down in sheets of linen
You had a busy day today
And I'm away.... 

MMAS1 Podium

Road Race - The Range, Wednesday, October 11th 2011.

8 rides in our small bunch for 5 laps of The Range (same route as the TT). A few familiar faces from the crit and some other riders I didn't know. David Steinhauser from Sunbury in TFM kit was the only other Victorian in our bunch. On lap 1 most of the bunch was rolling turns, most, not all... At 13km we hit the corner to the first climb and Corey Roberts put in a monster turn to soften people up, as soon as the road went upwards I got on the front and tapped out a hard tempo. At the top of the climb as we completed lap 1 we'd split the bunch. 4 off the front, Steinhauser chasing hard just off the back, the others not far behind. The four of us away were Alan Leslie, Corey Roberts, Shawn Kasbergen and I. All four of us had done the crit on Sunday so we had some idea who we were with. 

Lap 2 up the hill Corey Roberts puts in a monster turn and puts us all in the red. The pace soon dropped as we all recovered over the top and got back into rolling turns. By this stage the follow car was on our tail and we were out of sight of the chasing Steinhauser. The pace was high, but with four of us I knew there had to be another selection at some point in the race.....

Lap 3 up the hill I sat on the back hoping for an easy ascent. It was! Phew. We just tapped up towards the top, at which point I was feeling good..... so I attacked. "up up up" was heard, so they knew I was on the go and chased. I had 40m, Leslie chasing solo from the other two. We still had 34kms to race so I backed off, waited for Leslie to get on my wheel, then drove hard for a few km. Roberts and Kasbergen were chasing together and making ground for a few kms before they appeared to break apart and chase solo.

Leslie took the Bronze in the crit and said to me he really wanted the Silver in the road race, so I told him, "Well, lets make it happen". He was in the hurt box early on, so I told him to sit on, have a drink, something to eat, and just do what he could. He was pulling good turns on the first lap and had ridden well up the hill when Roberts attacked, so I was more than happy to help him keep away from the chasers. Once we were out of sight of the chasers we settled into some pretty smooth turns... and having to dodge a black snake that was on the move across the road..!

It wasn't until we got to the final turn towards the last ascent that we knew we had the 1-2. Leslie said he wanted to see a finish line salute like the crit..... but anything could happen, chain snaps, puncture, he was still in for a shot at a deserved win if I wasn't at the finish. 2kms out I kicked away and looked back, Leslie waved me off with a smile. I gave him a thumbs up and ripped into the final climb. Leslie still chased well, out of the saddle, and only a few 100m off the back on the line. Roberts rolled across for the Bronze after about 30km chasing solo - hard as nails effort! 

This road race was what the games were all about to me - Nothing too serious, but it was bloody tough racing, alliances formed, attacks thrown, each having different goals (Leslie wanting Silver was fine by me, that was something I could help with, had he wanted Gold it would have been a different story, heheh). I hope the guys who were shelled early on still got something out of the race too. I've tried to look up Leslie on Facebook/Twitter, no luck. If anyone has his details shoot them to me.

MMAS1 Medals:
Gold   - Shane Miller  VIC 2:13:29
Silver - Alan Leslie   SA
Bronze - Corey Roberts SA

Split of four
"Juuusssttt the two of us.... we can make it if we try...."

Finish line... happy and stuffed!

MMAS1 Podium

1 comment:

hptech said...

I feel like im on team USPS with Lance Armstrong... No one has a chance they are just there for silver!!!! Nice work again fella...